German & Russian: Departmental Statement on Events of January 6

As scholars of two countries/cultures that have had extensive and tragic experiences with dictatorship, we want to decry in the strongest terms the events of January 6 at the U.S. Capitol. The U.S. President’s incitement and encouragement of an attack on the US Congress is a gross violation of the separation of powers, and checks and balances, at the heart of our democratic system.

An attack on the Congress and our representatives who serve there is an attack on all of us — in this case, incited and encouraged by the President. It is our opinion, as scholars of German and Russian history and culture, that he should therefore be removed as soon as possible by whatever legal means available. It is crucial that the Congress and whole U.S. government underscore, for all future would-be autocrats, that the violation of basic principles of democracy will not be tolerated.

We were also disturbed by the gap in the reaction of the local police and other law enforcement officials to the Black Lives Matters protesters in summer 2020 and these domestic terrorists of January 6, and we hope a full and fair investigation of that disparity is undertaken promptly.

Faculty Members of the Department of German & Russian:
Carlee Arnett, Gail Finney, Jaimey Fisher, Kirsten Harjes, Jenny Kaminer, Elisabeth Krimmer, Sven-Erik Rose, and Chunjie Zhang