Radicals the world over continue to make use — some would say overuse — of the terms “Fascist” and “Nazi”, which have demonstrated remarkable staying power in the lexicon of demonization. But there’s no denying that they resonate with special force in Germany. As Europe’s economy threatens to spiral out of control and right-wing populist movements like Greece’s Golden Dawn grow stronger, often by invoking hostility towards German bankers and politicians, the Left is faced with a terminological predicament.
If the heirs of twentieth-century Fascism build support at Germany’s expense, implying that the European Union is the Third Reich by another name, is it still prudent for leftists to summon their followers to combat the specter of Nazism in defense of democratic values? The following flyer, photographed this summer in Berlin’s Neukölln neighborhood, while continuing in a longstanding tradition of mustering left-wing “troops” to counter Germany’s Far Right, subtly addresses this quandary by suggesting that its readers are “Partisans” — not a term typically applied to the German Resistance — and showing the iconic image of Benito Mussolini and members of his inner circle hung up like carcasses at a slaughterhouse.
In other words, although the ostensible target for this action was a march by German Nazis, the broader implication is that Fascism is a transnational phenomenon. Incidentally, the march barely got started before the combination of a heavy police presence along the designated route, and anti-fascist forces blockading alternate paths, forced participants to disperse.
HEADER (OBSCURED HERE): Cultivating Partisan Traditions
CAPTION: April, 1945 — Partisans have strung up the bodies of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, his lover Clara Petacci and other Italian leaders at a gas station
No Future for Nazis! Combat Racist Conditions!
On June 2nd, 2012, Nazis from throughout Germany want to march through the middle of Hamburg under the motto “Day of the German Future — Our Beacon Against Being Overrun By Foreigners”. Four years after the Fascists met with massive and widespread resistance in Hamburg during their last attempt to march on May 1st, 2008, they are daring to make a fresh attempt. That such an effort will not proceed without our strenuous opposition is understood:
We will confront the Nazis with determination and combat their nationalistic propaganda with all means and on every level.
There is nothing to discuss. Wherever Fascism rears its head, it will be annihilated; with stones and fire, with iron rods and pepper spray: everything is permitted.
For wherever Fascism has ruled, suffering, oppression and industrial murder have ruled as well!
Make the June 2nd Nazi march in Hamburg a disaster!
Preface and translation from the German by Charlie Bertsch. Photographed in Berlin by Joel Schalit.