Germany, from Auschwitz to today

This 2012 video is called Jewish Survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch Testimony.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

Nothing learned from Auschwitz

6 February 2018

On the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the German parliament (Bundestag) held a special sitting to commemorate the victims of Nazism. Many people around the world mark this day. The name of the concentration camp, which was liberated by the Soviet Red Army on 27 January 1945, is a synonym for the greatest crimes in human history and the barbarity of capitalism in its most extreme form.

The commemorative meeting was dominated by a massive contradiction. The main speaker this year was the German-British cellist and Holocaust survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, who spoke with penetrating words recalling the horrific regime that drove her, her older sister Renate and millions of Jews and other persecuted people into the Nazi extermination camps. At the same time, she made a connection between that period and today’s “world full of refugees”, calling for more humane treatment of immigrants fleeing repression and poverty.

While some in the audience sitting on the sidelines were visibly moved, the applause Lasker-Wallfisch garnered from the assembled politicians of all parties could only be described as dishonest and cynical. Just a cursory glance at the Bundestag makes clear that the same ruling class that made Hitler chancellor 85 years ago is returning to its infamous traditions.

Participating in the commemorative meeting were some 90 deputies from the Alternative for Germany (AfD), an openly right-wing extremist party that embodies all of the filth that led to the mass murder of European Jewry: racism, nationalism and extreme militarism.

The president of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble, who has been at the forefront of the austerity diktats of Brussels and Berlin, which have plunged millions into poverty in Greece and other countries, did not utter a single word about the AfD in his speech. Instead, he indulged in platitudes, such as, “It must disquiet us when, every day, people are attacked only because they appear different”, and “witch hunts and violence should have no place in our society.”

The hollowness of these phrases is shown by the failure of the establishment parties to in any way distance themselves from the AfD on this memorial day. Instead, they have integrated this far-right, racist party more deeply into the structures of government.

Peter Boehringer, Sebastian Münzenmaier and Stephan Brandner, three representatives of the AfD’s extreme right, were given the chairmanship of important parliamentary committees. Boehringer, who will now head the budget committee, is a neo-liberal racist; Münzenmeier is a convicted hooligan; and Brandner a confidante of the neo-Nazi Björn Höcke, who describes the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin as a “Monument of Shame.”

It is no accident that the German ruling class, in attempting to install a right-wing government behind the backs of the people, is directly resting on the AfD. In recent days, it has become ever clearer that the next grand coalition between the Social Democrats (SPD) and Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) will seek to implement the programme of the extreme right. Already in the paper produced during the initial coalition talks, the SPD and CDU/CSU adopted the demand for an upper limit on the number of refugees. Last Tuesday, they agreed to abolish the right of family reunion for refugees.

The central task of the next government will be to revive German militarism and drive forward the great power politics that twice lead to the catastrophe of world war in the 20th century. The aggressive comments of military brass and influential media outlets leave no doubt of this.

At the start of the week, the former inspector general of the Bundeswehr (armed forces), Germany’s most senior military officer, Klaus Naumann, wrote a guest column for the Süddeutsche Zeitung in which he made clear what he expects from the next grand coalition. “In the coming years, at least one of the three Army divisions must become combat ready, helicopters must be able to fly again and U-boats sail”, wrote Naumann. At the same time, “the motto ‘train as you fight’, the principle of realistic training and exercising, must once again become part of the everyday experience of the Bundeswehr”, he added.

Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Naumann, the author of the 1992 Defence Guidelines, called for Germany to use military means to pursue its economic and political interests. Today, he dreams of imperialist campaigns of conquest, including in the Artic. With a potent army, he writes, Europe could “begin to extend the protection of its sea lanes in the Arctic Ocean, as well as along the new maritime silk road in the Indian Ocean.” These are “matters of survival for an EU dependent on foreign trade, which lacks any Asia strategy”, he continues.

Naumann is not alone in behaving as if the crimes of German imperialism in two world wars had never happened.

In the current edition of the newsweekly Der Spiegel, under the headline “Unwilling World Power”, a certain Ullrich Fichtner complains that Germany, “70 years after the war, and soon 30 years after the fall of the [Berlin] Wall”, has “still not learned to define its interests on the basis of its values and actively pursue them.” Instead, “a majority of the citizens [live] in the belief that foreign policy can be avoided somehow, and hardly anybody convincingly opposes such nonsense.”

The author—perhaps he should be greeted with “Heil Fichtner”—finds himself overwhelmed by old Nazi fantasies. “Every child should know that a colossus like Germany has no choice as to whether or not to exercise power”, he thunders at his readers. Germany, after all, is “an 800-pound gorilla, and when this boy moves, the windowpanes in Manchester and Rome, in Warsaw and Lyon, shake.”

In 2014, after Humboldt University Professor Jörg Baberowski was quoted in Der Spiegel saying Hitler was “not vicious,” the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party) analysed his statements and warned of the objective driving forces of a return of German militarism: “The propaganda of the post-war era—that Germany had learned from the terrible crimes of the Nazis, had “arrived at the West”, had embraced a peaceful foreign policy, and had developed into a stable democracy—is exposed as lies. German imperialism is once again showing its real colours as it emerged historically, with all of its aggressiveness at home and abroad.”

As in the first half of the 20th century, the working class confronts the alternative of socialism or barbarism.

To prevent the ruling class imposing its programme of social counterrevolution, war and dictatorship, the working class must seize the initiative and unite internationally to overthrow capitalism. The current strikes in Germany’s engineering, automotive and electrical industries are of great significance in this regard. They must be expanded and made the launching pad for a broad political mobilisation for new elections. It is only in this way that the ruling class can be prevented from bringing to power a government that stands in the traditions of German imperialism’s criminal past.

German SPD bureaucracy stops members from voting against joining right-wing coalition

This video from Germany says about itself:

21 January 2018

As the Social Democratic Party (SPD) is holding a convention on official coalition talks with Angela Merkel‘s party Christian Democratic Union (CDU), protesters against the ‘Grand Coalition‘ gathered in front of the venue in Bonn, on Sunday.

People were holding flags and banners reading ‘No GroKo,’ meaning they oppose the Grand Coalition.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 – 18:10

Germany’s Social Democrats seek to cut new members out of vote on coalition deal

GERMANY’S Social Democrats (SPD) are taking a leaf out of the New Labour handbook in a bid to stop new members blocking a coalition deal with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

Party officials plan to introduce a cut-off point after which new members will be ineligible to take part in a ballot on coalition terms. They said they would decide on a date next week.

Similar administrative tricks were used by the Labour Party bureaucracy in the 2015 and 2016 leadership elections in a futile bid to stop socialist candidate Jeremy Corbyn from winning.

Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz won permission to open negotiations with the CDU and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union at the weekend, but the terms of a final agreement would go to a ballot of the membership.

Many are sceptical of another “grand coalition” with the right after last September’s disastrous general election, which saw the SPD drop to just 20 per cent of the vote, its lowest share since the second world war.

The CDU also lost seats in a poll which saw modest gains for The Left party and the Greens and huge advances for the neoliberal Free Democrats and far-right Alternative for Germany, which won 80 and 94 parliamentary seats respectively, both up from zero at the previous election.

The SPD youth wing, the Young Socialists, launched a campaign offering two months membership for €10 (£8.70), urging people to join up and vote against another coalition.

In the outgoing government, the SPD were the junior partners of the conservative CDU. That drove many SPD voters away at the recent election. Another CDU-SPD ‘grand coalition’ of more militarism, more for the rich and less for the poor, would drive most of the remaining voters away. Leading to a catastrophic defeat, like happened to the SPD’s sister social democrat parties in Greece, the Netherlands, France, etc. And to the British Labour party, before the leftward turn with Jeremy Corbyn.

Such a ‘grand coalition’ would make the neo-fascist AfD the official opposition in parliament, threatening to make them still bigger than they unfortunately already are.

Following the decision by the Social Democratic Party (SPD) at its special congress to initiate coalition talks with Germany’s conservative parties, the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (SGP) strengthens its demand for new elections. The ruling elite cannot be permitted to bring to power the most right-wing government since the downfall of the Nazi regime, in the face of strong opposition from workers and young people. The performance of the SPD leadership at the Bonn congress has already made clear that a new installment of the grand coalition would not merely continue the policies of the current government. It would implement the despised policies of militarism, the construction of a police state and a social counter-revolution, with increasingly authoritarian methods in the face of mounting popular opposition: here.

The speech by German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democrats, CDU) at the World Economic Forum in Davos made clear that the new coalition government being formed in Berlin will be dedicated to militarism and great-power politics. At a luxury resort in the Swiss Alps, the acting Chancellor sought to drum up support for a European defence policy that would enable Germany and Europe to enforce their economic and geostrategic interests around the world: here.

A third edition of the grand coalition will not simply continue the policies of the current one. It will massively upgrade the military, initiate a new round of social attacks and establish a police state in close cooperation with the far-right AfD. This is becoming increasingly clear with the approaching agreement between the SPD and the conservative Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union (both parties known as the Union): here.

German parties reach agreement on grand coalition for war and austerity: here.

Dozens of commentaries have appeared in the media in recent days describing the power struggles over the direction of Germany’s new government as if they were merely a competition between individuals, conflicts between generations, or fateful Greek tragedies. The daily Süddeutsche Zeitung referred to Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schulz as a “tragic figure” and titled an article about current SPD Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel “Game, set, defeat.” One searches in vain for an analysis of the political questions driving the conflicts. There is a simple reason for this. Bitter conflicts are raging between and within the political parties over foreign policy, in particular Germany’s relations with the United States. But nobody wants to discuss this openly, because the vast military build-up they are planning would then become clear. This would be met with strong opposition from the population: here.

Germany: SPD leadership seeks to fool party members in vote on grand coalition: here.

Even before Angela Merkel and her cabinet are sworn in on Wednesday, Horst Seehofer (Christian Social Union, CSU) has reaffirmed the reactionary character of the new government. In Bild am Sonntag, the designated interior and homeland minister presented a “master plan for more consistent deportations” and announced mass surveillance and other police state measures: here.

Great power politics, militarism, increased deportations: The right-wing programme of Germany’s grand coalition: here.

The new German grand coalition is the most right-wing government in Berlin since the downfall of the Nazi regime. This assessment made by the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (SGP) has already been confirmed in the first days following the re-election of Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democrats, CDU). The government is deliberately stoking a racist atmosphere in order to further its policies of militarism, social attacks and the strengthening of the repressive state apparatus: here.

German right-winger wants ‘final solution’ of the refugee question

This 2015 video says about itself:

In the video, “The Development of the ‘Final Solution'”, Dr. David Silberklang provides an overview of what came to be known as the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question“, which ended in the murder of some six million Jews.

Dr. Silberklang identifies several major steps, sometimes occuring concurrently, including the prewar separation and escalating anti-Jewish measures, exploring a territorial solution, increasing murder during the German territorial expansion, murder in other countries and of other groups, early attempts at mass-murder systems, the “Wannsee Conference”, and the fully mechanized mass-murder of the final years of the War.

Dr. David Silberklang is Senior Historian and Editor of Yad Vashem Studies at theInternational Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem.

Part 1: Introduction 00:00
Part 2: Persecution and Murder Beyond Germany’s Borders 3:32
Part 3: Systematic Murder Begins and Spreads 5:04
Part 4: The “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” 9:58

Archival footage and photographs: Yad Vashem Archive Yad Vashem Photo Archive. Yad Vashem Film Archive. Yad Vashem Museum Collection, The Yad Vashem Visual Center, Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Agentur Karl Höffkes Bundesfilmarchiv/Transit Film GmbH. Footage of Rudolf Bohlmann used with the kind permission of Eginhard Teichmann. Staatsarchivs Stuttgart. The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Music (Beeld en Geluid).

Every effort has been made to locate the copyright holders to obtain the appropriate permissions and apply the correct attributions. If you have any information that would help us in relation to copyright, please contact us

By Marianne Arens and Martin Kreickenbaum in Germany:

German politician proposes “final solution” of the refugee question

12 January 2018

The current backroom talks between the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Union parties—the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU)—are aimed at establishing another grand coalition government pledged to carrying out further attacks on democratic rights. In this respect, attacks on the rights of refugees are a linchpin for undermining the basic democratic rights of the entire working class.

To this end, German politicians are reviving the vilest traditions of National Socialism (Nazism). This was confirmed most recently by a statement made by a leading CSU politician, Manfred Weber, who heads the conservative European People’s Party faction in the European Parliament. On January 5, at a closed-door meeting of the CSU parliamentary group, Weber declared, “In 2018, the central European issue will be a final solution to the refugee issue.”

The parallel to the phrase “final solution of the Jewish question” used by the Nazis to describe the murder of millions of Jews was so obvious that several newspapers felt obliged to comment.

In order to “solve” the “problem” at a European level, Weber called for closer cooperation with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who attended the CSU meeting as an honoured guest. Orbán is notorious for his brutal treatment of refugees, who are systematically deprived of basic human rights in Hungary.

Following a massive backlash on social media, Weber responded by claiming that his statement had been subject to “deliberate misinterpretation.”

The projects currently being discussed in relation to refugee and asylum policy testify to a rapid lurch to the right across the entire political spectrum. The CDU, CSU and Greens, in their previous negotiations with the Free Democratic Party (FDP), had already agreed on a tightening of asylum policy. However, the proposals and demands that are now being discussed for a future grand coalition go much further.

To date, the following measures have evidently been agreed:

* A maximum of 200,000 refugees are to be admitted to Germany each year. Thomas Strobl (CDU), deputy to the premier of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), has gone so far as to plead in a local newspaper for a limit of just 65,000 annually.

* The Maghreb states (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) are to be definitively classified as “safe countries of origin.” This means that all refugees from these countries lose their status as “tolerated” migrants and can be deported immediately. The CDU-CSU is even calling for deportations to Syria and all parties are already organising deportations to Afghanistan, in open disregard of the assessment by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees of the situation in these war-torn countries.

* The suspension of family reunification for refugees with limited protection status is to be extended indefinitely. The previous suspension is due to expire in March.

* For all newly arriving asylum seekers, “decision-making and repatriation centres” are to be set up, in which people are required to remain in one centre until their case is settled. Such centres already exist in Bamberg, Ingolstadt and Heidelberg. The immigrants there receive basic material benefits as well as a social allowance of 120 euros (adults) and 67 euros (children) per month.

CSU parliamentary leader Alexander Dobrindt is also demanding that asylum seekers be restricted to the lowest level of social assistance for three years. Up to now, this restriction has applied to asylum seekers for a period of 15 months. Those refused residency and “tolerated” refugees will be denied any sort of financial assistance.

This last demand clearly contradicts a judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court, which decided two years ago that the resulting 30 percent lowering of payments to refugees was unconstitutional.

The proposals are accompanied by a vicious media campaign. In the first week of January, a study by the Lower Saxony criminologist Christian Pfeiffer, commissioned by the Ministry for Family Affairs, was used to this end. It alleged that there was a “link between refugees and crime”, declaring that there had been an increase in violent crime of 10.4 percent between 2014 and 2016. According to the study, 92 percent of this increase is due to felonies committed by refugees.

The study was promoted heavily by the media to demonstrate that young male refugees were more prone to crime and therefore more likely to be deported. In reality, the study permits a very different interpretation: it is precisely the neglect and lack of prospects for young people vegetating in overcrowded camps and “without any perspective to stay” that leads to desperation and sometimes criminal acts. The causes are social, not ethnic.

The entire political establishment, from the right to the so-called left, is now pursuing a xenophobic course that largely corresponds to the line of the far-right Alternative for Germany. This is confirmed by statements made by leading politicians.

Left Party leaders Sahra Wagenknecht and Oskar Lafontaine recently stated in Die Welt that they did not support their own party’s draft paper on immigration. Any demand for “open borders for all people,” declared Wagenknecht, was at most a “vision of the future,” but “not a demand for today’s world.”

Lafontaine added, “Right of residency and 1,050 euros for all who come to us are unrealistic proposals.” Wagenknecht heads the Left Party faction in the German parliament and Lafontaine is a former chairman of the party.

But it is above all the SPD that has emerged as the advocate of the reactionary asylum legislation. The former interior minister of the state of North Rhine Westphalia, Ralf Jäger introduced a decree in December 2016 whereby asylum seekers or tolerated refugees who cannot be found at a specific time can be hunted down and detained immediately.

In the previous grand coalition government, the SPD launched Asylum Package II in March 2016, which opened the door to the destruction of basic democratic rights for refugees. Today, SPD ministers often boast of their efficiency in carrying out deportations. At the end of November 2017, Berlin Interior Senator Andreas Geisel boasted that 1,500 people had been deported from Berlin since the start of the year.

As for the Free Democratic Party, its refugee policy increasingly resembles that of its fellow neo-liberal Austrian party, the Freedom Party, which is pursuing a blatantly far-right course. FDP Chairman Christian Lindner is now in favour of deporting minors. He hypocritically limits his demand to “underage criminal asylum seekers”, but the deportation of children in Germany sets an abominable precedent.

It is not just the rhetoric of politicians calling for a “final solution to the refugee question” and calls for the “bundling” (the Nazis called it “concentration”) of asylum seekers in “repatriation centres” that recall the criminal activities of the Third Reich. The link is also evident in the reactionary, police-bureaucratic manner with which government authorities act against refugees. Entire families are torn from their beds in the early hours by armed police for deportation. Their entire lives are destroyed.

According to official figures, 22,190 people were deported from Germany between January and November 2017. This corresponds approximately to the number of deportations in 2016, when 25,000 people were deported in twelve months.

The number of immigrants deported to the Maghreb countries of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia has risen sharply since last year. This is especially true for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where the new CDU-FDP administration led by Premier Joachim Stamp (FDP) has created a specific “refugee minister.” Stamp bragged that with the deportations, “We have achieved our first remarkable successes.” Last year, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia deported more than 6,000 refugees, almost 1,000 more than in 2016. In addition, there were almost 11,000 so-called “voluntary returnees.”

Many people have been deported to the Balkans. Entire families who have been living in Germany for many years are deported so suddenly that they are unable to say their farewells or properly pack their belongings. This is especially the case in the state of Thuringia … . According to the Ministry of Migration, there were 600 deportations in Thuringia up to November. Over the same period, 582 refugees left the small state as part of its so-called “voluntary” repatriation scheme.

Most of the deportations from Thuringia were to western Balkan states, above all to Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia. Recently, the Refugee Council of Thuringia drew attention to the deportation of the Rustemi family. Although the young father was involved in a training program and learning German, the entire family, including two small children, was deported to Kosovo.

Another brutal deportation, from North Rhine-Westphalia, was reported shortly before Christmas. Family B. with four children was awakened on December 13 at 5 in the morning and deported from Dusseldorf Airport to Pristina. Only the eldest son (17), who was not at home, was spared deportation. In January, a committee of the North Rhine-Westphalia parliament was formed to decide on the status of the family.

The parents had grown up in Germany but had been denied a residency permit and had to leave for Kosovo at the turn of the millennium, where they experienced the pogroms carried out against Roma in the country. They returned to Germany and, after a year-long odyssey, arrived in Münsterland, where the five children attended school.

Today, the children speak only German and some Romanesque, but not Albanian. Since Kosovo is considered a “safe country of origin” the remaining six family members were expelled to a Roma neighbourhood in the city of Gjakova, where there is no accommodation, work or social benefits.

Refugees can achieve so much if they’re not caged in isolated camps”: here.

German government cosies up to Turkish regime

This video says about itself:

Turkey: A Prison for Journalists

12 December 2016

In 2016, Turkey became the world’s leading jailer of journalists, imprisoning at least 81 reporters, editors, and producers– a record number. Watch CPJ’s short documentary to find out more about what led to this turn for the worse in Turkey, and read CPJ’s 2016 Prison Census and more at

After the German government denied the Armenian genocide for NATO military reasons … now this.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Turkey and Germany: we have to become friends again

The Foreign Ministers of Germany and Turkey want to do everything they can to tighten the ties. They said that when the Turkish minister Cavusoglu visited Germany.

Cavusoglu stated that he wants to build bridges with Germany, Turkey’s largest trading partner and an important ally in NATO. “Problems and disagreement” must be resolved through collaboration and discussions, he said. [German Minister] Gabriel agreed.


The relationship has been chilled in recent years by a series of collisions. For example, Germany was critical of the mass arrests and dismissals by the Turkish authorities after the failed coup in 2016 and the detention of a German human rights activist and a German journalist. …

At the end of last month, President Erdogan announced that he wants to restore the relationship with European countries, including the Netherlands. Erdogan said he had received “satisfactory signals”, also from Prime Minister Rutte.

The Turkish president visited the French President Macron yesterday in Paris to bolster his attempts at rapprochement.

German foreign wars, with extreme right support

This video says about itself:

6 September 2008

A dead staff sergeant, civilian casualties, injured troops .. the Bundeswehr has seen mounting violence in Afghanistan in recent weeks. Amid fresh debate about the German mission, Left party politicians have renewed calls for a withdrawal of German troops – calls which have been rejected by the governing coalition partners, the CDU and the SPD.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

German parliament extends foreign military missions with support of the far-right AfD

16 December 2017

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Bundestag (German parliament) agreed to extend a total of seven foreign missions of the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces). Despite the ongoing government crisis, all parties are driving forward the militarization of foreign policy.

With a large majority and yes-votes from the ranks of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), Social Democratic Party (SPD), Free Democratic Party (FDP), Greens and Alternative for Germany (AfD), military missions that would have expired in the coming weeks have been extended by three months initially. These concern:

“Sea Guardian”: The NATO mission in the Mediterranean, in which the Bundeswehr is participating with warships and a current maximum of 650 soldiers, officially serves “the fight against people smuggling” (Defence Ministry). In fact, it is about sealing off fortress Europe against refugees from the war zones in the Middle East and Africa as well as the preparation of new neo-colonial forays.

In the Bundestag debate, SPD deputy Karl-Heinz Brunner bluntly declared the entire region was part of the German sphere of influence: “Africa is on our doorstep, a few nautical miles from Europe. Stability and perspectives for the states of North Africa—if they have any perspectives at all—and the countries in the Middle East are already in our very own interest. Failed states in the immediate vicinity of the EU would also pose threats to us. Otherwise the whole thing could blow up in our faces.”

“Counter Daesh”: In the war effort in Syria and Iraq, the Bundeswehr is involved with up to 1,200 soldiers. The mission includes reconnaissance flights by German Tornado fighters and air refuelling using A310 aircraft from Muwaffaq Salti Air Base in Jordan. In addition, the Bundeswehr crews the NATO AWACS reconnaissance aircraft based in Konya in Turkey.

The continuation of the mission, even after the official defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), underlines the fact that Berlin, from the beginning, was not concerned with the supposed “fight against terrorism.” Germany also wants to be present in Syria and Iraq when it comes to dividing up the spoils of war. The thousands of civilian deaths are part of the strategy. “I believe that in a war zone, the distinction between military and civilian victims is difficult and that it is probably unavoidable that there are consequences of military operations affecting the innocent and non-combatants”, said the foreign policy spokesman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Jürgen Hardt.

The mandate to arm and train the Kurdish Peshmerga in northern Iraq was also extended for a maximum of 150 Bundeswehr soldiers. In the debate, Johann David Wadephul, a CDU member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, praised the mission as a “paradigm shift for German foreign and security policy” and as “epochal.” He meant thereby the German claim to replace the USA as a “great power for order.”

The intervention in Iraq had “shown that we have responded to a withdrawal of the United States.” It will happen “more often in the future that we are posed with the question: how do we act as Europeans? How do we act as Germans?” One cannot take a “narrow view and say: The Bundeswehr is responsible for defending the national borders, the territorial integrity of Germany and Europe. Of course it is responsible for this. But to use an old word from Peter Struck [SPD defence minister under Gerhard Schröder], we must defend our freedom, our independence, in other regions of the world.”

“Resolute Support”: With the votes of the CDU, CSU, SPD, FDP and Greens, the deployment of currently 980 Bundeswehr soldiers in Afghanistan has been extended. In the debate, Thorsten Frei (CDU) argued for an increase in the occupation forces despite the overwhelming rejection of this in the population. He considered, “the decision of the American president to send 4,000 additional soldiers to Afghanistan” to be “correct.” Those who criticized Trump for his statement, “We are only killing terrorists”, and continued to push for “nation-building” should not say, “We cannot send four-digit numbers of German soldiers to Afghanistan.”

In reality, the Bundeswehr has never pursued “nation-building” in Afghanistan, but propagates murder and manslaughter. From 2001 to 2014, German troops have been involved in a brutal combat mission as part of ISAF. The terrible climax of this was the “Kunduz Massacre”. In this air raid on two tankers on September 4, 2009, ordered by Colonel Georg Klein, the then Bundeswehr commander of Kunduz, up to 142 people were killed or injured, including many women and children, according to official NATO statements.

In the extension of the missions in Africa it became clear how closely all parties are cooperating with the AfD on the return of German militarism. In addition to “Sea Guardian,” the UNAMID and UNMIS missions in Sudan and South Sudan were also extended with the support of the right-wing extremists. …

Above all, the debate on the extension of the Bundeswehr mission in Mali revealed the objective logic flowing from the involvement of the AfD. Under conditions of growing tensions between the imperialist powers, German imperialism is acting with increasing aggression and nationalism in order to assert its interests.

AfD politician, and former staff sergeant in the armoured division, Jens Kestner complained, “French interests in Mali, in the West of Africa” were being followed “with precipitate obedience”, where “German interests are clearly in the foreground.” Mali was “three times the size of Germany” and could “not be pacified, stabilized, let alone secured with a mandate cap of 1,000 soldiers and currently 968 comrades in action.”

Representatives of other factions stressed that in the future, the military would also have to play a greater role in the Bundestag.

CDU defence spokesman Roderich Kiesewetter said that from his point of view it was not enough to say “that we hold the annual debates on military mandates—about 16, twice a year hold a budget debate and a debate on the report of the Bundeswehr Commissioner.” He said this “also as a retired colonel”, but “not to thank my old profession, but vice versa: I think our soldiers expect more from us, namely, an evaluation of the missions, an accounting for the missions and a regular debate in the Bundestag about our international commitments.”

In her speech, Siemtje Möller from the SPD saluted Colonel Oliver Walter, who “today is a guest in the visitors’ gallery as a representative of the wardens regiment” (of the German Luftwaffe).

… the Left Party was the only faction not to agree to any military missions.