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Contribution of Guenther Bittel, Germany

Contribution of Dr. Günter Bittel for the Webinar of the antiimperialist and antifascist United Front on 24 July 2022:


My name is Günther Bittel, I am a practicing physician in Duisburg and have been active in the environmental movement as well as in the peace movement for many years.

In many conversations, both professionally and on the street, I hear many people's fears of a world war and an threatening environmental catastrophe, but also their need to do something. Many people are aware that the immense sums of money spent on armaments are being diverted elsewhere, such as in health care and environmental protection. Many people no longer know how they will pay the immensely rising costs of heating in the future. Many younger people don't know anything about how a worldwide peace movement, millions strong, successfully took to the streets in the 1980s against the stationing of American and Russian medium-range missiles in Europe. There were also mass protests against the second Iraq war in 2003, which was instigated by the U.S. government with lies. However, many underestimate the danger of a nuclear war or think that no belligerent power can be that stupid, since then also their own destruction is threatened.

When asked about the sense of a record arms budget, when it was already possible to wipe out all life on earth with the existing nuclear weapons former U.S. President George Bush replied: »It is pointless for people who believe there will be no winner in a nuclear war. That is not what I think. If the military nerve center, a certain industrial capacity and a certain percentage of the civilian population survive, and if you are able to do more damage to your enemy than he can do to you, then you have a winner.« (Quoted in German translation in the magazine Stern, November 25, 1982, p. 238; our retranslation from the German – the editors RW), W.Dickhut RW 22 p. 296) The contempt for humanity of these warmongers in East and West and their misguided idea of a winnable nuclear world war has not changed since then.

I am also a member of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War IPPNW. I was at the IPPNW protest camp against the Büchel nuclear weapons base. The IPPNW press release of 11 July reported:

"On Friday, about 20 people therefore blocked one of the three gates to the military site in an action of civil disobedience. The action proceeded peacefully with a lot of music and was ended by the activists independently after about three hours. At the same time, a reading took place in front of the main gate of the nuclear base. Accompanied by music and poems, reports of the survivors of Hiroshima were recited."

The air base in Büchel as the location of nuclear weapons in Germany is most certainly a programmed target of an enemy nuclear strike. The acquisition of 35 highly modern F35 A fighter planes by the German Federal Army obviously serves a planned nuclear first strike by NATO. The F35s are then to carry the nuclear bombs stationed in Germany, previously flown by Tornado fighter jets, to their target of attack. The modernization of these nuclear weapons with electronic control of the explosive power and high target reliability serves the lie of limited nuclear war. These nuclear weapons have an explosive power up to 13 times that of the Hiroshima bomb. The detonation of a nuclear bomb triggers a devastating pressure and heat wave and a firestorm, to which hundreds of thousands to millions of people fall victim within a few seconds. Hundreds of thousands of people also die in agony within a few days from the direct radioactive radiation that then occurs in the surrounding area. The radioactive fall-out is spread by the wind over entire countries and causes severe diseases and death for many years. A global nuclear war would cause the atmosphere to be so darkened by the swirling masses of dust that a nuclear winter would occur worldwide. The earth would no longer be habitable.

French President Emanuel Macron openly expressed: "Without civil nuclear power no military nuclear power, without military nuclear power no civil nuclear power."

For this reason, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) strongly criticizes the fact that a majority of 328 members of the European Parliament approved the EU Commission's taxonomy classification. Nuclear energy and natural gas are thereby promoted as supposedly climate-friendly energy. This also directs billions in subsidies to nuclear technology and nuclear armaments. 40% of the uranium for European nuclear power plants still come from Russia! The warfare in the Ukraine war also directly at the nuclear power plants there shows an immense danger which comes from these plants. The necessary safety checks at German nuclear power plants were not carried out in 2019 with the reference to the shutdown planned for the end of 2022, which is now being called into question again. With the extension of operating times, the danger of a super-GAU grows by leaps and bounds due to the accelerated wear and tear of the plants under radioactive irradiation.

It is important to raise broad awareness about the dangers of a nuclear Third World War and about the absolute necessity of an international resistance front of the new peace movement, including the militant environmental movement. Our common day of struggle on 6 August is a good opportunity for this!

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