Statement on the War against Ukraine and the Abuse of History
As a scholarly centre devoted to the study and promotion of Byzantium, its legacy and its contribution to the formation of European and especially Easter European culture we utterly condemn the illegitimate war waged by Vladimir Putin against Ukraine, its people and its culture.
We deplore the ongoing menace represented by the armed forces of the Russian Federation for human life, artistic treasures and cultural heritage.
We express our solidarity with the people of Ukraine as well as with those Russians and Belarussians who oppose this war.
We especially reject the abuse of historical arguments by the government of the Russian Federation to legitimise territorial claims, revisionist nationalistic policies and military aggression.
We resist this narrative as a simplification of complex historical developments and an arbitrary application of historical arguments to justify territorial claims and the domination of an independent country.
European history has proven that such alleged historically founded claims have all too often led to war, bloodshed and oppression.
Together with numerous other scientific institutions, together with scientists from all over the world and together with all people of good will, we demand an immediate ceasefire, lest more people, civilians and soldiers lose their lives, lest more houses be destroyed and lest more cultural treasures be irretrievably lost.
The Executive Board of the Leibniz ScienceCampus – Byzantium between Orient and Occident – Mainz / Frankfurt
March 3rd, 2022