Hans Limmer, Dipl. Political scientist, retired program director of the Munich Adult Education Center.

To the Lord Mayor of the City of Munich,
Mr. Dieter Reiter

Munich February 7th, 2024

Dear Lord Mayor Reiter, this is the first letter I have written to an official of my former employer since I retired in 1995 as program director of the Munich Adult Education Center. …

I would like to give you a few details about my life, because you probably don’t know me personally, and these are also part of the background to my letter. I am now 89 years old, born in Munich in 1935. The Second World War and the air raids on Munich shaped my childhood and probably even my later life. I survived the war in a cellar in Untergiesing, only 8 steps deep; the only help and consolation there: praying the rosary and valerian drops. After two years with almost no schooling because of the daily air raids, from May 1945 I went back to lessons in destroyed classrooms. A bumpy school career, more importantly the procurement of food, firewood from the Isar floodplains and the question of what would come next in Germany. Joyful amazement at what the Americans brought us in terms of culture, diversity and democracy …

I have been a pacifist for as long as I can remember politically, starting with the Easter marches in the 1950s and continuing today as a supporter of the International Munich Peace Conference and the actions and demonstrations accompanying the Security Conference. …

Yesterday, through a circular from the International Munich Peace Conference, I learned of an initiative by a number of city council members to withdraw the small amount of municipal funding of around 7,000 euros that the Peace Conference has received to date. This is probably in line with the abuse of German pacifism as “lumpenpacifism” in SPIEGEL and the speech by the Federal Chancellor in which he demonized pacifists as “fallen angels”.

I don’t know, Mr. Lord Mayor, but you could have it calculated how much money and monetary benefits the city spends annually on holding the militaristic security conference, at which the statements quoted above would certainly be much applauded.

And now, in our city, the attempt to eliminate the pacifist minority, which previously had its place in the diverse open urban society, from the public discourse by taking away its municipal funds, with windy technocratic empty formulas as justification.

It’s about more than just a little support for a small minority. What is at stake in the end is whether ideological diversity and tolerance still have a secure place in our society. The fact that Munich should be a modern, citizen-friendly city with a liberal, pluralistic, citizen-oriented municipal cultural policy must never again be in doubt.

My request and expectation of you, Mr. Mayor, is once again that you defend the open, pluralistic urban society and its diversity of opinion against attacks and give the civic activities of pacifists and other minorities a safe space in this city.

With respectful regards
Hans Limmer

Read the whole protest letter HERE