One year ago, Russia attacked the sovereign and independent state of Ukraine for the second time after 2014. With the expansion of the war to the entire country, Russia broke once and for all with the European blueprint for peace. Russia violated fundamental principles of international law and universal human rights. Since that time, Europe has faced war—a fierce Russian war of destruction against a state, a people, and a culture. Bucha and other towns have witnessed terrible war crimes. Thanks to the courage and fighting spirit of the Ukrainian people, the autocrat Putin has failed to attain his destructive aims. The strong Western alliance—the European Union and NATO under US leadership—also exemplifies this spirit, and the unflagging willingness to offer support has ensured that Ukraine also has the weapons needed to withstand this war and push Russia out of parts of Ukrainian territory. What is at stake in this war is becoming clearer every day. It is about defending our values: freedom and democracy! It is becoming increasingly important to recall who started this war against our values and our way of life, and who intends to continue until ultimate victory. We need to keep this in mind during any efforts at peacemaking. Our thoughts are with the Ukrainians who are conducting this daily struggle for their freedom and suffering Russian atrocities..

Our museum’s message is that freedom and democracy have to be defended, now as they did in the past. This is a particular lesson from the history of the Cold War and of the presence of our Western allies in Berlin and the Federal Republic. We communicate this history every day and bring it into the present. Never were our ties with our members in the Allied Museum Association in the USA, Britain, and France closer than they are today, and never was the enormous significance of the USA for security in Europe clearer than it is now..

Our government and the entirety of civil society, including our museum, are called upon to take action. For that reason, within the framework of the KulturGutRetter network of the German Archaeological Institute and the Federal Agency for Technical Relief, we are helping to ensure that important materials needed to safeguard the cultural heritage reach Ukraine. We are continuing to collect donations for Spendenbrücke Ukraine ( and to discuss the causes of the war and the possibilities for peace in events with international participation.

We appeal to the federal government, but also to ourselves, not to waver, but to continue to support Ukraine with everything in our power..

Berlin, February 23, 2023

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