The political case against Syriac activist Sami Baydar was dropped after he carried a Soviet flag at a rally on May 9.
In Augsburg last year (2022) a ban on Soviet flags and symbols during commemorations on the occasion of the Day of Liberation from Fascism (May 8) or Day of Victory over Nazi Fascism (May 9) was banned by municipal authorities.
The red flag with hammer and sickle could be interpreted as support of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine, the police had justified their equally anti-communist and historical revisionist decree. The decree expressly forbids the display of the USSR flag. In the “current context” it is “a symbol of the territorial expansion of the Russian state”.
On the occasion of the 77th anniversary of the victory over Hitler’s fascism, under the slogan “Victory over Hitler’s fascism”, about 200 people, participated in a demonstration march of the “Immortal Regiment” through downtown Augsburg on May 9, 2022. The rally, which started at 6 p.m. at Königsplatz, was also attended by relatives and loved ones of Soviet soldiers who fought in the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany. Many of them carried red flowers and commemorated the fallen soldiers of the Red Army with black and white photos. The rally was also attended by the spokesman of the Syriacs People’s Council in Europe and theologian of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, Sami Grigo Baydar.
On January 12, 2023, the Augsburg public prosecutor’s office opened fine proceedings against Sami Baydar with a fine of 150 euros. Specifically, he is accused of carrying the flag of the Soviet Union at a rally in Augsburg on May 9, 2022, and publishing a post about it on Facebook. Baydar and his lawyer Mathes Breuer from the Munich law firm Wächtler und Kollegen have taken legal action against this.
Attorney Breuer pointed out in his written complaint of February 28, 2023 to the Augsburg District Court that the content of the meeting was not related to the Russian war of aggression, but to the day of liberation from fascism. Thus, it was also emphasized that it was clearly evident that the Russian Federation was not the Soviet Union. In the post Baydar published on Facebook, bearing the Soviet flag, there is a quote from Ernest Hemingway: “Every man who loves freedom owes more to the Red Army than he can ever repay it in life.”
On April 21, 2023, Baydar received a letter from the Augsburg District Court. The decision states that the proceedings for BayVersG-Owi against Baydar Sami will now be discontinued pursuant to Section 47 (2) OwiG. The court does not consider a further punishment necessary in view of the dubious condition, which determined a prohibition of showing Soviet symbols.
But what is the “victory flag of the Red Army”?
It is the Red Flag with the hammer and sickle, as it was hoisted on the Reichstag after the victory over Nazi Germany. It is the red flag, the most effective and emblematic symbol of the communist freedom and workers’ movement. The German imperialists have always hated communist symbols. The Red Army Victory Flag reminds them that it was the Red Army in particular that, in alliance with the Allies, had crushed Hitler’s fascism and foiled the expansionist plans of German imperialism in World War II.
Soon it will be May 8, the anniversary of Germany’s liberation from Hitler’s fascism and the end of World War II in Europe. The Red Army, which bore the brunt of the war, deserves the main credit for this victory, which millions of people around the world rightly celebrate on May 8 and 9.
This ban on flags is motivated by anti-communism. If it goes through, how far is it to a general ban on communist symbols, as has been in place in Ukraine since 2015? Currently, in Bavaria, the wearing and display of flags of the left-wing Syriac organizations such as the Communist Syriacs Mesopotamia, International Council of Syriacs and the People’s Council of Syriacs in Europe is already being prosecuted and criminalized more severely. And this in a situation in which the open crisis of capitalism cries out for a socialist way out.