Arson attack on Berlin’s Lomonosov International School—a result of anti-Russian agitation

On Friday, an arson attack was carried out on the International Lomonosov School (ILS) in the Marzahn district of Berlin. According to initial investigations, the attack was motivated by anti-Russian sentiment. “We assume a premeditated act and a connection to the war in Ukraine,” a police spokesman said on Friday.

According to broadcaster rbb, the public broadcaster for the city of Berlin, a passer-by noticed smoke rising from the fire at around 3 a.m. Friday and alerted the police and fire brigade, who were able to prevent the flames from spreading further. There was considerable damage to the building, but no one was injured. According to the authorities, a Molotov cocktail was used. Only one perpetrator could be seen on surveillance camera footage.

Lomonosov International School (Credit: Gordon Lemm/Facebook)

The school is named after the outstanding Russian natural scientist Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov (1711-1765). The school, which has existed for about 15 years, is attended by pupils from 20 nations and offers lessons in German and Russian. The school has set itself the goal of promoting and integrating children and families from the former Soviet Union.

There is no doubt that this was a politically motivated act with an anti-Russian background; this is also the stated assumption of the State Security Service at Berlin’s State Criminal Police Office. Alexander Ott, the school coordinator, announced on Friday that a fire had already been set in a tool shed at the school two days earlier. “We were and are proud of the fact that there have never been any ethnic or language-based clashes at the Lomonosov schools.”

Parents expressed horror at the attack. “We assume that no child, no youth, no member of staff at this or any other Berlin school wants this war,” said Norman Heise, chairman of the state parents’ committee, according to Tagesspiegel. “Moreover, nothing at all justifies an attack on a school!”

The attack is a result of the hysterical and chauvinistic anti-Russian campaign, which is being waged uninterrupted by all parties and the media. It is part of the war propaganda and aims at preparing a war against Russia. In the process, the fact right-wing extremist or politically disoriented elements will use violence against institutions or persons who have any connection with Russia is tacitly accepted.

Against this background, the crocodile tears shed by Berlin politicians following the attack are pure hypocrisy. Berlin’s Mayor Franziska Giffey (Social Democratic Party, SPD) condemned the arson attack. Any form of attack, agitation and violence against the Russian community and Russian institutions was unacceptable, Giffey said on Friday.

The war waged by Vladimir Putin should not be blamed on the Russian people, she declared. Her party colleague, the district mayor of Marzahn-Hellersdorf Gordon Lemm, also called the attack despicable and worrying. “We must not allow hatred of the war in Ukraine to be directed against people with supposed or actual Russian roots,” Lemm said.

Education Senator (state minister) Astrid-Sabine Busse (SPD), who is currently imposing sanctions and drastic cuts on Berlin schools, condemned the “cowardly attack” on peaceful coexistence. Social Senator Katja Kipping (Left Party) declared her “great concern that all the revulsion, all the anger we have towards Putin and his government is also hitting Russian-speaking people here in Berlin.”

In fact, Berlin’s governing parties, the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party, as well as all the other establishment parties, are foully spreading hatred of everything Russian. For them, it does not matter at all whether this concerns politics, economics, sports or culture.

This was made clear by the sacking of the world-famous conductor Valery Gergiev as chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, for which the SPD mayor of Munich Dieter Reiter was responsible. He justified this by saying that Gergiev had not spoken out against the war in Ukraine. Shortly afterwards, the contract of star soprano Anna Netrebko, who had spoken out explicitly against the war in Ukraine, was terminated by the Bavarian State Opera. Her only “offence” was her Russian citizenship.

The list could be continued endlessly. Russian athletes are being banned from major events and Russian companies from trading. Russian films are banned from film festivals. In coordination with the German government, research institutions and universities have broken off all relations with Russian partner organisations and announced that all ongoing research projects will be put on hold.

By such actions, the federal and state governments, and the hysterical warmongers from the upper middle class, want to abolish freedom of expression and introduce a form of collective liability. This has not happened in Germany since the anti-Semitic vitriol of the Nazis.

In Germany, all the establishment parties have thrown their weight behind the government of Olaf Scholz (SPD) to increase arms spending and prepare for military intervention in Russia. The Left Party, a member of the state government in Berlin and in other federal states, is no exception. Its representatives like Gregor Gysi or Dietmar Bartsch even attack the federal government from the right and demand tougher sanctions that hit the Russian population hard.

The attack on the Lomonosov International School is the immediate result of the attacks on Russian institutions but is by no means an isolated case. Ethnic Russians and Russian institutions in Germany have experienced hostility and open attacks on an unprecedented scale since the beginning of the war.

According to police data, around 100 attacks have been registered in the capital alone since February 24. Nationwide, there have been such 318 criminal incidents. Often it is damage to property, insults, and threats. Several Russian associations have been attacked, as have private individuals and even embassy staff. On March 8, the Russian House of Science and Culture was daubed with the words “Murderer.”

The attack on the Lomonosov International School must be understood as a serious warning. The war hysteria and anti-Russian chauvinism are not only directed against people of Russian origin, but against the entire working class, which overwhelmingly rejects war—both on the part of Putin and the NATO powers.