«Courage is the readiness to accept with dignity the consequences of bravery. Courage is the long-term struggle for results. For us, courage is now more important than bravery, because the situation will not be overcome with bravery. It requires courage – to live with all of what is going on and not run away, not close one’s eyes under any circumstances, to notice, see and remember. And to do something.»

It feels strange to wish a relaxing holiday and a Happy New Year 2023 when, at the same moment, one can read in the press about a very likely new winter attack in a war in the middle of Europe. An attack against Ukraine most likely also from Belorussian territory. A war against Western values as we understood but with real people dying in Ukraine.

Not only at Christmas Ukrainian citizens are sitting in the dark, in the cold and often in bomb shelters. Belorussian citizens who don’t agree are sitting in jail. Some Russian citizens who spoke out against are sitting in jail or being forced into exile. And books are being removed from shelves.

New Year is close but peace seems far away. So with the words of Belorussian author Viktor Martinovich I am wishing us all «courage». In his novel NIGHT it is courage that makes the hero leave home and go out into the dark with his dog in the hope of finally reaching the light.

Sincerely, Thomas Wiedling