The elected US President Trump had incited his supporters, who stormed the Capitol. Heiko Maas believes that he must be held responsible for this. He is not alone in his assessment.
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Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has spoken out in favor of bringing all those responsible for the storming of the Capitol to justice – including those who instigated it. In doing so, he also pleaded indirectly for the punishment of US President Donald Trump, whom he had previously made jointly responsible for the attack on the parliament building.
It is now necessary for all democrats to join forces against the enemies of democracy, said Maas on Thursday in a Bundestag debate on the unrest in the USA. “This alliance begins with the perpetrators of such derailments to account. This includes the violent rioters and also their instigators. Those who incite are responsible,” said the SPD politician.
Damage “do not leave without consequences”
After the storm on the Capitol a week ago, Trump faces impeachment proceedings in the US Senate for “inciting riot”. Maas said it was not his place to evaluate the so-called impeachment. “Ultimately, however, it is nothing more than an expression of the American need not to let the damage to their democratic institutions not lead to consequences.”
Maas emphasized that the storm on the Capitol did not come as a surprise to him after Trump’s election fraud allegations. “Donald Trump has disregarded the democratic decision of American voters and he has trampled the democratic rules of the game, especially in the past few weeks,” he said. The reactions from Beijing and Moscow to the unrest in Washington, the schadenfreude in Iran, Venezuela and North Korea showed “the disservice right-wing populists do to their countries and the danger they pose to democracy”.
Last Wednesday, protests by angry supporters of Trump escalated in the capital Washington and at times plunged the political center of the USA into unprecedented chaos. Shortly before the storm on the Capitol, Trump appeared in front of his supporters, repeated his unsubstantiated election fraud allegations and called on his supporters to move to the seat of the US Parliament. You shouldn’t put up with the “theft” of choice.
Parallels to storming the Berlin Reichstag
In the Bundestag debate, several MPs drew a parallel to the occupation of the stairs of the Reichstag building during a demonstration by opponents of the state corona measures in August. “What happened here on August 29 was the same as the storm on the Capitol in Washington on January 6,” said FDP foreign policy officer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff. “The parallels are obvious: A large group of people who for years have been misled with lies by enemies of freedom, anti-democrats and their journalistic rifle wrenches, are taking action under the leadership of cynical ringleaders and violent groups against attempted and sometimes completed crimes Freedom, the rule of law and democracy. “
Bundestag Vice President Petra Pau (left) also spoke of a “violent attack on parliamentary democracy” in the USA. When asked himself whether something similar could happen to us in Germany and Europe, the CDU foreign politician Jürgen Hardt said: “I warn against carelessly claiming that we are immune from it.” You saw it in August. For the Greens, Agnieszka Brugger concluded: “We have to defend our democracy with maximum vigilance and with the strength of a defensive constitutional state.”
Gottfried Curio of the AfD called the comparison between the incidents in Berlin and Washington “a shamelessly false factual comparison to incite the German population against critics of government policy with horror images from the USA”. Curio continues: “This is hatred, this is agitation against democratic-opposition minorities.” The suspension of Trump’s Twitter account and the deletion of more than 70,000 accounts of supporters of the conspiracy theory “QAnon” by the short service Twitter called Curio, referring to the Nazis in Germany, as “a book burning of gigantic proportions”.