Over One Hundred Czech and Slovak Intellectuals Call for US and Europe to Stop Appeasing Russia

Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, and Francois Hollande, Feb. 11, 2015There is War in Europe: Let’s not Repeat the Munich Betrayal of 1938. ..

It troubles us that, although according to various sources anywhere from six to fifty thousand citizens of Ukraine and Russia have died in Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine, the democratically elected leaders of the West actually continue to engage in a policy of appeasement. They refer to this aggression of a foreign state on the territory of another sovereign state as a “conflict” or a “situation” and to their clear deferral to the aggressor as a “diplomatic solution….”

It troubles us that almost 80 years after Munich the situation is repeating itself. In 1994, Ukraine gave up its arsenal of nuclear weapons and, with the signing of the Budapest Memorandum, the United States of America and Great Britain became the guarantors of its territorial integrity and independence. The insufficient military support from the USA and UK to an embattled Ukraine is a sad reminder of the failure of western democracies to defend Europe against Hitler and casts a shadow of doubt on the credibility of other international guarantees and agreements, including the security guarantees, which membership in NATO theoretically provides to the countries of Europe.

We understand the efforts of European leaders to strive for a peaceful solution via negotiations in the tradition of the values of European humanism and post-war development in Europe. It troubles us, however, that these efforts are misused in service of a continuation and prolongation of aggression….

The Russian war against Ukraine is an attempt to stop the spread of freedom and human rights with tanks, cannons and rocket launchers.

As a warning, let us remind parties on both sides of the Atlantic of the words spoken by the British leader Winston Churchill about the behavior of democratic powers in the year 1938: “Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They will have war.”

We already have war in Europe. Donations of bandages and blankets to the ravaged people of Ukraine and continual concessions to a ruthless and cynical aggressor will not stop it….

List of signatories:

Vladimír Bartovic, political scientist
Jiří Bárta, nonprofit manager
Marie Benetkova, poet, signatory of Charter 77
Ivan Binar, writer
Fedor Blaščák, philosopher
Radim Boháček, economist
John Bok, civic activist, signatory of Charter 77
Radovan Bránik, crisis manager
Irena Brežná, writer and publicist
Jan Bubeník, businessman and former student leader
Ľubomír Burgr, actor and musician
Pavol Demeš, civic activist and foreign policy analyst
Bohumil Doležal, political scientist, signatory of Charter 77
Vít Dostál, political scientist
Přemysl Fialka, photographer and cameraman, signatory of Charter 77
Jefim Fištejn, publicist and signatory of Charter 77
Karel Freund, clerk and signatory of Charter 77
Jaroslav Erik Frič, poet and publisher
Pavol Frič, sociologist
Egon Gál, philosopher
Fedor Gál, publicist
Libor Grubhoffer, parasitologist
Olga Gyárfášová, sociologist
Jozef Hašto, psychiatrist
Michal Havran, theologian and writer
Anton Heretik, psychologist
Gyula Hodossy, poet
Radko Hokovský, political scientist
Mario Homolka, documentarist
Michal Horáček, lyricist and cultural anthropologist
Monika Horsáková, publicist and documentarist
Vavřinec Hradílek, slalom skier, world champion and Olympic medalist
Jana Hradílková, woman of action and writer
Štefan Hríb, journalist
Jan Hřebejk, film director
Péter Hunčík, psychiatrist
Ján Husár, filmmaker and photographer
Michal Hvorecký, writer
Rudolf Chmel, literary scientist and former ambassador
Ivan Chvatík, philosopher
Jakub Janda, political analyst
Tomáš Janovic, writer
Roman Joch, political scientist
Peter Juščák, writer
Ivan Kamenec, historian
Robert Kirchhoff, film director
Michael Kocáb, musician
Miroslav Kocúr, theologian
Tibor Kočík, poet and special education expert
Petr Kolář, former ambassador
Eugen Korda, journalist
Jiří Kostúr, poet and signatory of Charter 77
Jan Kroupa, consultant and analyst
Robert Krumphanzl, publisher
Vladimír Kučera, publicist
Miroslav Kusý, political scientist
Juraj Kušnierik, journalist
Jan Květ, biologist – ecologist
Silvester Lavrík, writer
Jana Ledvinová, trainer and advisor
Monika Le Fay, writer and director
Janet Livingstone, translator and nonprofit expert
Jozef Lupták, musician
Martin Mahdal, screenwriter and director
Tomáš Machula, philosopher and theologian
Štefan Markuš, scientist and former ambassador
Daniel Matej, composer
Michal Matzenauer, poet and painter
Françoise Mayer, historian
Jiří Menzel, film director
Grigorij Mesežnikov, political scientist
Juraj Mesík, environmentalist
Martin Mojžiš, physicist and publicist
Pavel Nováček, environmentalist
Štefan Olejník, physicist
Daniela Olejníková, book illustrator
László Öllös, political scientist
Dušan Ondrušek, psychologist
Luboš Palata, journalist
Martin Palouš, university lecturer and signatory of Charter 77
Petr Pánek, civic activist
Viktor Parkán, bureaucrat and signatory of Charter 77
Daniel Pastirčák, poet and minister
Kálmán Petőcz, political scientist and former ambassador
Zdeněk Pinc, philosopher and signatory of Charter 77
Petr Pithart, former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and signatory of Charter 77
Lucia Piussi, singer and writer
Jana Plichtová, social psychologist
Ondrej Prostredník, theologian
Šarlota Pufflerová, human rights activist
Martin C. Putna, literary historian
Toňa Revajová, writer
Jaro Rihák, film director
Robert Roth, actor
Věra Roubalová Kostlánová, psychotherapist and signatory of Charter 77
Jan Ruml, dissident and former Minister of the Interior
Tomáš Schilla, musician
Rudolf Sikora, visual artist
Anton Srholec, priest and political prisoner
Zuzana Stanislavová, literary scientist
Jakub Steiner, economist
Juraj Stern, economist
Zuzana Sternová, university teacher
Boris Strečanský, development specialist
Ljuba Svobodová, program coordinator
Zuzana Szatmáry, Woman of Europe 1993
László Szigeti, writer
Soňa Szomolányi, political scientist
Jiří Šesták, senator
Marta Šimečková, publicist
Petr Šimíček, editor of an educational portal
Pavel Šremer, environmentalist and signatory of Charter 77
Pavel Štefan, graphic designer
Kvido Štěpánek, businessman and philanthropist
Ján Štrasser, poet and lyricist
Ivan Štrpka, writer
Petruška Šustrová, publicist and translator
Herta Tkadlečková, historian
Dušan Trančík, director
Ľubica Trubíniová, civic activist
Jan Urban, journalist, signatory of Charter 77
Martin Vadas, director and documentarist
Ľudmila Verbitska, civic activist
Jan Vít, publicist and signatory of Charter 77
Jozef Vozár, lawyer
Peter Zajac, literary scientist
Jiří Zaťovič, writer
Katarína Zavacká, legal historian
Viktor Žárský, biologist

Image: Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, and Francois Hollande, Feb. 11, 2015 (photo: Office of the President of Russia)