Big anti-nazi demonstrations in Germany


This 13 October 2019 AFP video from Berlin, Germany is about the big ‘Unteilbar’ demonstration protesting against the nazi murders in Halle.

From the World Socialist Web Site in Germany:

Large Berlin solidarity protests against anti-Semitism and right-wing terrorism.

By our reporters

14 October 2019

Some 13,000 people protested in Berlin on Sunday against anti-Semitism and right-wing terrorism. After a rally at Bebelplatz, the demonstrators marched to the New Synagogue.

In addition, more than 2,000 people protested in Halle, where a heavily-armed right-wing extremist sought to storm a synagogue last Wednesday and massacre those participating in the observance of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. The neo-Nazi, Stephan Balliet, fatally shot two people outside the synagogue and wounded several others.

The protests on Sunday followed anti-fascist rallies in cities across Germany on Saturday.

The Unteilbar (Indivisible) initiative called for the demonstration in Berlin under the slogan “Don’t yield an inch! Anti-Semitism and racism kill.”

The statement from the alliance, which is made up of various groups and civil rights organisations, declares: “Right-wing terrorism threatens our society!” The gunman in Halle is not a lone wolf, it continues, explaining that his attack is connected to “fortified militant Nazi structures, the NSU (National Socialist Underground) network, and right-wing networks in the intelligence agencies.” It condemns the “lack of will for transparency” of the police and “non-stop attempts to trivialise the right-wing threat” on the part of politicians and the media.

This weekend’s protests showed once again the widespread opposition that exists to the return of fascism in Germany. The Berlin protest took place on the first anniversary of Unteilbar’s first demonstration, in which 250,000 people gathered at Alexanderplatz following the right-wing extremist rampage in Chemnitz. That rally denounced the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the right-wing, anti-refugee policies of the major parties.

As at last year’s mass demonstration, the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (SGP) had a strong presence at Sunday’s rally in Berlin. SGP members joined the march, distributed a leaflet headlined “Who is responsible for right-wing terrorism?” and sold copies of the book Why are They Back?, which traces the rise of far-right and neo-Nazi forces and its connection to the turn by the German bourgeoisie to militarism and aggressive imperialist policies. The book also exposes the complicity of the traditional parties of rule in Germany—the Christian Democrats and Social Democratic Party— … in the elevation of the far-right AfD, and the role of far-right academics and university administrations in trivializing the crimes of the Nazis.

SGP supporters at the rally explained how the ruling class has in recent years created the ideological climate and political conditions for right-wing extremist terrorism. They stressed that as in the 1930s, the struggle against fascism requires the independent mobilisation of the working class and a socialist perspective.

World Socialist Web Site reporters interviewed protesters who joined the demonstration out of concern and anger over the attack in Halle.

Jörg, a 51-year-old from Berlin, told the WSWS: “I’m shocked about the murders in Halle. After the attacks in New Zealand and [US] America, it’s now happening in Germany.”

Like many others, Jörg was concerned about the presence of fascist networks in the police, military and intelligence agencies. “It’s certainly significant that the NSU was able to carry out murders in Germany without the domestic intelligence agency doing anything about it. It makes you suspect that something wasn’t right.”

He added that one “cannot rely on the politicians who are now making widely publicised media appearances. Only the people who are gathered here today and the many millions who don’t want fascist terrorism can stop it.”

Angela showing her poster

This poster by Angela says, translated: I am sick of the ‘lone wolf‘ theory. Where are the accomplices, the inspirators, the networks?

Angela, from the group “Grandmothers against the Right”, explained, “I’m here because I find that this tradition, to do nothing against the far-right structures, is unfortunately a tradition with a terribly long history. After every attack, they talk about a turning point, but then nothing changes. I can no longer tolerate it.”

In Germany of all places, she stressed, where Hitlerite fascism raged from 1933 to 1945, carrying out the worst crimes in history, one cannot remain silent. “If we stay silent, we become accomplices. My parents were born in 1904 and 1911 and supported the Nazi Party. I got into conflicts over this. ‘Didn’t you see anything? Why did you stay silent? What was the matter? Even if you lived in small villages, there must have been Jews there as well.’ I don’t want to hear that from my daughter.”

Angela also criticised the established parties and state authorities. The issue is not “lone wolves”, she said, but “right-wing networks”. The “accomplices” and “inciters” sit in government. She said she was “shocked by the right-wing developments for a long time. Since the 1990s, I have protested against the hardening of immigration law, the abolition of the right to asylum, and the watering-down of our Basic Law.”

Camille, a 25-year-old student, expressed the fear that “as a refugee, foreigner or left-winger, you can’t be safe in this country if Nazis can do those sorts of things. Above all, I am furious at the politicians, who are doing nothing to oppose the AfD and other right-wing forces.”

Asked about the role played by the grand coalition parties and other established parties, which have essentially embraced and implemented the AfD’s policies, she remarked, “Yes, that’s right. That’s why demonstrations like today’s are so important. You can’t rely on the parties.”

Leo

Leo studies art in Mannheim and was visiting Berlin. He said he came to the demonstration to express his horror over the attack in Halle and show his solidarity with the victims. “I think it’s great that this demonstration was organised at such short notice and that so many are here and supporting it,” he said. “Today, the issue for me is to send a message in opposition to everything that has happened over recent years, beginning with the NSU murders. As tragic as last week’s attack was, we have to be clear about the fact that it wasn’t the only one.”

Caro, who lives and works in Berlin, also pointed out that Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has close ties to right-wing extremist terrorist structures and protects them. “There is no question that the Secret Service was closely tied to the NSU,” he said. “Some files were destroyed, others were locked away from the public for decades.”

He noted that the former head of the intelligence agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, has made clear in his statements that he sympathises with the far-right. “I find Maassen’s political views shocking. This man led the domestic intelligence service for years. In addition, there is the fact that the intelligence agency had large numbers of informants operating in the network around the NSU, just like with the NPD (National Democratic Party). What were they doing there?”

Caro pointed out that the German-Turkish journalist and publicist Denis Yücel has described the intelligence agency as “the most dangerous agency in Germany” and called it “unreformable.” He said, “I agree with that. In my opinion, a ‘state within the state’ is emerging here, just like in many other countries. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz) has for years contributed nothing to the protection of the constitution, but has rather undermined its fundamentals. This tendency strengthens the far-right. The media also plays a role.”

Aradiana and Guillermo

Guillermo and Aradiana from Argentina joined the protest after hearing about the attack in Halle. “We fully agree with this demonstration in terms of its condemnation of right-wing extremism, and we support the people who are here,” they said. They pointed out that the rise of the far-right is an international phenomenon. “Right-wing extremism is also a danger in Argentina,” said Guillermo. “We experienced how that led to the violation of democratic rights. Under the military dictatorship in particular. They killed political opponents. The present government under Macri thinks in a very similar way.”

This video is about the Berlin demonstration.

By Marianne Arens in Germany:

Thousands protest in Germany against right-wing violence following fascist Yom Kippur attack

14 October 2019

Last Wednesday’s attack in Halle, in which a heavily armed fascist and anti-Semite sought to enter a synagogue in order to commit mass murder on the Yom Kippur holiday, has evoked horror and a wave of solidarity protests against right-wing violence. The attacker, 27-year-old Stephan Balliet, was unable to gain entry to the synagogue, where some 50 worshippers were gathered on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. He proceeded to fatally shoot two people and wound several others in the immediate vicinity.

On Friday, thousands of people demonstrated against fascism and right-wing terrorism in cities across Germany. Masses of flowers were placed in front of synagogues accompanied by messages reading “Fight the beginnings” and “Together against the Right”. Passers-by stopped in groups in front of mosques, and in Halle, hundreds gathered to form a human chain around the synagogue.

The anti-racist initiative #unteilbar (#indivisible) called for a protest rally at August Bebel Square in Berlin-Mitte on Sunday. Last year the group organized a demonstration against xenophobia, the racist and anti-Semitic agitation of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), and the grand coalition government’s right-wing policies, in which nearly a quarter-million people participated.

The appeal for the demonstration states, “Right-wing terror threatens our society!” It points out that the Halle assassin was not a lone offender. His terrorist attack was linked to “established militant Nazi structures, the NSU [National Socialist Underground] network and right-wing networks in the security agencies.” Added to this was the police’s “lack of willingness to investigate” and “a non-stop trivialization of the right-wing danger” in political circles and the media.

The massive expression of solidarity with the Jewish population and opposition to the far-right demonstrates the falsity of claims that the rise of the AfD and growth of right-wing terrorism reflect a rightward shift within the general public. The opposite is taking place. In the face of growing left-wing sentiment and opposition to military rearmament, restrictions on democratic rights and the strengthening of the police powers of the state, right-wing and neo-fascist cliques are being formed within the state apparatus. The cadres of the AfD come from the establishment parties and are supported and celebrated by “mainstream” politicians and media.

The Halle assassin, Stephan Balliet, was shaped by this milieu. On Friday, he filed a confession before an investigating judge in Karlsruhe in which he admits to racist and anti-Semitic motives in his deadly attack. According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, he is charged with two counts of murder and nine counts of attempted murder.

He should have been charged with over 50 counts of attempted murder. Balliet attempted to carry out a massacre in the Halle synagogue and kill as many Jews as possible. When he failed to do this, he shot a passer-by and shortly thereafter a construction worker at a kebab kiosk. He also seriously injured other passers-by.

The authorities have repeatedly claimed that Balliet was unknown to them and that he acted as a lone offender. However, Balliet was active on the internet, participating in worldwide, networked right-wing terrorist circles. During his interrogation, he reportedly testified that an “unknown person” with whom he had communicated on the internet had transferred money to him.

German Synagogue Attacker Reportedly Had Financial Help: here.

Balliet filmed the entire course of his cold-blooded murders and attempted murders, streaming everything on the gaming platform Twitch. Although his video has been deleted on Twitch, right-wing chat groups have been able to redistribute it. In the footage, Balliet addresses a global right-wing extremist audience to which he speaks in English.

He was clearly taking his lead from mass murderers such as Brenton Tarrant in New Zealand and Anders Breivik in Norway. In 2011, Breivik murdered several dozen young people and children belonging to the Norwegian Workers’ Youth. Tarrant shot and killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15, 2019, injuring dozens more, and streamed the entire bloody assault live. Like these two, Balliet wrote a manifesto, which he posted on the internet. In it he states the following goals: “To kill Jews… to burn down a synagogue and a mosque, to kill a communist, to behead people …” He had also in mind targeting an Antifa centre.

Some of Balliet’s equipment (helmet, bullet-proof vest) apparently came from German Army (Bundeswehr) stockpiles and the police. It is quite possible that Balliet made his first contact with the far-right scene in the Bundeswehr. As is now known, in 2010 and 2011, shortly before the abolition of conscription, he underwent six months’ military service at the Panzergrenadierbataillon 401 in Mecklenburg-Pomerania, where he acquired training in weapons and shooting.

While hundreds of thousands have reacted with shock and spontaneous solidarity with the victims, politicians of all stripes have indulged in boundless hypocrisy. Their protestations of concern are meant to distract from their own responsibility for what has happened.

The central political responsibility of the German government for this act of murder is undeniable. For years, the grand coalition government of Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) has been implementing the xenophobic policies of the AfD, from which it is now trying to dissociate itself. The government has systematically built up the capacity of the Bundeswehr for the next major war, providing the tens of billions of euros it requires by squeezing them out of the working class through ever more brutal austerity policies. In order to contain social opposition and divide the working class it has promoted nationalism and xenophobia, including the witch-hunting of Muslims.

On the eve of the Halle attack, the federal interior ministry, headed by Horst Seehofer (CSU), ordered the deportation of 44 men to war-torn Afghanistan. It was the 28th such charter flight to land in Kabul. Seehofer has also set up the notorious “anchor centres”, where refugees who have committed no crime are detained.

Decades of right-wing politics have led to the spread of a dangerous far-right network within the police, Bundeswehr and Secret Service. The AfD is the political figurehead of this “state within the state”, which, to an increasing extent, sets the political tone.

Right-wing war propaganda is being promoted at universities. Those who criticize such racism and war-mongering are persecuted and harassed by the government. The Verfassungsschutz (Secret Service) has placed the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (SGP—Socialist Equality Party) under surveillance and branded it a “left-wing extremist” organization on the explicit grounds that the SGP opposes capitalism, nationalism and the AfD and fights for a socialist programme against fascism and war.

The motives of the Halle assassin are reminiscent of the “Nordkreuz” group, which is infamous for its special cruelty. The group has hoarded weapons, ammunition and supplies and trained in shooting in order to kill political opponents, including refugee aid workers and “left-wing” politicians. Its ranks include policemen, intelligence agents and Bundeswehr soldiers. The penetration of right-wing extremist organizations deep within the state became clear with the recent fascist murder of Kassel’s regional president, Walter Lübcke. His murderer had been known to the Hesse state intelligence service for years.

All this is so obvious that journalists who interviewed Seehhofer on television Friday evening asked him why his government had retained Hans-Georg Maassen for five years as head of the Verfassungsschutz despite his close links to the AfD. They asked if that meant the German state was “blind in the right eye”.

Seehofer once again defended Maassen. “I’ve never seen him as radical right-winger”, said the interior minister, downplaying the right-wing network within the state: “The number of cases is marginal. We are acting consistently there.”

In the same program, Seehofer acknowledged that some 12,000 violent right-wing extremists circulated freely in Germany, and that they were characterized by “a high degree of affinity for weapons and a high degree of readiness to use violence.”

His conclusion was that he needed “a few hundred extra people” in the Federal Criminal Office (BKA) and the Verfassungsschutz, and he argued for more stringent government control over social media such as Facebook. He justified the censorship of social media, saying, “We have to learn in Germany that the new media spreads hatred.”

The German government is reacting to the Halle attack in familiar fashion—building up the apparatus of an authoritarian police state and shielding far-right extremists.

‘Graffiti Grandma’ Fined For Painting Hearts Over Swastikas In Germany: here.

4 thoughts on “Big anti-nazi demonstrations in Germany

  1. De terreuraanslag in Halle is een product van de groeiende wereldwijde extreem-rechtse netwerken

    “We zijn geschokt door de antisemitische en racistische terreuraanslag in #Halle. Maar we vragen ons ook af: hoe vaak moeten we het woord individuele dader nog horen voordat de gewapende neo-nazistische netwerken worden verslagen? #RechterTerror #hal0910” Een tweet van NSU-Watch, een onderzoeksproject dat het strafproces tegen de fascistische moordenaars van de NSU en hun handlangers volgt en becommentarieert. Het vat in zo’n 200 tekens de gemoedstoestand in de anti-fascistische beweging in Duitsland samen. Want Justitie en de Duitse en buitenlandse media roepen bijna opgelucht dat de aanslag op de synagoge in Halle het werk was van één dader. “Dader zou een 27-jarige Duitser zijn”, kopt Der Spiegel online, en Die Zeit schrijft: “Er bestaat geen twijfel over de authenticiteit van de foto’s. Ze suggereren dat Stefan B. een extreem-rechtse ‘Einzeltäter’ was, een van die ‘lone wolves’”. Lees meer: https://www.doorbraak.eu/de-terreuraanslag-in-halle-is-een-product-van-de-groeiende-wereldwijde-extreem-rechtse-netwerken/

    Like

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