Herbert Grönemeyer, who released his new album “Das ist los” on Friday, continued: “The East no longer exists separately, at least not for me. We are one country, 16 federal states in Europe, that’s it.” Rather, it needs a representative for public spirit – “people who think about how we want to live now and in 20 years”.

In Germany, 13 million people would not have enough money to live, especially children, families, single parents and the elderly. The 66-year-old said in an interview with the “Tagesspiegel”: “Focus on the topic of poverty! That would create identity. Not this neoliberal ‘My freedom above everything’ fuss.”

Regarding the war in Ukraine unleashed by Russia, Grönemeyer, whose mother is from Estonia and whose father lost his arm in the Battle of Stalingrad, said: “What if it wasn’t Ukraine that was invaded, but Estonia? Could we just sit around here comfortably?”

His mother had to flee when the Russians invaded Estonia, so she came to Bochum from Tallinn. “My grandmother was traumatized when the Russians took her house away. Even when she was suffering from dementia, she kept packing books so that no one could take them with her. After the meal she collected the cutlery and put it in the jacket,” said Grönemeyer.

The singer, who once sang against rearmament, called out to today’s peace movement, which opposes arms deliveries to defend Ukraine: “You can’t stick to your principles when a country is to be wiped out.” The peace movement of yore is not failed, but today we need support and compassion for those who were attacked.

Grönemeyer: “What would I do if my parents’ house was shot down, if my wife was raped, if my city was reduced to rubble? If all of northern Germany were to be bombed, we would also defend ourselves and not say: Let’s invite the others for coffee.”