Germany and Russia: The end of the honeymoon period?

Article by: Colette Hartwich

Editor’s NoteThe term schröderization or schroederizationdesignates the coopting of a key political elite in an important position within a Russian state-owned energy entity, or, in a broader sense, it means co-opting and corruption of foreign political and/or business figures by hostile regimes.

The term is derived from the last name of former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. While in office, he advocated the Russian gas pipeline project Nord Stream and, in 2005, signed a deal to construct it. Later, just after stepping down as Chancellor, he became the chairman of the Nord Stream AG’s shareholder committee. Later in 2016, Mr. Schröder became the manager of the highly criticized expansion of the existing pipeline, Nord Stream 2 that is now sanctioned by the U.S.

Additionally, in 2017, the ex-Chancellor was employed as “an independent director of the board” of Russia’s biggest oil producer, Rosneft.

Why Germany is rich soil for Russian propaganda and manipulation? Historical myths about WWII and nostalgia of former GDR citizens for “good neighbors” play a role, German humanitarian and environmental assistant Colette Hartwich argues in her article that the Euromaidan Press team publishes below.

The author believes that after the recent assassination in Berlin and the disclosure of a Russian spy base camp in the French Alps, Germans have to do away with a number of dangerous myths about Russia.

The term “schröderization“ is well-known in German business and political circles, as it accurately describes how many influential Germans, who followed former-Kanzler Gerhard Schröder’s example, had accepted to be manipulated by Russian money and/or business contacts. The example of the Russian lobbying for Nord Stream II, which showed that of all EU countries Germany was the most reluctant to see the dangers of energy dependence on Russia for the whole of Europe, illustrates the many myths about Russia’s reality and intentions on which German policy has rested since the end of WWII.

Obviously, since the reunification of two Germanys, the influence of the soviet education and nostalgia of former GDR citizens played a role in German yearning for “good neighbors” kind-of-relationship with post-soviet Russia. Many Germans have the nostalgia of Russia as a “good neighbor,” especially those who had known the GDR. They see Russian “socialism” as a pleasant contrast to a US capitalist society. This “socialist dream” is why many Germans, including the political elites, never wanted to see the reality of either the Soviet Union or today’s highly Stalinist Russia.

Both AFD and Die Linke, German right- and left-wing parties are mostly supported in the former GDR. Source: Financial times

This honeymoon phase is ending. The German “Bild” can shout aloud, “So mordete Putin in Berlin” (“This is how Putin killed in Berlin”). The danger is aggravated by the fact the suspect has had to move to a new prison so as not to be murdered in jail. This puts the safety conditions of Berlin in general in question.

We have also learned that Russia has discreetly operated a “spy nest” for a long time in the French Alps, with easy access to Switzerland. It is probable that the murder(s) of Skripals in the UK have been planned and organized from there.

As per usual, the Russian embassy and the Russian government have denied any involvement and refused to participate in the German investigation. German government expelled two so-called diplomats, no doubt spies, for the first time in years, taking a strong stand against Russia. The independent news website Bellingcat published what they assumed was the identity of the Russian killer.To ensure their own safety, the German citizens at large and especially the German political elite have to do away with a number of dangerous myths about Russia. The first and most dangerous one is that of Russia being a victim of WWII and therefore a victim of Nazi-Germany.

As a matter of fact, as often pointed out by the historian T. Snyder, Russia and Nazi-Germany were both accomplices if not partners during WWII, up to the time when they both started competing over who would control and exploit Ukraine. To Snyder WWII was essentially a war over Ukraine, its cereals and people as slaves for two imperialistic regimes – Russia and Nazi-Germany.

The presence of the above-mentioned myths has been recently brought to light by the reaction of the Bundestag to Ukraine’s request for acknowledgment of Holodomor (Stalin’s man-made famine, which probably starved at least eight million Ukrainians) as Genocide. Many, if not all, pseudo-legal objections smacked of bad faith! As an example: Holodomor could not be acknowledged as Genocide because it precedes the UN Genocide Convention. However, the Holocaust also had preceded the UN Genocide Convention; nevertheless, it would have been difficult for Germany after the Nuremberg trials to deny the holocaust and the Nazi-Germany’s responsibility.

The EU parliament has recently acknowledged that Russia and Germany are co-responsible for WWII: the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact sealed that cooperation and together, without any declaration of war, Russia and Nazi-Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 starting the WWII. Ukraine and Poland, not Russia, were the main victims of this criminal cooperation.

It is also time for the EU in general and particularly Germany to realize that Ukraine is European: the war in eastern Ukraine in fact threatens all of Europe. Germany now realized, as had the UK in the case of Skripal poisoning, that Russia is also an internal threat to its security. Does France also know where the “spy nest” is located? Whose consulate in Moscow granted a visa to the suspected murderer of Berlin and why? A. Kramp-Karrenbauer rightly insisted on a stronger reaction to that murder. It only shows that Russia is a threat to all of Europe.

Colette Hartwich is a creator and founder of Hadassah Luxembourg, WEGA Aide Humanitaire a.s.b.l Luxembourg; Co-Founder of L’Ukraine and ALPHEE Paris. She has 40 years of experience in humanitarian and environmental assistance projects in 7 different countries all around the world: Philippines, Ukraine, Armenia among others. For more than 25 years she is educating and coaching in fields of microfinance, humanitarian and development assistance project drafting.

(c) EuromaidanPress


  1. “To Snyder WWII was essentially a war over Ukraine, its cereals and people as slaves for two imperialistic regimes – Russia and Nazi-Germany.”

    Hard to argue against this theory. Ukraine were caught in the middle of two of the biggest mass murders in history. Neither give a shit about Ukrainians, and still don’t

    • And likely the reason Ukrainians conspired with both sides at one time or another just to get rid of one or the other. Hitler even loaded up trains with Ukrainian top soil to take back to Germany. As the Stalinists took all the Ukrainian crops in the winter of 1932.

  2. Like I always say, Ukraine should NOT join the EU. This would place it at the mercy of Germanystan. Ukraine would be forced to take on countless third-world immigrants, for instance, and become part of a hydra-like bureaucracy. I believe that this is every bit as bad as joining the Ruskie camp. Ukraine must seek other friends and business partners outside of EU membership. The US, Poland, Japan, South Korea, and the Baltic states are there for starters.

    “the German citizens at large and especially the German political elite have to do away with a number of dangerous myths about Russia”
    Forget it! The krauts will never learn anything. They are submissive fools. The elite are interested only in making money with mafia land. See slimy Schröder, Siemens et al.

  3. That is a tricky one facts. Poland, a country of similar size to Ukraine, joined in 2004. Its economy was a similar size to Ukraine. Since joining, its GDP is now five or six times the size of Ukraine’s. This is because, as a very poor country, it was a net beneficiary and still is. In fact it has taken more off the EU than almost any other member in the past 15 years. Ukraine would do exactly the same as Poland, but probably in a shorter space of time. Also, although it poses no military threat to Russia , the EU would finally get tough on sanctions if one of its own members was menaced. The current govt of Poland has refused to take ‘refugees’ from backward countries with primitive, hostile cultures on the reasonable basis that the electorate has not given them permission.

    • Yes, scradge, I have heard all the arguments before, regarding positive aspects of EU membership and I fully realize how a country like Ukraine could benefit.
      However, let us not forget that there are numerous other countries outside of the EU who have succeeded in building strong, robust and fruitful economies, like South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The last three are nations with the highest average incomes. And, except for Norway, none have significant natural resources.
      Poland (and Hungary too), who refuse to be Germany’s trash bins, have had to put up with lots of criticism and even threats for this by the European Union. And, let us not forget, for sure the UK had good reasons for their Brexit, or?
      I am very certain that Ukraine can become a successful nation outside of EU membership. The prerequisites are accessible. The economy of Ukraine has enjoyed robust growth and the Hryvnia has performed very well. In addition, it has important natural resources, a high level of education, an established industrial base, and some of the most fertile soils in the world. The only thing needed now is far-sighted and intelligent political and business leadership.

      • I am looking forward to the UK doing a lot more business with Ukraine and Georgia post Brexit. However, if you are a poor country, the EU is a good source of free money.
        Britain is leaving because we put in disproportionately more than we take out. Plus of course we want full control of who comes in to the country. Finally, we want to be free from the baleful influence of non-entity panjandrums and putinoid scum like Jean-Claud Juncker.

What is your opinion?