For a moment, I thought I was in Israel. “Why are there Palestinian flags here?” I wondered, as I approached city hall. Its website had said that an event to commemorate the Holocaust would be held here, facing its entrance. I’d expected there would be Israeli flags instead, with bearded Jewish men davening for good measure. (More…)
What does it mean to be an anti-fascist? Never easy to answer, today this question can seem like a Zen koan. First you have to decide what constitutes fascism. Then you have to figure out how to oppose it. Beyond those groups that deliberately invoke the iconography of brown and black shirts — a small number, relatively speaking — there is a wealth of potential enemies. The challenge is to choose them well. (More…)
What is the best way to handle a legacy of extremism? This is an important question for every democratic government, but particularly in those nations where radical ideology once held sway. And Germany remains on the top of list. No matter how stable the post-war Federal Republic’s political institutions, the Third Reich is never too far from people’s thoughts. (More…)
August 22nd marks the twentieth anniversary of the Rostock riots. Targeting Roma and Vietnamese migrants, the two days of violence that followed are considered amongst the worst race riots to hit post-war Germany. Many activists contend that the upheaval helped move the country to the right on questions concerning multiculturalism and immigration. (More…)
The martyr is a universal archetype. Someone who dies for a cause, someone who is victimized for their beliefs. Every society has one. Blame it on religion. Blame it on backward concepts of national identity, of personal sacrifice. It would be a relief if we could somehow rid ourselves of the notion that we might give our lives for a greater good, when that ‘good’ is usually questionable. (More…)
Nobody produces stickers like the German left. The British school girl outfits are priceless. Friedrichshain, Berlin. July, 2010.