Nazi tattoos in Germany

Nazi tattoo in German swimming pool, photo Facebook/Alexander Marguier

In Germany, neo-nazis not only daub swastikas and affix nazi stickers (if you try to remove these, then police may stop you). Sometimes, neo-nazis have nazi tattoos as well. Like the one on this photo, from a swimming pool in Oranienburg town (where there used to be a concentration camp during Hitler’s Third Reich).

The tattoo pictures the entrance to the infamous nazi concentration camp Buchenwald, with its slogan Jedem das Seine, “to each what he deserves”.

Buchenwald entrance

The nazi slogan implied that while obedient followers of fascism deserved a good life, concentration camp inmates like Jews, Roma, communists, LGBTQ people, etc. deserved abuse and death.

The difference between the letters of the Oranienburg nazi swimmer and the Buchenwald original is that the concentration camp used Latin script, while the neo-nazi used Fraktur. The nazi party strongly promoted Fraktur as ‘true German script’. In 1941 they stopped doing so, as it hindered communication with the many countries occupied by nazi armies.

From Wikipedia:

An ExxonMobil ad campaign in January 2009 touted Tchibo coffee drinks at the company’s Esso stores with the slogan Jedem den Seinen! The ads were withdrawn after protest from the Central Council of Jews in Germany, and a company spokesman said its advertising contractor had been unaware of the proverb’s association with Nazism.[5]

In March 2009, a student group associated with the Christian Democratic Union used the slogan for an education campaign in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), but later withdrew it due to public outcry.[6]

The Oranienburg swimming pool far right man has another nazi tattoo, not mentioned in today’s Dutch NOS TV report on this. It is just partly visible on the left side of the photo.

Black sun

It is a ‘Schwarze Sonne’, black sun, a nazi symbol; of Heinrich Himmler‘s SS in the twentieth century; and also of the far right ‘Azov battalion‘ paramilitary outfit in Ukraine today.

Azov Battalion symbol

The Azov Battalion emblem shows the black sun symbol in white against an orange background. On the foreground, in black, is another nazi symbol: the wolfsangel.

German teacher punished for anti-nazism

This is a 4 December 2014 German TV video about Limburg town. Swastikas are illegal there; but removing swastikas is as well.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

German teacher fined for painting over swastikas near a primary school

Ralf Bender said he would continue to appeal the fine, telling reporters as a teacher it was his job to ‘set an example’

Rose Troup Buchanan

A German teacher has been fined €1,000 for painting over swastikas sprayed onto signs near the primary school where he taught.

Ralf Bender, who teaches in the small town of Limburg in Hesse, has lost a case against the local council after he painted over a number of swastikas sprayed onto signposts near the school in 2013 when authorities failed to act despite being informed of the offensive symbols. He told [a] local newspaper he took action because he wanted to remove the offensive signs before pupils returned to the school.

On Tuesday the town upheld a decision to make Mr Bender pay cost of €1,000 cleaning costs, the Local reports.

But the teacher, who said the town’s actions were a “joke” and the symbols a mockery of the Nazi’s victims, has promised to take his case to Germany’s highest court and refused to pay the fine.

“I stand in front of children every day. It is my job to set an example to them,” he told German newspaper Süddeustche Zeitung.

While many have expressed support for this actions, the teacher also claims people have threatened him and forced him to take security measures at home.

The swastika, a still-potent symbol of the Nazi regime responsible for the deaths of millions, is banned in all forms within Germany under the country’s criminal code.

German arsonist burns refugees’ home

This video says about itself:

Germany remembers Turks who died in 1993 arson which raised fears over neo-nazi threat

30 May 2013

Twenty years after two women and three children of Turkish origin were killed in an arson attack in western Germany by right-wing extremists, survivors and German officials have remembered those who died. Relatives of the victims of the 1993 attack spoke at a remembrance service of the need to “live in friendship, respect and tolerance”, while the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister spoke out against racism.

Translated from DPA news agency in Germany:

Arson in refugees’ home

11.24.2015, 08:49

An unknown person has set on fire in northern Germany a multi-family house, in which ten refugees were also housed. A 76-year-old and a 14-year-old girl had to go to a hospital with suspected smoke inhalation poisoning.

According to police the fire had been set on Monday night in the basement of the house. As the smoke went into the stairwell, for a total of 35 residents their escape route was cut off. The firefighters had to rescue people with a ladder.

The house in Woldegk in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is uninhabitable for the time being. The residents had to be housed in temporary shelters.

Roma refugee from dangerous Kosovo writes book

Nizaqete Bislimi (Source: DuMont Verlag / Franz Brück)

By Elisabeth Zimmermann in Germany:

From Roma refugee to attorney in Germany: Nizaqete Bislimi’s Durch die Wand (“Through the Wall”)

18 November 2015

In her book Durch die Wand (“Through the Wall”), Roma author Nizaqete Bislimi describes her difficult flight from Kosovo, the hardship and insecurity of life as a refugee in Germany, the harassment by authorities and the readiness to help of private volunteers and initiatives. Despite numerous obstacles, Bislimi, now 36, successfully completed school, studied law and now works as an attorney in Essen, Germany specializing in immigration law.

For the past two years, Bislimi has served as chair of the Federal Association of Roma. In light of the continuous attacks on refugees and the right to asylum, her book is highly relevant.

Nizaqete was 14 years old when she fled the village of Hallaç i Vogël south of Pristina, Kosovo with her mother, two sisters and two brothers in 1993. Her father’s family had lived there for several generations. She left behind the safety and security of a large family with its own house and garden where she spent a happy childhood.

They left because of the “increasingly heated tensions between the Albanian and the Serbian population in Kosovo.” Bislimi writes, “We fled from the spectre of a looming war which, though we could not exactly imagine it, we knew would affect us first.”

Her father could not accompany the family. He had just been drafted into the Serbian army and was forced to surrender his papers.

Bislimi describes in detail her experiences with the German authorities: the endless waiting in offices, the constant fear of rejection and deportation, the inhumane housing conditions and the bureaucratic and financial hurdles that stood in the way of her education.

She writes about the sentiments behind the slogan “the boat is full,” which characterized the official debates on the right to asylum in Germany in 1993 and, in the same year, led to a drastic tightening of asylum laws. Relatives advised the family not to apply for asylum as Roma or Ashkali (another ethnic cultural minority in [Kosovo and] Albania). They only stood a chance if they identified themselves as Albanians fleeing from Serb violence.

At first, the six-person family was housed in a cramped cabin without locks on a ship in the … Rhine. To secure the door at night, they pushed one of their bunks in front of it before going to sleep.

Food rationing presented another problem. “One of the first difficult experiences for us was the unusual German food,” writes Bislimi. “The pre-cooked food was delivered and handed out in metal containers and almost all of it hurt our stomachs and made us sick.”

The asylum process was an inhumane procedure. Again and again, Bislimi’s mother and all her children boarded the morning bus to their local branch of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees where they spent the entire day waiting on cold chairs to be interrogated, have their fingerprints taken and have their applications processed.

“At the agency, there was no room set aside for children and we couldn’t go outside to play. There was nothing left for us to do but sit there and watch the clock while its hands went in circles. It was a scenario that would be repeated again and again for the next fourteen years of my life: waiting for someone to make a decision about my life without the possibility of influencing him or her myself.”

The Bislimi family’s next accommodations were former army barracks where entire families were assigned to one room. Despite the difficult conditions, friendships were forged. Families helped each other as much as they could.

Eventually, the family moved into refugee housing on the outskirts of Oberhausen in the Ruhr area in western Germany. They lived for months in this shanty town in a room no bigger than two by four meters, equipped with three sets of bunk beds, metal lockers and a small table with two chairs. Six single men lived in the room across from them. The few showers and toilets were run down and no amount of cleaning would solve the problem of burnt-on or dried dirt, mold and cockroaches.

After the initial shock, the Bislimis tried to make the best of their situation. During the day, they dismantled the bed frames and combined the mattresses to make seating areas. A curtain on the door protected them from all too prying eyes. With the junk on hand and gifts from fellow housemates, their room was somehow made livable.

Three months after submitting their asylum application, the family was notified that they were temporarily approved and would not be deported, but would still be obliged to leave the country. Bislimi writes: “This document meant that on any day we could be deported without warning. Our resident status in Germany was also highly uncertain and every evening before going to sleep we asked ourselves if this would be our last night.”

These uncertain conditions would continue for 13 years.

Nizaqete and her sister, who had been good students in Kosovo, were sent to secondary school in Oberhausen. Thanks to their own efforts and the energetic help of supporters who looked after refugees in the barracks, they finally succeeded in overcoming all the obstacles that lay before them.

In the summer of 1994, her living situation also improved. A separate housing unit of 24 square meters, with its own bath and kitchen, in a container village near the noisy A3 highway was now considered “lovely.” At a welcoming party in the new accommodations, Nizaqete met a German couple who would be an indispensable help to her in the coming years of harassment from immigration authorities and in her fight for a secure resident status.

As she dealt with the constant threat of deportation, Nizaqete decided she wanted to become an attorney. Almost insurmountable obstacles were placed in her way.

A Unicef study from 2010 is cited in the book, which indicates that access to education and social participation for the children of refugee families in Germany is severely limited. For decades, children of Roma and Sinti families were almost automatically referred to special education schools. In eight out of 16 German states at the beginning of 2005, compulsory education did not apply to children who were the subject of asylum proceedings or who had been authorized to live in Germany. Only in 2010 did schooling become obligatory for them in all of Germany.

Adding to their problems in Germany and their fears of deportation, Bislimi’s family worried about their father and other relatives in Kosovo. Her mother, most of all, lived in constant fear. “Refugee policy in Germany makes people sick in body and soul,” writes Bislimi. “I once heard the expression ‘death on the installment plan’ and found it very fitting.”

The family had to extend their short-term permits in a nerve-racking procedure every three months, sometimes every month. Vocational counsellors and public officials told Nizaqete that according to her permit, she could neither train nor study. She should just marry. There was no other chance for her. Finally, she simply enrolled at the Ruhr University in Bochum and completed her studies successfully. However, she did not receive support under the Federal Training Assistance Act or any other state funding. She paid for her studies with part-time jobs.

Following the successful completion of her first state examinations, Bislimi began work as a junior lawyer in the Higher Regional Court in Hamm. After 13 years, immigration authorities finally granted her a residence permit in June 2006.

Bislimi’s book is also critical of Nato’s military interventions in Kosovo, in which Germany also took part. Nato air strikes on Serbian positions in Kosovo triggered the humanitarian catastrophe, she writes. And after the war, when Kosovo was effectively partitioned off from Serbia, the problems facing ethnic minorities increased. “We heard terrifying stories from home. There was talk of pogroms that took place before the eyes of Nato soldiers, and talk of rapes and forced evictions.” Many of Bislimi’s relatives were killed.

In the last chapter of her book, Bislimi describes how Germany and the European Union pressure the Balkan states to take in refugees. Countries like Serbia, Macedonia and other states would only be granted visa facilitation if they would commit to repatriation agreements.

The living conditions of Roma are devastating. Close to a third of the 600 Roma settlements in Serbia have no water supply and 70 percent are not connected to a sewage system. The infant mortality rate among the Roma is four times higher than the national average. The average life expectancy of Roma women is 48 years.

Bislimi’s Durch die Wand provides numerous facts about the brutality of German asylum and immigration policies that have recently shown their ugly face again. With the tightening of asylum laws and the classification of Kosovo as a “secure third country,” people like Bislimi will no longer have the chance to stay in Germany.

The account of her family’s painful experiences is moving. It deserves a large readership.

German media abuse Paris murders for militarist propaganda

This video is called German Militarism 1871-1914.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

German media brays for war and dictatorship after Paris attacks

17 November 2015

Anyone reading the editorials in Germany’s two major Sunday newspapers would find it difficult to avoid the conclusion that the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris were welcomed by the German elites as an opportunity to push their right-wing agenda.

In articles bearing headlines such as “Into World War,” “This is no longer terrorism, it is war” and “We cannot be subjugated, we have to fight,” Berthold Kohler in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung and Stefan Aust and Mathias Döpfner in Die Welt am Sonntag called for war and dictatorship with an aggressiveness previously seen only from extreme right-wing circles.

Kohler, Aust and Döpfner are not fringe figures. They belong to the so-called “Alpha journalists” who have the deepest connections in government and security circles, and who used the Ukraine crisis to promulgate war propaganda against Russia and [to advocate the] the return of German militarism.

Since 1999, Kohler has been one of the four editors of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) and is a regular participant in the Munich Security Conference. Döpfner, the chairman of the board of Axel Springer SE, one of Germany’s largest media companies, is a member of the Global Board of Advisors of the US Council on Foreign Relations and a participant in the notorious Bilderberg meetings. Aust was, from 1994 to 2008, chief editor of Der Spiegel and has been the editor of the right-wing Springer paper Die Welt since 2014.

In their articles, all three draw a direct parallel to 9/11. This comparison alone speaks volumes about the writers’ reactionary political agenda. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the exact circumstances of which have never been clarified, were used by the Bush and then Obama administrations as a pretext to wage illegal wars, push through massive military rearmament abroad and increase state powers at home.

In the name of the “war on terror,” the US invaded Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003). The NATO war against Libya (2011) and its stoking of a civil war in Syria devastated an entire region, killing millions and creating even more refugees. Worldwide, the US kidnaps, tortures and murders real or perceived opponents of its war policy, spies on more or less the whole of humanity and is building a police state in America.

Now, right-wing circles in German politics and the media are exploiting the shock over the terrible attacks in Paris for similar ends, which they have so far only been able to impose to a limited degree. They have two major aims: First, they want to push for the return to an aggressive foreign and war policy announced by President Gauck and the federal government. Second, they argue openly for the establishment of an authoritarian regime to break down the widespread popular resistance to militarism and arm the state apparatus in preparation for upcoming class struggles.

To advance their reactionary political agenda and make the public “ready” to accept war and dictatorship, the authors define the Paris terrorist attacks as an act of war, where the “shockwaves go even beyond those in the past,” referring to September 11. They conclude that the supposedly “global war” (Aust) or “world war” (Kohler) requires extreme countermeasures.

Kohler writes that the events in Paris could “have serious consequences—for France, for NATO and thus also for the most important ally, Germany.” The editor of the FAZ yearns for a more aggressive military intervention by Germany in the Middle East. “Merkel’s dictum, that one must fight the causes of the wave of refugees in Syria, could suddenly experience an unwanted change of meaning for her,” he declares.

Kohler combines his call for war directly with a plea for an authoritarian regime. “More than ever it is now a matter of the unity of the West. And consequently, that it demonstrates its will and ability to protect its values,” he wrote, adding, “Given the scale of the threat and the asymmetry of the conflict this will not be entirely possible without restrictions of the freedoms that are to be defended, if necessary, with our own troops in Syria. It will not be possible to win this epochal battle without sacrifice.”

He concludes his apocalyptic editorial with a barely concealed attack on German chancellor Angela Merkel, who despite her ongoing crackdown on refugees has long been regarded in right-wing circles as too “soft.” Prior to the Paris attacks, the Germans had “nothing against a friendly face at the head of their government,” Kohler declares, but in times like these “they want and need to see another: A hard one.”

Aust also attacks Merkel sharply and condemns “the humanity expressed in [Germany’s] welcoming culture” as “dangerous naivete.” He longs not only for a “hard” government, but places the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing to Germany from the consequences of Western war policy under general suspicion. “The security apparatus, kept on the back burner for years,” was “completely overwhelmed,” and open borders allowed “war to be exported.” No one could judge, “who, in the crowd of young men, are needy refugees or who are…violent Islamists.”

Döpfner goes even further in his rant against refugees. He speaks of “the refugee crisis” and “the wave of terror in Paris” in one breath, calling both “accelerants in a culture war that has long been smouldering.” His longing for an authoritarian regime to lead the “culture war” could not be more apparent. “The non-democratic regimes in the world are often virile and led more decisively, democratic societies are often weak, indecisive and hesitant,” he laments.

While “Russians, Chinese and most Islamic countries” know “what they want,” and also implement their aims, “most democracies…[seek] dialogue, compromise and above all the applause of their own people.” The consequence of this policy is “inaction in Syria. Hesitation in Iran. Looking away in the radicalised parts of Africa.”

Döpfner’s message is clear: to conduct war in further parts of the Middle East and to act brutally against refugees requires deportations and immediate expulsions—which in turn requires an authoritarian regime. Specifically, the Springer chief demands a “policy of strength” that is to be enforced by “a radicalisation of the social centre.”

In Germany, the political content and the historical consequences of such expressions are well known. The last time the German elite embarked on a policy of the “radicalisation of the social centre” to pursue a “policy of strength,” it was followed by Nazi terror, the Second World War and the worst crimes in the history of mankind.

Döpfner, Kohler, Aust and the right-wing circles for which they speak have no significant support in the population, but their comments are a clear warning. In response to the deepest crisis of European and world capitalism since the 1930s, sections of the German elite are again willing to look to war, dictatorship and racism in order to defend the interests of German capitalism and imperialism.

USA: In their drive for an expanded war, no serious questions are raised about what lies behind the attacks, or about the impact of more than 14 years of unending war in the Middle East as part of the efforts of the US and its allies to assert hegemonic control over the region and its strategic resources. Among the chief warmongers are the New York Times’ Roger Cohen and the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen, two journalists who represent what passes for liberal democratic opinion in the United States: here.

Canada: Broad sections of the ruling elite have seized on the Paris attacks to demand the Liberals renege on their election pledge to end the Canadian military’s bombing of Iraq and Syria: here.

ISRAEL used the Paris ­massacre as a pretext for banning an Arab political party yesterday: here.

Francois Hollande’s ‘war’ with Isis won’t stand in the way of France’s arms deals with Saudi Arabia. Despite the President’s huffing and puffing about war the spiritual mentors of the militants will be left untouched: here.