The Sympathy Problem Is Germany a Country of Russia Apologists?

Should the West chart a course of confrontation with Russia following Moscow's annexation of Crimea? Many prominent Germans aren't so sure. Sympathy for Russia is alive and well in the country.
Russian lawmaker Alexander Chekalin adds the Crimea flag to the collection of regional flags in the Russian Federation Council building.

Russian lawmaker Alexander Chekalin adds the Crimea flag to the collection of regional flags in the Russian Federation Council building.

AP/dpa
Feminist figurehead Alice Schwarzer: "It wasn't all that long ago that Nazi Germany invaded Russia."

Feminist figurehead Alice Schwarzer: "It wasn't all that long ago that Nazi Germany invaded Russia."

DPA
Left Party luminary Gregor Gysi: "Anything NATO and the EU could have done wrong they did do wrong."

Left Party luminary Gregor Gysi: "Anything NATO and the EU could have done wrong they did do wrong."

Sean Gallup/ Getty Images
Alternative for Germany party member Alexander Gauland: "The Russian president opted for an old czarist tradition: that of collecting Russian soil."

Alternative for Germany party member Alexander Gauland: "The Russian president opted for an old czarist tradition: that of collecting Russian soil."

Frank May/ picture-alliance / dpa/dpaweb
SPD luminary Klaus von Dohnanyi: "Who could govern this country much differently than Putin does?"

SPD luminary Klaus von Dohnanyi: "Who could govern this country much differently than Putin does?"

Fredrik von Erichsen/ picture alliance / dpa
Translated from the German by Daryl Lindsey and Charles Hawley