A former torpedo boat of the German Navy, which the association bought and converted, is said to be named Rise Above. The christening of the ship will take place near Hamburg. In the coming weeks, the boat will be transferred to the Mediterranean and used there to rescue shipwrecked migrants who want to come to Europe.
Usually the protector of a ship is always a woman. According to seafaring superstitions, she must not be red-haired and not wear green clothes at the ceremony, as this is supposed to bring bad luck. The same applies to a Friday as the baptism date.
The Dresden Association is one of several German organizations that take in migrants in the Mediterranean and bring them to Europe. They are accused of supporting the work of human traffickers. In 2019 a smuggler reported to Italian journalists that his group had been in contact with Sea-Watch, another German “refugee” aid organization.
Thus, the tugs know the places where vessels of such criminals are waiting. If there were any problems, they simply contact the church’s aid organization. The former Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini (Lega) had referred to the sea rescue associations as “support smugglers”.
In March, the public prosecutor in the Sicilian city of Trapani charged several migrant aid workers. Initially, the investigation initiated in 2017 concerned the German organization Jugend Rettet and its ship Iuventa, then Save the Children from Berlin and Doctors Without Borders were also targeted. Accordingly, 21 people have been charged. They are suspected of not rescuing migrants but rather taking them on board their ships in cooperation with smugglers from Libya.
In response, the ship Sea-Watch4, of the “United4Rescue” alliance co-founded by the Evangelical Church in Germany, has hoisted the Antifa flag on its mast. The EKD had collected donations for the purchase of the ship.
Press spokesman Oliver Kulikowski insisted when questioned by the Protestant news agency about this that the organization was “naturally” anti-fascist. Such a basic understanding is also expected from the crew members, “because fascism, as well as racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and other inhuman ideologies have no place on our ships”.
The EKD also commented on the process. “The EKD is resolutely against right-wing populist, right-wing extremist, racist, anti-minority and ethnic-nationalist attitudes,” said a spokeswoman. The EKD is expressly committed to non-violent solutions.
A religious educator Andreas Späth, accused the EKD of hypocrisy regarding violence. “Those who finance something are of course partly responsible and cannot pretend that they are not affected.”
Aufgrund der Stimmungsmache von AfD und anderen Rechten gegen eine Flagge der Antifaschistischen Aktion an unserem Bug haben wir uns entschieden, diese zu entfernen. Sie hängt jetzt etwas sichtbarer weiter oben. Gern geschehen. pic.twitter.com/wdp4LUIP9d
— Sea-Watch (@seawatchcrew) April 8, 2021