They weren’t supposed to hate Jews. Selectively anti-Semitic – meaning anti-Muslim, not Judeophobic – Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland party has finally aligned itself with pre-populist fascism, condemning the country’s culture of WW II guilt, and shame over the Holocaust.
Is it any wonder that German leftists call the AfD Nazis? Ideologically speaking, their leadership has left enough clues over time to merit the tag, and not just for being out about their racism. Judeophobia has been a recurrent motif, not only amongst party members in the former DDR, but as far south as Baden-Württemberg.
The following flyer, altered by a passer-by with an appropriately red sharpie on Karl-Marx-Straße, in southeastern Berlin, attests to the commonality of the Nazi association in Germany, and why more Germans than not are outraged by Alternative für Deutschland, and its transparent nostalgia for the Third Reich.
Hence the proliferation of anti-AfD graffiti, such as the tagged storefront shutter, in the lead photograph. The party is indeed growing. But a rising number of Germans are making their concerns known about the state of the country’s democracy, and why retro-Nazi organizations should have no real place in its political life.
Demonstration: Stand up to racism!
Neukölln does not need the AfD! (Nazis)
(Logo) Neukölln Alliance – Together for democracy, respect and diversity
On 7 December 2016
On the square in front of Neukölln town hall.
After a delay, the new committees of the Neukölln district parliament (BVV) will now be formed on 7 December. The AFD has eight seats in the BVV. That gives it the right to propose and vote for a city councillor on 7 December.
Neukölln does not need the AfD. Neukölln does not need an AfD city councillor. Within the AfD, national conservatives work hand in hand with ethnic racists. The AfD agitates against single mothers and LGBT people. It uses migrants, Muslims and refugees as scapegoats. Victims are already feeling the effect of this racism in increasing levels of violence and hostility. Many of the intellectual arsonists behind these assaults are in the AfD, and therefore now also in the BVV.
We stand up for a society in which all people can live without fear – regardless of their beliefs, their origins, their gender or their sexual identity. Racism is not an opinion, it is a crime.
The “Neukölln Alliance – Together for democracy, respect and diversity” is a cross-party, cross-religion and multicultural coalition of organisations, trade unions, institutions and individuals in and for Neukölln. Enquiries and new campaigners are welcome.
Contact info and donations account: www.buendnis-neukoelln.de
Translated from the German by Samuel White. Photographs courtesy of Joel Schalit.