German media found out that a group of children from Waldorf schools from the cities of Weimar and Erfurt went on an excursion to Moscow a year after the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Information about the trip was published on the page of the German-Russian Forum, but then it was deleted. The ntv television channel of the RTL media group found out from the management of one school that 18 students took part in the excursion. The group stayed in Moscow from February 10 to February 25, 2023.
The management of the school in Weimar emphasized that the trip was made on the private initiative of the students’ parents, since “in the present situation, organization on the part of the school would be unacceptable.”
Due to the lack of direct flights between Germany and Russia, schoolchildren and accompanying students had to first travel by bus to Kaliningrad. From there they flew by plane to Moscow.
In the Russian capital, they were received by families of students from Waldorf schools. In Moscow, schoolchildren took an excursion to the Kremlin. After a week in Moscow, schoolchildren arrived by train and bus in the vicinity of the city of Kirillov, Volgograd Region, to work on forest improvement.
The directorate emphasizes that passers-by in Moscow often spoke to schoolchildren. “With great relief and joy, they noted that we, despite all the obstacles, are looking for and realizing interpersonal communication,” school representatives said in an interview. They stressed that conflicts depend on global politics and not on individuals in two countries, so traveling at this time “was the only right decision.”
A return visit to Germany for Moscow schoolchildren is also planned. It is expected that they will travel through Murmansk and Norway.
Weimar and Erfurt are located in the federal state of Thuringia in the former German Democratic Republic. In these regions, the influence of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany party, which maintains contacts with the Kremlin, is especially strong. The chairman of the Alternative for Germany faction in the Thuringian Landtag, Bernd Hecke, founded the right-wing extremist movement “Wing”. Since 2022, he has been under surveillance by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution as a right-wing extremist. After the start of the war, Hecke justified Russia’s actions as a desire to “protect its buffer zones,” called on Germany to stop “following the lead of the United States” and also begin to “strengthen relations between Europe and Russia.” In addition, Heke opposes arms supplies to Ukraine.
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