June 25, 2021: shortly before the 80th anniversary of the Nazi German attack on the Soviet Union, in her video podcast German chancellor Angela Merkel designated this day as "cause for shame".
"We humbly bow to the few survivors of this terrible war, who are still alive", the chancellor said. "We are deeply grateful that many of these people shook hands with us as a sign of reconciliation. Germany recognizes its permanent responsibility for the crimes of Nazi governance. We must not forget that we owe to these millions of victims".
According to the newspaper Lüdenscheid
er Nachrichten, Taganrog's sister city Lüdenscheid
held its own memorial event on the bridge Klamer Brücke. This event was organized by Lüdenscheid's Friedensgruppe (Group for Peace)
on June 21, 2021. Its representatives strongly oppose to unleashing new wars in Europe and around the world.
About 30 citizens came to the rally. Among them were historians Matthias Wagner from Friedensgruppe and Otto Ersching - firm advocates for disarmament and normalization of relations with Russia.
In his speech, Matthias Wagner recalled that the horrors of war were felt not only within Soviet territory, but also outside - for example, in Lüdenscheid
. Approximately 1500 soldiers from Lüdenscheid
were killed on the Eastern Front while 900 Soviet prisoners of war and citizens, used as forced laborers ("Zwangsarbeiter"), died in Lüdenscheid
Otto Ersching made his contribution and demanded, taking into account the current tensions, "a notion of European peace, including Russia" that would replace NATO. "There is no alternative to peace. I believe that peoples and cultures can live in harmony with each other, without war", Otto Ersching said.