Stop the Spiral of Violence — for a New Policy of Peace and Détente now!

In recent years both NATO and Russia have increasingly engaged in deterrence through rearmament and threats against each other rather than working for common security all over Europe through confidence and security building measures, arms control, and disarmament. By so doing, they have failed to comply with their commitments to develop a peaceful European order, to strengthen the United Nations and to peacefully settle disputes including mandatory arbitration by a third party obligations to which all heads of state in Europe and North America formally agreed in the ‘Charter of Paris’ 25 years ago.

During the years since the signing of the Paris Charter, many mistakes have contributed to eroding the laboriously built trust and hampering the peaceful resolution of crises and conflicts. Without cooperation with Russia there will be risks of confrontation, a new arms race, escalation of the Ukraine conflict, and more terror and wars in the Middle East intensifying the flow of refugees. European security – regardless of the assessment of each other’s social order – will not be possible without cooperation between Russia and its neighbors.

This is the central lesson from the policy of détente followed in the 1960s and 1970s, especially the contributions of US President John F.Kennedy and the West German government under Chancellor Willy Brandt, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971, on the grounds that “Brandt outstretched his hand for reconciliation between old enemies.” At that time, no one could know that less than 20 years later this policy of détente would result in creating the conditions for the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall and Central Europe’s Iron Curtain.

Today, as then, a way out of the deadlock of confrontation is only possible through cooperation, understanding and reconciliation with supposed enemies.

In early 2009 the architect of détente’, Egon Bahr together with Helmut Schmidt, Richard von Weizsäcker and Hans Dietrich Genscher made a joint appeal for a “nuclear weapons free world”, reminding newly elected US President Obama that our century’s  key word is cooperation. No global problem can be solved by confrontation or by the use of military force.’

Similar views were expressed in the US by a broad range of public figures across the political spectrum such as George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn. In Germany’s Bundestag the CDU/CSU, SPD, FDP and Alliance 90/The Greens in January 2010 agreed on joint resolution 17/1159 which inter alia “calls for the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Germany”. Given the escalation of the Ukraine crisis public support for Minsk II” and a “new détente” increased.

Egon Bahr and others have made repeated proposals to diffuse or resolve the current conflict through détente. Numerous prominent citizens have supported the declarations and proposals. In a joint statement representatives from churches, business, political parties and civil society called for a new policy of peace and détente NOW!’. But in public security debates these calls have been largely ignored.

Today, a broad public and multi-partisan discussion on the demand for a “new policy of détente NOW” is more necessary than ever. The confrontation in Europe has to cease and – with benefits to the whole world —  an All-European zone of ‘common security’ through the cooperation of all states from Vancouver to Vladivostok must be created.

Signed by the Initiators: (Personal information for identification purposes only)

Julia Berghofer (Coordinator, PNND Germany); Dr. Wolfgang Biermann (Political Scientist / former Foreign Policy Advisor to Egon Bahr); Prof. Dr. Peter Brandt (Historian and author); Frank Bsirske (chairman, United Services Trade Union of Germany ver.di); Dr. Daniel Ellsberg (Author / Senior Fellow, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation / former State and Defense Department official / revealed ‘Pentagon Papers’ about the Vietnam war); Ulrich Frey (Peace Worker in the Evangelical Church of the Rhineland / for many years active in the Civil Conflict Management Platform); Gregor Giersch (Organization for International Dialogue and Conflict Management IDC, Vienna); Reiner Hoffmann (Chairman, German Federation of Trade Unions DGB); Andreas Metz (Head, Press and Communications, Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations); Dr. Hans Misselwitz (Willy-Brandt-Circle / member of the SPD Basic Values Commission); Jörg Pache (Historian, Administrator of the homepage); Wiltrud Rösch-Metzler (Political Scientist / Freelance Journalist / National Chairwoman of the Catholic peace movement Pax Christi); Prof. Dr. Götz Neuneck (Peace Researcher / Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs); Prof. Dr. Konrad Raiser (Theologian / former Secretary-General of the World Council of Churches); Rebecca Sharkey (National Coordinator of ICAN / UK); Dr. Christine Schweitzer (Peace Researcher / Co-managing Director of the German Federation for Social Defense); Prof. Dr. Horst Teltschik (former Director of the Munich Security Conference / former Director and Deputy Head of Staff, Chancellor’s Office); Alyn Ware (Global Coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament / Cofounder of UNFOLD ZERO); Dr. Christian Wipperfürth (Author, Associate Fellow German Council on Foreign Relations); Gabriele Witt (Co-Initiator of the Berlin Appeal); Burkhard Zimmermann (Co-Initiator of the Berlin Appeal / responsible for the homepage – according to the German press law); Andreas Zumach (Journalist / Advisor to the Initiative).

Advisory Group: This website initiative receives expert advice by Dr. Ute Finckh Krämer (Member of the German Bundestag MdB / from 2005 to 2015 Co-Chairperson to the Federation for Social Defence), Xanthe Hall, (IPPNW Germany), Martin Hinrichs (Political Scientist / Board Member of ICAN Germany), Prof. Dr. Götz Neuneck (Federation of German Scientists VDW / Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs), Hermann Vinke (Journalist and Author / former ARD International Radio Correspondent) and Andreas Zumach.


First Signatories from USA

Sunil Kumar Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D., FAAPMR (Physician-Medical Geographer / University of Washington, Seattle)

Richard P. Appelbaum, Ph.D. (Research Professor and former MacArthur Chair in Sociology and Global & International Studies / Social Science and Media Studies 2003 / University of California at Santa Barbara /Advisory Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)

Jean Maria Arrigo (American Psychological Association (APA), Division of Peace and Conflict, Representative to APA Council)

David P. Barash (Professor of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle)

Anita Barrows (Poet, Psychologist, Professor at The Wright Institute, Berkeley, and Co-translator with Joanna Macy of the poetry and prose of Rainer Maria Rilke)

Medea Benjamin (Cofounder, CODEPINK for Peace / Author: “Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the US-Saudi Connection”)

Phyllis Bennis (Director, New Internationalism Project, Institute for Policy Studies IPS, Washington D.C.)

Frida Berrigan (Peace Activist, Maryhouse Catholic Worker in New York City / member War Resisters League; fm. Scientist at World Policy Institute)

Bill Blum (Editor of the valuable Anti-Empire-Report / Author of books on US Foreign Policy)

Helen Caldicott (Pediatrician / Founding President Physicians for Social Responsibility / Founder Womens Action for Nuclear Disarmament)

Noam Chomsky, (Philosopher and Linguist / Professor (retired), Massachusetts Institute of Technology / MIT)

Stephen F. Cohen (ACEWA Board Member and Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies, Princeton University and NYU)

Gilbert Doctorow (ACEWA Board Member and European Coordinator)

Jim & Shelley Douglass (Mary’s House Catholic Worker (Birmingham, Al / founders of Ground Zero)

Christina Eck (Journalist, DPA audio & video service, Rufa Rundfunk-Agenturdienste GmbH / Cabin John / MD / USA)

Richard Falk (Milbank Professor for International law, Princeton University / since 2005 chair of the Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)

Margaret Flowers, MD (Co-Director, Popular Resistance)

Robert M. Gould, MD (Immediate Past President, Physicians for Social Responsibility)

David C Hall MD (Past President, Physicians for Social Responsibility, USA)

Ira Helfand, MD (Co-Founder and Past President Physicians for Social Responsibility (USA) / co-President, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War)

William vanden Heuvel (Founder and Chair Emeritus, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute)

Barbara Jentzsch (Free-lance Journalist)

David Kasper (Executive Director, Empowerment Project / Film Maker) and Barbara Trent (Co-Founder and Co-Director Empowerment Project / Film Director / Producer); both 1993 Oscar Academy Award

David Krieger (President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)

Peter Kuznick (Historian and Author)

Rabbi Michael Lerner (Editor, Tikkun and Chair, the Network of Spiritual Progressives)

Judith Eve Lipton, M.D. (Distinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association / Founder, Washington Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility / Past Board member of Physicians for Social Responsibility and the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War / IPPNW).

Joanna Macy (Activist and root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, editor-translator of Rilke’s poetry)

Kevin Martin (President, Peace Action Education Fund)

Raymond McGovern (former CIA US President Advisor)

David MacMichael (Historian, Iran contra Whistleblower)

Tammy Murphy, LL.M. (PSR National Security Committee; PSR Philadelphia / Advisory Council)

Elizabeth Murray (former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council, 27-year CIA veteran / Member-in-Residence / Ground Zero Center for Non-Violent Action

Todd Pierce*)(Major, Judge Advocate U.S. Army (Ret.) / Lawyers Committee Against Nuclear Arms Advisory Counsel) (*The views expressed by this signature do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government)

Elsa Rassbach (Film Producer / Journalist / Representative of CODEPINK and other U.S. Peace Groups in Berlin/Germany)

Coleen Rowley (retired FBI Agent and former Division Legal Counsel)

Elaine Scarry (Author of Thermonuclear Monarchy and professor at Harvard University)

Alice Slater (World Beyond War Coordinating Committee / Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, NY)

David C. Speedie (ACEWA Board Member, Senior Fellow and Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs)

Steven Starr (MT (ASCP) BB, Senior Scientist / Physicians for Social Responsibility Associate, Nuclear Peace Age Foundation / Clinical Laboratory Science Program Director)

David Swanson (Journalist, Director of and RootsAction Campaign Coordinator)

David Talbot (Author and Founder of Salon)

Sharon Tennison (ACEWA Board Member and President / Center for Citizen Initiatives )

Roger Waters (musician / composer / ‘The Wall’ / founding member Pink Floyd)

Kevin Zeese (co-director, Popular Resistance)

U.S. Groups having signed support to the appeal:

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (


First Signatories from Germany:

Aleksandr Aleksin (Berlin, Lawyer)

Prof. Dr. Hans Arnold (Neurosurgeon / Friends for Lübeck Children / Former President, University of Lübeck)

Adelheid Bahr (Educational Scientist / former Professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Kiel)

Gerd Bauz (Frankfurt / Organizational Consultant)

Rüdiger Bender (Philosopher / Deputy Chairman Martin-Niemoeller-Foundation / Chairman Förderkreis Memorial place of Auschwitz, Erfurt)

Almut Berger (Theologian / former Ombudswoman for Immigrants, State of Brandenburg)

Dr. Bernhard Beutler (former Director of several Goethe-Institutes abroad / fm. Professor in U.S. and Canada)

Gisela Böhrk (former Minister in the State of Schleswig-Holstein / Lübeck)

Egon Brinkmann (freelance journalist)

Heinrich Buch (Political scientist, former Bundeswehr Colonel)

Daniela Dahn (Journalist / Writer / Member of PEN / Member of the Willy Brandt Circle)

Dr. Herta Däubler-Gmelin (Lawyer / 1998 – 2002 Federal Minister of Justice / 1972 – 2009 Member of the German Bundestag)

Prof. Dr. Peter Dominiak (Pharmacologist / former President, University of Lübeck)

Frank Elbe (Lawyer, former Director of the Office of Federal Foreign Minister Genscher / 1987-1992)

Björn Engholm (former Federal Minister)

Fernando Enns (Head of Department “Theology of Peace Churches”, Protestant Theology at the University of Hamburg / Professor of Peace Theology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam / Member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches)

Dr. Petra Erler (businesswoman, publicist)

Dr. Heino Falcke (former Protestant Superintendent)

Dr. Sabine Farrouh (Member of the Board, IPPNW Germany (International Physicians for the Prevention of the Nuclear War / Physicians with Social Responsibility)

Peter Franke (Chairman of the Federation of the Federation of German East West Societies / BDWO)

Alexander Friedmann-Hahn (Painter and Galerist, Berlin)

Cay Gabbe (World Peace Service, former Minister Counselor at the Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation)

Frank-Thomas Gaulin (Galerist and publisher, Lübeck/Berlin)

Konrad Gilges (1980-2002 Member of the German Bundestag / Cologne)

Reinhard Göber (Director of the Theaters in Vorpommern, Stralsund)

Dr. Edgar Göll (Futurologist, Berlin)

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Gottstein (1996 Founding member of the board of directors of the “Protestant Hospital for Palliative Medicine” in Frankfurt/Main / since 1995 Honorary Member of the Board of the German Section of the IPPNW/International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War / 1981 Initiator and co-founder of the German Section Of IPPNW / 1993-1996 Member of the International IPPNW Board)

Susanne Grabenhorst (Chairperson of IPPNW Germany, International Physicians for the Prevention of the Nuclear War / Doctors with Social Responsibility)

Prof. Dr. Bernd Greiner (Historian, Political Scientist / Berlin Cold War College / Hamburg Institute for Social Research, HIS)

Antje Heider-Rottwilm (Chairperson, European Ecumenical Network “Church and Peace” / former Head, Europe Department of the Evangelical Church in Germany)

Uwe-Karsten Heye (journalist, diplomat and author / co-founding member and chairman of the association “Gesicht Zeigen! Für ein weltoffenes Deutschland” / 1998 to 2002 Speaker of the Federal Government under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder)

Dietmar Hexel (former Executive Member of the Board, Federation of German Trade Unions / DGB)

Prof. Dr. Hanns-D. Jacobsen (Political Scientist and Economist, Chairman of Studienforum Berlin)

Berthold Keunecke (Evangelical Pastor / Cochairman of German Branch of International Fellowship of Reconciliation)

Florian Kling (Captain / Youth Officer)

Werner Koep-Kerstin (Chairman of the Humanist Union)

Walter Kolbow (2005 – 2009 Deputy Chairman of the SPD Bundestagsfraktion / 1998 – 2005 Parliamentary State Secretary with the Federal Minister of Defense)

Eckart Kuhlwein (NatureFriends Germany, Member of the Board, many years Member of Bundestag.)

Jutta Lehnert (Personal Counsel Dean of Koblenz in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trier)

Miriam Lohrengel (Chairwoman of the Evangelical Youth in the Rhineland, Grevenbroich)

Ruth Misselwitz (Pastor / former Chairwoman of Action Reconciliation, Service for Peace)

Michael Müller (Chairperson of NatureFriends Germany / 2005-2009 States Secretary for Environment /1983 – 2009 Member of Bundestag)

Florian Pfaff (former Major)

Dr Gerd Pflaumer (Member of the Executive Committee of the Supporters to the Darmstädter Signal (an organization of Bundeswehr Soldiers)

Prof. Dr. Rolf Reißig (Social Scientist, Berlin / Member of the Willy Brandt Circle)

Roland Roescheisen (Consultant, Dumaguete / former DED Country Director Philippines / former Country Director Nonviolent Peaceforce Sri Lanka)

Fritz O.J. Roll (Former employee European Parliament / Councilor in retirement)

Clemens Ronnefeldt (Advisor for Peace Policy at the German branch of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation – IFOR)

Jürgen Rose (former Lieutenant Col.)

Klaus-Henning Rosen (former advisor and speechwriter to Willy Brandt / Rheinbreitbach)

Wolfgang Roth (former Deputy Chairman of the SPD Bundestag’s parliamentary group (1982-1992) / Vice-President European Investment Bank 1993-2006)

Michael Rüter (Member of the Executive Committee, SPD Lower Saxony / former IUSY vice-president)

Dr. Herbert Sahlmann (former Assistant Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation)

Hans Scheibner (Satirist / Hamburg)

Petra Verena Milchert-Scheibner (Actress / Hamburg)

Dr. Henning Scherf (former Lord Mayor of Bremen)

Martin Schindehütte (bishop (ret.), Evangelical Church of Germany / EKD)

Helmut G. Schmidt (Publisher, Curator, former head of the SPD Press Service)

Renate Schmidt (former Federal Minister)

Axel Schmidt-Gödelitz (East West Forum, Gut Gödelitz e.V.)

Prof. Dr. Michael Schneider (Institute of Geological Sciences, Hydrogeology, Free University of Berlin / Member of the Willy Brandt Circle)

Dr. Friedrich Schorlemmer (Pastor and Editor, Chairman of the Willy Brandt Circle)

Dr. Carsten Sieling (Lord Mayor and President of the Senate of Bremen)

Klaus Staeck (graphic designer and lawyer, former President of the Academy of Arts in Berlin)

Dr. Uwe Stehr (former International Security Advisor to the SPD Parliamentary Group)

Dr. Heinz-Günther Stobbe (retired Professor, Münster)

Prof. Dr. Martin Stöhr (1969-1986 Head of the Evangelical Academy Arnoldshain / 1986 -1997 Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Siegen / active in the Christian-Jewish Dialogue and in the Martin Niemoeller Foundation)

Ulrich Suppus (Advisor for Youth Education to the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland)

Uwe Thomas (former States Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education)

Günter Verheugen (former Minister of State, former Vice-President of the European Commission)

Karsten D. Voigt (1999-2010 Coordinator of German-North American Cooperation / 1976-1998 Member of the German Bundestag)

Dr. Ludger Volmer (1998-2002 Undersecretary of State / former member of the American-German Study Group of the German Bundestag / 1985-1990, 1994-2005 Member of German Bundestag / 1990-1994 Federal Chairman of Bündnis 90 – Die Grünen)

Hermann Vinke (Journalist and Author / former international ARD Radio Correspondent)

Dominikus Vogl (Coordinator, Hainrichs Institute of Peace and Sustainability Solutions)

Stephan Weil (Chairman of the SPD, Lower Saxony)

Prof. Dr. Matthias Weiter (Humboldt University Berlin, Faculty of Life Science, Department of Agricultural Economics / International Development)

Uta Zapf (member of the International Crisis Group / 1998 to 2013 Chairperson of the Subcommittee on Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in the German Bundestag)

Prof. Dr. Christoph Zöpel (Publisher / 1999-2002 Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office / 1990-2005 Member of the German Bundestag)

German groups having signed support to the Initative:

Working Group Peace in the Evangelical Church of the Rhineland

Darmstadt Signal – Forum of Critical Soldiers (of the Bundeswehr)

One World Forum Hessen-Süd

Protestant Youth in the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland

Members of German Parliament Bundestag (MdB):

Klaus Barthel (MdB, Starnberg / Bavaria; chairman of AfA, employees organization of the SPD)

Willi Brase (MdB, Siegen-Wittgenstein / North Rhine Westfalia)

Gernot Erler (MdB, Coordinator for intercultural Cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the Countries of the Eastern Partnership / Special Representative of the Federal Government for the OSCE Chairmanship 2016, former Minister of State)

Gregor Gysi (MdB, Berlin)

Wolfgang Gunkel (MdB, Erzbezirkskreis I / Sachsen)

Andrej Hunko (MdB, Aachen, Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe)

Johannes Kahrs (MdB / budgetary spokesman of the SPD Bundestagsfraktion)

Cansel Kiziltepe (MdB, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg / Berlin)

Dr. Alexander S. Neu (MdB, Rhein-Sieg-Kreis I)

René Röspel (MdB, Hagen / North Rhine Westfalia)

Ewald Schurer (MdB, Ebersberg / Bavaria)

Rüdiger Veit (MdB, Gießen / Hessen)

Sarah Wagenknecht (MdB / Düsseldorf)

Waltraud Wolff (MdB, Börde / Sachsen-Anhalt)


First Signatories from other Countries:

Al Burke (Publisher of Nordic News Network, Sweden)

Horst Eisterer (Architect, Zürich)

Rolf Ekéus (Swedish diplomat / Disarmament ambassador 1983-91/ Executive Chairman of the UN Special Commission on Disarming Iraq 1991-97/ Swedish Ambassador to the USA 1997-2000 / OSCE, High Commissioner National Minorities, 2001-2007 / Chairman SIPRI 2001-2010)

Rev. Paul Lansu (Senior Policy Advisor, Pax Christi International, Brussels)

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (Ph.D., psychoanalyst, fm. director of the Freud Archives / author / Love Bondi Beach / Australia)

Rebecca Sharkey (ICAN National Coordinator / UK)

Peter Dale Scott (former Canadian Diplomat, Professor, and Author)

Susi Snyder (Author “Don’t Bank on the Bomb” / member PAX for Peace, Netherlands)

Prof. Dr. Tomasz Szarota (Historian and Author / Poland)


Members of the European Parliament:

Jo Leinen (Member of the European Parliament / President of the European Movement International (EMI) / 1985 to 1994 Minister for the Environment in Saarland / 1977-1984 Chairman of the Environmental Protection Movement (BBU) and Vice-President of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) in Brussels.)

Georgi Pirinski (Member of the European Parliament, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria (1995 -1996) / President of the National Assembly of Bulgaria (2005 – 2009)

One Response

  1. I am a private citizen in America who will do what he can to increase awareness of the movement and the issue. What is going on now benefits only a few, what could happen could benefit almost everyone.

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