from the federal governments and the economies of Germany and Austria
In the past, unfortunately, only very moderate efforts were made by the previous German and Austrian federal governments to eliminate the threats posed by ships sunk during the Second World War. The environmental crimes caused by the Nazis, which chronically pollute our oceans, have been negligently ignored, suppressed or denied in German and Austrian reparation policy to this day. Liability for environmental damage caused by warship wrecks is – incomprehensibly – still a legal grey area. As two of the richest countries in the world, Germany and Austria have not only the resources but also the moral obligation, more than seventy years after their sinking,to finally and without further delay ensure the decontamination of these legacies!
Marine conservation is climate mitigation!
War profiteers without liability and conscience
Neither companies, nor individuals or their legal successors, have so far been charged for the costs of wreck decontamination. They seized – and inherited – significant assets directly or indirectly related to these potentially dangerous shipwrecks. However, they stubbornly deny their responsibility against better knowledge. War profiteers, such as the families of Krupp, Porsche, Piëch, Siemens and their companies, Blohm & Voss, Lürssen, Abeking & Rasmussen, Daimler, MAN, Voestalpine, Deutsche Bank or Commerzbank – to name but a few – made extremely lucrative deals with the Nazis. In case of critical self-reflection, they should feel the need to support the removal of their legacies significantly!
But they do not.
No fat profits
Cleanwreck.org is an independent, international non-profit project that is permanently financed by donations and the marketing of the diving rights to the shipwrecks it decontaminates. However, our project does not generate fat profits – we are not treasure-hunters! All revenues from the economic use of the found wrecks flow – until the last remaining potentially dangerous wreck – back into the search and decontamination! For this reason, Cleanwreck.org is naturally completely unattractive to investors who are only interested in profit. We would, however, in any case – not least to keep our independence – always refrain from offering such people an opportunity to enrich themselves in the removal of environmental crimes that have only grown out of greed for power and profit.
Nonetheless, the funds for the basic investment in our research project must be raised now!
We, therefore, call on the federal governments and the economies of Germany and Austria:
1. The granting of federal bank guarantees
We demand that the governments provide federal bank guarantees for an interest-free, repayable investment loan of € 2 million, as a public-sector contribution to the project. In this context, German and Austrian companies (shipyards, outfitters, etc.) are generally given preference when awarding contracts. We do not claim any public funds, but only the assumption of guarantees, of roughly 2 Eurocent per citizen!
2. The diving rights and economic rights of use of German shipwrecks
We claim the exclusive diving rights to all German warship wrecks – especially those from the WWII – which we locate or decontaminate , to finance the running costs of Cleanwreck.org and the economic use of the same to finance the decontamination (again preferably in cooperation with specialized German / Austrian companies).
3. Legal and diplomatic support and priority for marine protection
We expect active legal and diplomatic support in connection with wreck findings of foreign ships, negotiations about diving rights, enforcement of economic rights. Commitment to internationally accepted regulations for the unhindered removal of toxic and hazardous substances from German and other shipwrecks – especially those declared as naval war graves. In cases of doubt, marine protection must be given binding priority over competing interests. Marine conservation prior naval war grave protection!
4. Decontamination fund
We call on the German and Austrian economies – especially corporations, companies, families or individuals who directly or indirectly, in any way, benefited from the ships sunk during the Second World War – to set up a fund to support decontaminations.
The search for the wrecks cannot be delayed. Even in the best case scenario, all we can achieve in the future is damage limitation only. We cannot afford to deny our responsibility – as we have done up to now – and instead stand idly by and watch the shipwrecks continue to contaminate our oceans. This ignorance is as serious as the historical environmental crimes themselves!
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