After Chemnitz: Germany’s Extreme Right Exploits Government Passivity and Public Resentment to Enter the Mainstream

While the AfD party emerges as a leading voice of political opposition, the government downplays its danger and even co-opts its xenophobic messaging.

By Denijal Jegić

German police rounded up a right-wing terror network this October 1, arresting its members ahead of an attack allegedly aimed at subverting the country. Called “Revolution Chemnitz,” the group “intended to launch violent and armed attacks against foreigners and people who have different political views,” a federal prosecutor told local media. The arrests drew attention once again to the district of Saxony, a base of the far-right Alternative for German (AfD) party where extremists staged a series of anti-migrant riots last month in the city of Chemnitz.

“We are the Nazis, you are the pigs!” a protester screamed during the extreme right demonstration in Chemnitz. Another proudly threw up a sieg heil salute during a live news broadcast. Thousands of far-right Germans and neo-Nazis mingled in riots in Chemnitz, in the East German state of Saxony. The gatherings were initially justified by the organizers, among them the AfD, as a supposedly commemorative response to the killing of a Cuban-German.

Daniel H. had been stabbed to death on August 26, 2018, allegedly by refugees of Arab ancestry. His killing inspired an especially ironic display of outrage: Having been confronted with racism as a person of color in Chemnitz, which is known to be a center of far-right activity, the very people who had called Daniel the n-word eventually seized on his death to engage in even more racism.

Far-right manifestations have become routine in Germany, and its influence has penetrated the mainstream political discourse, particularly since the AfD made it into the federal parliament following its historic success in the 2017 elections. The German government’s admission of refugees from the Middle East since 2015 has generally magnified racist tendencies among some of the country’s population. The former German Democratic Republic in the country’s east has been especially affected by an increase in xenophobic incidents.

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Denijal Jegic is a postdoctoral scholar. He holds a PhD from the Institute for Transnational American Studies. Follow him on Twitter at @denijeg

Exposing the Shocking and Continuing Alliance Between Zionism and Anti-Semitism

An in-depth discussion with renowned Palestinian scholar Joseph Massad details the alliance between Zionism and anti-Semitism.

By Max Blumenthal / AlterNet

At its annual gala this November, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) feted Sebastian Gorka alongside fellow Trump White House alumni Steven Bannon and Sean Spicer. The ZOA’s president, Morton Klein, has established a special relationship with the Trump administration, going out of his way to defend Gorka against accusations of Nazi sympathies.

On the eve of Trump’s election, Gorka appeared in nationally televised interviews clad in a black uniform bearing the medal of the Vitezi Rend, a Hungarian fascist group that collaborated with the Nazis during the Holocaust. Speaking at a conference organized by the right-wing Israeli newspaper the Jerusalem Post in May, Gorka defended his wearing the medal, proclaiming, “My father was awarded a medal in 1979 by anti-communist members of a splinter order outside Hungary … I am proud to wear that, as a response to everything that we face today.”

Vitzezi Rend has appeared on a US State Department list of “organizations under the direction of the Nazi government of Germany,” and its late founder, Miklos Horthy, reportedly declared, “I have always been an anti-Semite throughout my life.” During the anti-communist White Terror that took place between 1919 and 1921 in Hungary, Horthy presided over some 60 pogroms, and attacks on Jews continued through the 1920’s. When Nazi Germany occupied Hungary in 1944, Horthy participated in the deportation of 437,000 Jews to concentration camps.

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Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, The Fifty One Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, and The Management of Savagery, which will be published later this year by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie and the forthcoming Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.