IPPNW Germany

[Updated March 18, 2016]

About the german affiliate

The beginnings of the German affiliate of IPPNW trace back to the fall of 1981, when German doctors organized the first ever German congress discussing the threats emerging from the use of nuclear power. It was in February 1982, that a group of German physicians around Ulrich Gottstein and Horst-Eberhard Richter, inspired by the congress and with the prevailing danger of nuclear war in mind, founded the West-German affiliate of IPPNW. Only a few months later, in August 1982, the council of ministers of the GDR established the “Committee of doctors of the GDR for the prevention of nuclear war“. Contrary to the original concept of IPPNW, which aimed at critically thinking doctors influencing civil society, the East-German affiliate’s members were assigned by the United Socialist Party to only represent the GDR at international conferences. In time, however, independent groups of politically active doctors emerged, that served to counterbalance the official IPPNW affiliate in the GDR. The fall of the Berlin wall brought about the unification of the West and East-German affiliates in 1991. From then on, they called themselves: “Ärzte in sozialer Verantwortung” (Physicians in Social Responsibility) to reflect the ever growing scale of their commitment.

Today the German affiliate works on three substantive programmes:
- The abolition of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy,
- The development of a “Culture of Peace” and
- Promoting social responsibility

Nuclear weapons
Preparation and publication of numerous articles on nuclear arms reduction, nuclear tests, the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The German affiliate is an active member of the global network Abolition 2000 and the national network “Trägerkreis Atomwaffen abschaffen”.

Promotion of the international program Mayors for Peace and their 2020 Vision Campaign to ban nuclear weapons. Educational materials for schools are being developed and IPPNW Germany hosts a website with basic information on nuclear weapons: atomwaffenA-Z.info

Atomic energy
Informing the public about atomic energy, the threat of a catastrophe in the case of a reactor accident, its impact on public health and about the lobbying efforts by the energy companies in German politics. IPPNW Germany has developed an international poster campaign against atomic energy.

Together with many other NGO’s, associations and trade unions the German IPPNW-affiliate actively engaged in the European petition campaign against atomic energy called a million Europeans demand the end of nuclear power. The petition was started on April 26th, 2004, the day of the 18th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, and continued until the end of March 2007.

Signatures were collected from German citizens demanding that nuclear energy companies pay full public liability instead of the meager 0,1% which they are currently asked to pay, leaving German citizens not only with the health impact in case of an accident but also the costs. (atomhaftpflicht.de)

Call for a boycott against the company Siemens, because its involvement in the nuclear industry.  Siemens built all of the reactors currently in operation in Germany and is building the new Finnish reactor.  (ippnw.de/Atomenergie/Siemens-Boykott)

IPPNW Germany is preparing for a court case to close the aging reactor Biblis B down because of its safety deficiencies.

The consequences of Chernobyl (ippnw.de/Tschernobyl-Folgen/)
IPPNW-Germany, in cooperation with the Society for Radiation Protection, published an extensive study about the health consequences of the catastrophe in Chernobyl.

Provision of information material about Chernobyl for interested readers - links on the IPPNW-website, a power point presentation and book recommendations.

Appeal against a war on Iran (petition).
Appeals and articles against war in general.
IPPNW-Germany is one of the founding supporters of the Peace-Film Award which is presented annually to the directors of extraordinary peace-promoting films as part of the Berlin International Film Festival. (friedensfilm.de)  
Activities to raise the awareness of civil society for conflicts. IPPNW-Germany publishes articles on conflict prevention, peace-making and peace-keeping to inform the public on current events and problems.
The website contains a page with information about uranium weapons.  (ippnw.de/Frieden/Uranmunition/)

Social Responsibility
In the conviction that doctors carry a responsibility for the realization of a social, peaceful and healthy way of living, the German IPPNW-affiliate is currently working on the following projects to advance its role in the field of social responsibility:

Root Causes of Conflict  
The German affiliate has formed a working group on the Root Causes of Conflict in the Age of the Total Market, discussing the origins of major economical problems, mainly in the developing world.

The German IPPNW-affiliate has several exceptionally active student groups that engage in different projects on the local level. All German students meet annually to exchange ideas and to present the projects they have been working on. Also, the German affiliate organizes a project called famulieren&engagieren (medical training and social work), which aims at providing medicine students with a chance to do a one-month long medical internship abroad that is combined with another month of working in a local social project.

IPPNW Germany also has several regular publications:
- The monthly journal IPPNW Forum appears in German and contains articles about different IPPNW topics as well as reports about IPPNW events. (http://www.ippnw.de/IPPNW-Forum) - A Newsletter is regularly distributed over a mailing list. - Additionally, the annual student journal amatom discusses IPPNW issues with a focus on the students’ perspective and events.

How can locals get involved with the affiliate today?

To find out more about the work of IPPNW Germany and how you can get involved, to make a donation or to become a member, visit the website: ippnw.de