„The Complaint of Peace “
Der „Remembrance Sunday“ ist ein vor allem in Großbritannien und den Ländern des Commonwealth of Nations ein wichtiger Gedenktag – jeweils der zweite Sonntag im November, der dem 11. November am nächsten liegt. Letzterer markiert den Jahrestag der Einstellung der Kampfhandlungen im Ersten Weltkrieg durch den Waffenstillstand von Compiègne 1918.
In Vilnius organisiert die britische Botschaft jedes Jahr eine Gedenkveranstaltung, bei der an die gefallenen Soldaten und Zivilisten erinnert wird, die in den beiden Weltkriegen und späteren Konflikten umkamen. In der lutherischen Kirche von Vilnius legen dabei auch viele Vertreter der NATO-Staaten, Botschafter oder Militärattaches, Kränze nieder (s.o. Foto). Religionsvertreter lesen verschiedene Texte vor, manche aus der Bibel. Für die reformierte Kirche nimmt seit einigen Jahren Holger teil. Letztes Jahr las er einen Abschnitt aus Bonhoeffers Nachfolge, dieses Jahr aus Die Klage des Friedens / Querela Pacis von Erasmus von Rotterdam aus dem Jahr 1517:
The Complaint of Peace
If you are in your heart weary of war, I will tell you how you may avoid it, and preserve a cordial and general amity.
Firm and permanent peace is not to be secured by marrying one royal family to another, nor by treaties and alliances made between such deceitful and imperfect creatures as men; for, from these very family connections, treaties, and alliances, we see wars chiefly originate. No; the fountains from which the streams of this evil flow, must be cleansed. It is from the corrupt passions of the human heart that the tumults of war arise. While each king obeys the impulse of his passions, the commonwealth, the community, suffers; and at the same time, the poor slave to his passions is frustrated in his private and selfish purposes.
Let kings then grow wise; wise for the people, not for themselves only; and let them be truly wise, in the proper sense of the word, not merely cunning, but really wise; so as to place their majesty, their felicity, their wealth, and their splendor in such things, and such only, as render them personally great… Let them acquire those amiable dispositions towards the commonwealth, the great body of the people, which a father feels for his family. Let a king think himself great in proportion as his people are good; let him estimate his own happiness by the happiness of those whom he governs; let him deem himself glorious in proportion as his subjects are free; rich, if the public are rich; and flourishing, if he can but keep the community flourishing, in consequence of uninterrupted peace.
Such should be our king, if we wish to establish a firm and lasting peace; and let the noblemen and magistrates imitate the king, rendered by these means worthy of imitation. Let the public good be the rule of their conduct; and so will they ultimately promote most effectually even their own private advantage. […]
Let the greatest share of honour be ever paid, not to warlike kings,… but to kings who entirely reject the war system, and by their understanding and counsels, not by force and arms, restore to bleeding human nature the blessings of concord and repose. Let him be called a great king, not who is continually augmenting his army, and providing military stores and engines of destruction, but who exerts every effort of his mind, and uses every advantage of his situation, to render armies, stores, and engines of destruction totally unnecessary. […]
But if, after all, it is not possible that a war should be avoided, let it be so conducted, that the severest of its calamities may fall upon the heads of those who gave the occasion. […]
If nothing can be a more desirable object to a pious king, than the safety and welfare of those who are committed to his charge, then, consistently with this object, war must of necessity be held in the greatest conceivable abhorrence. If it is the happiness of a king to govern the happy, he cannot but delight in peace. If a good king wishes for nothing so much as to have his people good, like himself, he must detest war.