Concerning: Your open letter to Syria’s Head of State President Baschar al-Assad  


Dear Mr. David Grossman,


We freethinkers, in full respect and pleasure in valuing your humanistic contribution as a writer, urgently request, particularly as author of children’s and youth books, that you remove your signature from the above mentioned open letter from the German Publishers and Booksellers Association (Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels).


Reasons for our request:

We consider the letter from the German Publishers and Booksellers Association and the so-called Association of Writers for Peace (Vereinigung der Schriftsteller für den Frieden), in particularly, it militaristic style, and considering its quasi-ultimatum for the Syrian President to resign and leave the country, contrary to international law, propagandistically packaged and arrogant.

For us freethinkers, as for all humanists, it is absolutely inacceptable to present the murder of a head of state such as Gaddafi as a historical precedent, and to indirectly accept such a possible outcome. We condemn such reasoning. 

The letter with its murder and war option presents a negation of the will and the rights of the majority of Syrians who want only one thing: a solution toward peace through self-determined dialogue.

The majority of Syrians have decidedly confirmed this through the referendum initiated by President Assad.

It is common knowledge that the “Syrian National Council” refuses every attempt at constructive dialogue. It is not President Assad who stands in the way of such a dialogue, but those forces which are set on military confrontation and who thus block a solution to national unity.

Western interference and pretentiousness, as shown in the letter from the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, ignores the declared will of the Syrian people, strengthens instead the desire of the west, repeatedly formulated by H. Clinton - as well as from European politicians and governments - for regime Change. Death squads commissioned and equipped by NATO and therefore also by the Federal Government of our country, rampage throughout Syria. Decapitating with the knife is one of their insidious "freedom actions". Journalists are kidnapped by the "FSA" and murdered. Streams of blood, fear and chaos, already prevalent in Syria, are caused by those with whom the signatories of the letter have aligned themselves with. This, dear David Grossman, you can hardly continue to support.

The demands and line of thought in the open letter are not peace-furthering. The final result – should the demands of the letter become reality – would result in an increase in chaos for Syria, as can now be seen in Libya. The sell-out of the country to multinationals would be the immanent result.

The bitter experiences from Libya, the increased expulsions, the death and sorrow are all still fresh in the minds of many Syrians. Libya must not be forgotten, have you forgotten all this? The demands of the open letter contain repeated examples of criminal machinations – a pattern which must not be held up as a model.

Surely you know: Regime changes are carried out in the economic and political interests of the west, in cooperation with foreign and local profiteers by means of secret services, endowments, and suspicious non-governmental organisations.

As always, it involves a struggle for the hearts and minds of intellectuals.

Experience has shown that regime changes from outside; planed long-termed from the centres of power, do not serve the interests of the population for social and democratic improvements.

This policy has already cost millions of human lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon, Palestine, Somalia, Sudan, Libya... and now Syria and then Iran? And then further to Russia?

All this is foreseeable; in knowledge thereof, you cannot possibly allow your signature to remain. Please pull back your signature! This in our eyes is the only consequential position to take that agrees with your humanistic position, and is based on international law.

A lessen from both world wars and the hard struggle for decolonization is that international law should consequentially be defended by every humanist today as a top priority.

Laid down in the UN charter is the sovereignty of states, the people’s right to self-determination, and above all, the ban on military intervention.

To thus orientate oneself and to thus abide by, guards against politically motivated alternatives that the open letter espouses. (Please also read to this the freethinker's petition to the German Bundestag:

We appeal to you as a peace loving person to support the diplomatic solutions, compliant with international law, as they are initiated and propagated by Kofi Annan, the Arab League, China and Russia and many other states of the non-aligned countries, but which are in stark contrast to the desires formulated in the open letter.

One of their essay volumes carries the title THE STRENGTH TOWARDS CORRECTION. Alfred Grosser has already found the strength towards correction and has pulled back his signature. (see: id=18550)


Removing your signature serves the goal of a peaceful resolution in Syria, and, in our eyes, objectively your fundamental humanistic conviction.


With this wish we remain

Yours sincerely


Berlin branch of the German Freethinkers League


Translation from German to English by Alant Jost