Sandra Maischberger is back from the Easter holidays and now broadcasts twice a week, except Wednesday also Tuesday. The second nomination is justified by the fact that there is a lot going on right now. On Tuesday, for the first time since the Corona pandemic, there was an audience again in the studio – and immediately experienced a heated discussion between two strong-minded women.
Left-wing politician Sahra Wagenknecht has argued with Green politician Marieluise Beck over German arms supplies to Ukraine – and the question of how to end the war with Russia.
“Spiegel” journalist Melanie Amann and “Zeit” editor-in-chief Mariam Lau as well as former ARD presenter Waldemar Hartmann also spoke about the war in Ukraine and the about-face of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in the delivery of heavy weapons.
TV showmaster legend Frank Elstner was given a special spot on the show on his 80th birthday. Host Maischberger told him about his life and Parkinson’s disease.
For weeks, former MP Marieluise Beck has been a strong supporter of German arms supplies to Ukraine: ‘Weapons can also protect,’ she said, referring to civilians in Ukraine’s war .
Sahra Wagenknecht, on the other hand, strongly rejects arms deliveries. It is true that she is not “pacifist according to the expression”, since for her a German army of national defense is quite the thing to do. However, all conflicts must first and foremost be resolved through diplomacy.
In the Ukrainian war, too, attempts must be made to prevent further escalation through negotiations. “If Ukraine uses more weapons, Putin will also use more weapons,” Wagenknecht said.
Beck accused the left-wing politician of equating the aggressor (Russia) with the resister (Ukraine). “First of all, let’s be clear: Russia attacked Ukraine,” Beck said. “Ukraine is defending itself against genocide, as it has already happened in Bucha and Mariupol.”
Wagenknecht replied: “You can say that terrible crimes take place during the war, and probably on both sides. There are virtually no independent sources from the war zone, she said. For example, there are verified videos in which Ukrainian soldiers shoot Russian prisoners of war, the Bundestag deputy said. Ukraine is not in the first “terrible war after World War II”, she said. It is unbearable that this is presented everywhere.
While Wagenknecht insisted on Russia’s security interests, including that Ukraine is considered neutral and that there is no “American zone of influence, on whose territory there are missiles pointed at Russia,” Beck pointed to Ukraine’s decision to move closer to NATO and the West.
“If Ukraine comes out in favor of democracy and the West, then after the free choice of alliance, that is also its right. Even Russia accepted this principle before Putin,” Beck said.
If the West just let Putin do his thing, he would also attack the Baltic states and Poland, said Marieluise Beck. “We shouldn’t give him what he wants because he won’t be satisfied.” Wagenknecht decisively disagreed. “The fact that Putin attacks NATO with this military power, with which he has difficulties in Ukraine, is relatively absurd,” said Sahra Wagenknecht.
Federal politicians have already decided to deliver heavy weapons from Germany, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz has changed his mind on the matter. Only a few weeks ago, he spoke of the danger of a nuclear war if Germany participated in the war in this way. More recently, he advocated for arms deliveries with Ukraine’s right of defense.
“Zeit” editor-in-chief Mariam Lau sees Scholz’s decision as a clear stance that the Russian government does not want to be blackmailed. Journalist Waldemar Hartmann justified the back and forth with the fact that “war needs a new assessment every day, because things are constantly changing”.
Hartmann gave reasons for and against the arms deliveries – but did not take a clear position. Amann and Lau, meanwhile, spoke out in favor of military support for Ukraine.
Journalist Lau criticized the open letter to Chancellor Scholz in the magazine “Emma”, signed by 28 celebrities and artists. It equates the abuser with the abused, she said. The letter says nothing more about Ukraine than: “See how you get on, but don’t put us in danger,” Lau said.
On his 80th birthday on April 19, showmaster Frank Elstner was the guest of Maischberger, the former inventor and longtime presenter of “Wetten, dass..?” His parents were actors, so Elstner got his own roles early on. First, in 1952, he received his first speaking role as Bambi in a Disney radio production.
“I was not devoid of talent, I could certainly have become an actor”, recalls Elstner. But he wasn’t interested. He would have liked to study theatrical sciences, “if I hadn’t failed the Abitur.” Instead, the producer and journalist from Linz worked in the 1960s and 1970s for Radio Luxembourg and created the TV show “Wetten, dass..?” in 1981.
Elstner went public with his Parkinson’s disease in 2019. “Unfortunately, Parkinson’s disease is still not curable. There are 400,000 sick people in Germany, which means millions of relatives and affected people,” Elstner said.
Table tennis against Parkinson’s disease
He is confident that there will be more treatment options in the years to come. In 2021 Elstner published the book “So I’m shaking – life despite Parkinson’s disease”.
He himself has had a rather smooth run so far, he said. Sport is recommended for every sick person, table tennis is especially good. “There will soon be a table tennis world championship for people with Parkinson’s disease. I’m going to sign up,” Elstner said.