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Germany celebrates Good Friday – in its way

DPA/The Local · 2 Apr 2010, 18:56

Published: 02 Apr 2010 18:56 GMT+02:00

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Transport bottlenecks – both traffic jams and overcrowded train – caused disruptions to many people’s long Easter weekend.

Meanwhile, protesters and church leaders used the day marking the crucifixion of Christ to mount calls for peace.

The acting head of Germany’s Protestant churches, Bishop Nikolaus Schneider, made a strong condemnation of the war in Afghanistan.

“We run the danger of the mission completely losing its legitimacy,” Schneider, who is currently head of the Protestant church umbrella organisation the EKD, told the Hamburger Abendblatt.

Meanwhile thousands marched for peace in Dortmund, Heidelberg, Hamburg, Biberach and the Hessian town of Bruchköbel. They protested against against the Afghanistan war as well as Germany’s weapons export trade and nuclear weapons.

In Dortmund-Bittermark, a southern part of Dortmund, about 2,800 protesters gathered, among them many French activists.

Other people had enough to worry about keeping their travel timetables. Deutsche Bahn reported having to throw some people off an ICE train in Marburg on Friday because it was simply too crowded. “It’s not as if the train was shorter than usual,” a spokesman said.

Police reported traffic jams on motorways in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein.

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“We actually had between 14 and 25 kilometres of backed up cars the whole time,” said a police spokesman in the northern city of Kiel.

In a more traditional procession, Christian believers walked through the downtown Berlin to celebrate the Passion of Christ. Several hundred people walked through the city, converging on the historic Bebelplatz where a large wooden cross had been erected.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:39 April 3, 2010 by jlmcnamara
Shame on those protesters. German soldiers are putting their lives on the line and this is how they get thanked? Those church leaders might want to see what is going on in the world. Like sexual abuse. This issue was dealt with in Canada and the US 2 decades ago and significant financial reparations were made. What does it say about these German church leaders that they have yet to put up a cent? And every country needs a military especially now that the US military has pretty much left Germany. Patrols in Afghanistan are messy but does that mean Germans should close their eyes and pretend the Red Cross can save the victims of totalitarianism in that country. If the US army didn't intervene in WW2 the Protestant Church would be under command of Kim Jil Hitler III right now. Wonder if that at least would have prevented the sexual abuse from happening.
15:25 April 5, 2010 by dbert4
Just because German soldiers are in Afghanistan doesn't make it a worthwhile endeavor. That conflict won't end with a military victory, not a western one anyway.

And the Afghan people aren't worthy of, nor asking for western blood to "save" them. Well, not anyone other than the corrupt political class that would all be hanging from lamp posts shortly after a western withdrawal.
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