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Sunday, May 29, 2022

More than 15,000 people at the “Sound of Peace” at the Brandenburg Gate

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With a huge solidarity demonstration, cultural workers showed their support for Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia, in front of thousands of people on Sunday in Berlin. Some 50 performances took place from noon to late afternoon on the stage in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

According to the organizers, the “Sound of Peace” peace campaign would become “Europe’s largest musical demonstration” against the war. 20,000 participants were registered. The police, according to their own statements with about 900 troops, estimated the crowd at more than 15,000 people.

Many arrived with banners calling for immediate peace. Blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukraine, were often seen. The goal of “Sound of Peace” should be to collect a lot of donations to support the victims of the war in Ukraine. According to the organizers, 6.5 million euros were raised at night. The RBB spoke of more than 8 million euros during a live broadcast at night.

Also present was Natalia Klitschko, wife of the mayor of kyiv and former professional boxer Vitali Klitschko. “Only together can we create peace,” she said, thanking the people on Calle 17 de Junio. Klitschko then sang a “new song for my country” with “Better Days.”

Klitschko appreciated the support. “What is happening to my country now is terrible,” he said on the sidelines of the music rally for peace. “It is important to see the masses that gather here. It is important to see that the whole world supports Ukraine,” he said. It is about ending the war in your country as quickly as possible. “With unity, if we all stand up, we will achieve this.” Ukraine is currently fighting for all people, “for peace throughout the world,” Klitschko said.With the change in Ukraine and on stage, other people in the country also expressed their opinion.

Natalia Klitschko, the wife of the mayor of kyiv and former world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, sang a song at the rally…Photo: Joerg Carstensen/dpa

There were always contributions on stage describing the situation in Ukraine and the refugees there and around the world. Musicians and singers held the microphone in their hands. Accompanied by thousands of voices, Marius Müller-Westernhagen sang his song “Freiheit”, while Peter Maffay acclaimed “Über Seven Bridges”. Pascal Kravetz sang “Why Are There Wars There”, the song he sang with Udo Lindenberg in 1981 and made famous.

Violinist David Garrett played, Michael Patrick Kelly observed a minute of silence for peace. Clueso sang a song together with the Ukrainian elementary school teacher Katharina. Fury in the Slaughterhouse was there, as were In Extremo, Mia., Mine, Revolverheld, Sarah Connor, Silbermond, The BossHoss, and Zoe Wees. Everything was broadcast by ProSieben and Sat.1, and other programs were also broadcast live from Berlin on occasion.

“We’ve been doing this for 20 years, but this is an extraordinary atmosphere that we may not have experienced before,” said Johannes Strate, lead singer of Revolverheld, the German Press Agency. “People want to show that today is about peace and love.” Mark Forster told dpa: “We are all convinced that this war is not necessary and that people are dying unnecessarily.” If you can somehow positively influence that with an action like today, then I’m happy to be there for it.”

In the afternoon, singer Mark Forster took to the stage at the Brandenburg Gate.Photo: Joerg Carstensen/dpa

There were always contributions on stage describing the situation in Ukraine and the refugees there and around the world. Marius Müller-Westernhagen with his song “Freiheit” should appear until evening, violinist David Garrett, Clueso, Michael Patrick Kelly, Fury in the Slaughterhouse, In Extremo, Mia., Mine, Peter Maffay, Revolverheld, Sarah Connor, Silvermoon, Chief Hoss and Zoe Wees.

The television stations ProSieben and Sat.1 broadcast the march for peace live in both programs from the afternoon and wanted to continue until the evening. Other stations had also announced broadcasts.

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The Minister of State for Culture, Claudia Roth, described the demonstration as a clear sign of support against the war. “This is incredibly important because it is a sign of solidarity with the people of Ukraine,” the dpa green politician said on the sidelines of the event. “Music transcends all borders, unites people, gives hope, gives strength against those who bring with them hatred, violence, murder and death.”

It is important that the German pop culture scene stands up on stage and raises its voice “for peace, for life”. This demonstrates once again the importance of art and culture, “especially when it comes to life and death, when it comes to a war that is being fought two hours from here as the crow flies,” Roth said.

It is important that Russian artists are also present. “It would be devastating if we ended up in a cultural boycott now.” Russian and Belarusian artists also took to the streets for freedom and democracy. “Let’s understand culture together as something where people come together, where you can draw strength and where commonalities have meaning,” Roth said. (dpa)


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