“Means of mass destruction are not responsible”

20 nuclear bombs have been stored at the airbase in Buchel, Palatinate, since the Cold War. The church wants to send a signal against nuclear weapons through a day of action. Margot Kabmann is also on site.

Interviewer: You want people to unite against nuclear weapons and take to the streets. But the protests in Buchel have become rather smaller lately..

Margot Kabmann (theologian and former chairwoman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany): It is clear that the peace movement is smaller at the moment. But we can say that today there are 800 people here in Buchel. I find that very nice. Protestant regional churches are represented, Pax Christi is represented, but also the League of Reconciliation or the Peace Initiative Hunsruck. That is, there are people from the church and people from secular associations here who are committed to peace.

Interviewer: What message do you want to send today with your sermon in front of the main site of the air base??

Kabmann: I will mention that in the Gospel of Luke it says: "Set our feet on the way of peace"." I wish for this: that we finally have an end to nuclear weapons. Especially the denunciation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is a danger for all of us. Nuclear weapons could then also be deployed from Buchel. That would be irresponsibly horrendous. I was once in Hiroshima. Who has the destruction of the bomb before his eyes at that time, cannot imagine that these 20 bombs, which are stored here – unconfirmed, but nevertheless very probable – have a x-fold power of the Hiroshima bomb of that time.

Interviewer: Rather, the nuclear bombs in Buchel also seem to be part of a deterrence policy. But there have also been quite prominent politicians who have spoken out in favor of disarmament, for example Martin Schulz, Heiko Maas and Andrea Nahles. And yet nothing has happened yet. Why?

Kabmann: I think this is because it is part of NATO’s strategy that nuclear weapons are also stored in countries of NATO partners that do not have nuclear weapons of their own. It is part of this strategy that is being continued and I think it is good that we are resisting this strategy. Weapons of mass destruction are not responsible.

Interviewer: So today you try it with words, activists try it with deeds. Again and again the fence of the site was cut or activists climbed over it, also to show how easy it is to get onto this military site. Who will reach the target faster: the words or the deeds?

Kabmann: I am absolutely against violence, both against people and things. But if they are happy and peaceful actions, which cross the fence here, then I find that also emblematic. That shows how vulnerable these whole systems are. Nuclear bombs are in no way safe. I am a woman of the word and I hope that people can convince. I will not get tired to stand up for peace and pacifism.

The interview was conducted by Beatrice Steineke.

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