I have thought long and hard about making a statement on the war against Ukraine, and I have thought even longer if I should share it for the World to see. People who know me, will already know that the answer to both questions is yes.
My heart is bleeding. Bleeding for yet another war in Europe. As the son of holocaust survivors, and proud grandson of my Jewish Russian Grandfather, I was raised with the understanding that war in Europe is war of brothers and sisters. Europe is the continent that has been torn to pieces by wars for many centuries. The European Identity was and is the most important protection against such wars. We are Europe, we are European. All of us, not just those who live in a country that is a member of the European Union. And yet, the European Union is the strongest representation of that European Identity, that European Unity. One of the founding principles of the European Union is to prevent wars in Europe, wars among European brothers and sisters.
But here we are. Another war in Europe, our Europe. Ukraine is being punished for their desire to be a part of Europe. The people of Ukraine are being punished for their desire to be a part of the greater European good. Lives are terminated, livelihoods are destroyed. Like so many times before in Europe.
By heritage, I am Jewish. By ancestors, I am French, Swedish, and Russian. By birth, I am proud to be Dutch. But today, I am Ukrainian. My heart is bleeding for the people of Ukraine, my soul is deflated by our collective failure to protect Europe from another war. Today and on all days until this madness is finally over, I am Ukrainian. I am Ukraine, with my Ukrainian brothers and sisters in Europe.
Dr. ir Johannes Drooghaag