The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) is participating in elections for the student parliament (StuPa) of Humboldt University in Berlin, to be held January 20 and 21. This week, representatives of the IYSSE submitted their list of candidates to the Student Electoral Board. The list was officially accepted.
The IYSSE campaign is of great political importance. Sven Heymann, the spokesperson for the IYSSE chapter at Humboldt, told the World Socialist Web Site: “We are the only student organization at the university placing the struggle against war at the heart of our campaign and opposing the transformation of Humboldt University into a center of militarism. We will conduct a vigorous campaign in the coming weeks, explaining to students what is taking place and the seriousness of the situation. Ultimately, it’s about the future of our generation.”
The WSWS will publish a full interview with Heymann in the next few days and will report regularly on the IYSSE election campaign.
Below we publish the statement submitted by the IYSSE. The text will be published in the official brochure of the Student Electoral Board, which features all of the candidate lists.
Scholarship instead of war propaganda!
We, the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE), are standing in the StuPa elections to oppose the return of German militarism. We strive to prevent the transformation of Humboldt University once again into an ideological center for war and dictatorship.
One hundred years after the outbreak of the First World War and nearly 70 years after the end of World War II, the German ruling elites are returning to the path of war and insisting on German leadership in Europe and the world.
Earlier this year, President Joachim Gauck declared that, in accordance with its economic power, Germany would have to take “more responsibility” internationally and intervene militarily when necessary.
This policy is now being implemented by the grand coalition in Berlin with the support of the Greens and the Left Party. The government backed the right-wing coup in Ukraine and is playing a leading role in the NATO offensive against Russia. In the Middle East, it is already defending Germany’s geo-strategic interests militarily by delivering arms to the Kurds in northern Iraq and supporting the US-led air war against the Islamic State.
The media act as cheerleaders for the new war policy. On an almost daily basis they publish commentaries demanding tougher action against Russia and attacking the German people for not supporting military interventions.
This sharp change in German foreign policy finds a particularly pronounced expression in the universities. In order to prepare new wars, it is necessary to rewrite history and relativize the crimes committed by the German Reich and the Nazi regime. Professors at our university are playing a central role in this campaign.
Professor Münkler, who lectures in political theory, argues in favor of playing down the responsibility of Germany in the First World War. The work of the chair of the Department of Eastern European History, Professor Baberowski, amounts to the relativization of the crimes of fascism. In February, he was quoted in Der Spiegel as saying: “Hitler was no psychopath, and he wasn’t vicious. He didn’t want people to talk about the extermination of the Jews at his table.”
The ruling elites are responding to the current crisis of capitalism just as they did in the first half of the 20th century—with war and dictatorship. We regard it as our duty to counter this development and we reject the integration of the universities into the war policy.
In order to prevent another catastrophe, it is necessary to develop a mass movement of the working class across the globe. The IYSSE is the youth and student movement of the International Committee of the Fourth International. We are dedicated to combining the struggle against war with the struggle for socialism.