Ambivalence towards reactionary thinking in Germany today – on the one hand, strongly rejected in official, polite discourse, while at the same time very popular – is best exemplified by the immense success of the writer and former Social Democrat, Thilo Sarrazin. (More…)
Author: Paul SimonPaul Simon is pursuing a master's degree in North American Studies at the University of Leipzig. He thinks America is the most entertaining country on earth, and that's a compliment. He tries to write about the German right while taking inspiration from the American left.
Last week, I was standing behind a police barricade in Leipzig. Only yards away, but impossible to hear over the deafening noise of the counter-demonstration, hundreds of fascists were holding a rally. For an hour, we had been staring at the faceless mass of people on the other side, when suddenly a figure emerged and waved in our direction, taunting us. (More…)
The right is on the rise in Germany. On October 19th, 20,000 people gathered in Dresden under the banner of the far-right, anti-immigration group “PEGIDA”. They were marking a special occasion: Only one year earlier, several dozen self-proclaimed “patriots” had first met to protest the coming “Islamization of the Occident.” (More…)
In May, the European Commission first proposed a quota system for distributing refugees in the EU. Despite the difficulty the executive has had in obtaining approval for it, countries hit hardest by the crisis, such as Italy, Greece and Malta enthusiastically support the plan, as do EU heavyweights France Germany. Ideally, their buy-in would make the difference. (More…)
It was raining on Saturday in Budapest. The end of summer is a constant source of anxiety for refugees and their supporters, and so it seems serendipitous that, just in time for the rain, the improvised refugee camp in front of Keleti train station in Budapest has been resolved. (More…)
Following the Cold War, America’s military and intelligence apparatus in Germany remained in place. To this day, there are thousands of US troops stationed in the country. When Gerhard Schröder, in another attempt to win an election, made a lot of noise about not supporting the war in Iraq, he nonetheless was happy to allow the US to use German bases. (More…)
Ever since the first Snowden leaks in 2013, something strange has been happening in Germany. On the one hand, Germans were shocked by how ruthless the US was, going so far as to tap Angela Merkel’s phone. On the other, the government’s response was incredibly subdued. Of course, there were some publicized angry calls to Obama, and the BND reduced its cooperation with the NSA. But that was it. (More…)