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– Twenty-First Century Crusades?
Growth and increased political power in the Neo-Nazi movement.
Terrifying rise of the Fourth Reich:
Fears Germany is losing its battle with neo-Nazi menace
Mirror News - UK
Seven decades after the downfall of the Third Reich, Germans seem blind
to the horrors
For restaurant owner Uwe Dziuballa, every year from early March the
phone calls come with chilling regularity – callers try to book a table
for Adolf Hitler for April 18 – the Fuhrer’s birthday.
Since Uwe opened his Kosher restaurant in the eastern German city of
Chemnitz in 2000, he has endured hatred and abuse – from pigs’ heads
nailed to his door, to “You Jew pig” screamed down the phone and people
urinating through the letterbox.
Uwe’s plight is just a ripple in a rising tide of neo-Nazi hatred in
Europe’s most powerful nation.
Seven decades after the downfall of the Third Reich and over 20 years
since reunification, Germans seem blind to the dangers.
“After an estimated 180 racist killings in Germany since unification in
1990, after countless assaults, cases of intimidation... the conclusion
has to be that Germany is losing the battle against the violent far
right,” said authoritative news magazine Der Spiegel this week.
This week German commentators have been reflecting on the rise and rise
of those who dream of a Fourth Reich – because this week marked a
It is 20 years since right-wing thugs hurled petrol bombs and bricks at
an asylum-seekers’ refuge in the Baltic port of Rostock.
While dozens of extremists were responsible, police and firemen had to
retreat in the face of a thousands-strong mob of ordinary people who
cheered them on.
Two decades on, some Germans are taking stock of the neo-Nazi menace and
can draw little comfort from what they see.
A year ago, the nation was sickened by the crimes of the National
Socialist Underground murder squad which assassinated nine immigrant
businessmen and a policewoman in a 13-year terror campaign.
“They are disgrace to our country,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel at the
But the uproar has faded into large-scale indifference and the fertile
ground of the former East Germany continues to churn out extremists.
Individuals and authorities try to fight back. Kindergarten teachers are
vetted in Mecklenburg Vorpommern – Merkel’s home turf – because the far
right indoctrinates children as young as five.
Hoteliers in Brandenburg were last month issued with a new guidebook
telling them how to recognise and stop Nazis from staying in their
They are warned to be suspicious of people who wear the British clothing
Neo-Nazis love it because the NSDA within the brand name are the
initials of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – the
They wave the battle flags of the Kaiser, because all symbols of Nazism
are banned. To give the Hitler salute in public is to risk six months in
Yet the racists march on.
There are links to Hitler’s Nazis. Gudrun Burwitz, 82, whose father was
SS overlord Heinrich Himmler, has become “godmother” to many female
From her home in a leafy suburb of Munich, she is also the leading
figure in Stille Hilfe – Silent Help – a support group for Nazi war
criminals at large
Anti-racism activist Timo Reinfrank said that the far-right frequently
manages to establish “nationally liberated zones” in east and rural west
“People who don’t fit into the Aryan-German world view can’t go there –
punks, leftists, skaters, immigrants, gays and lesbians,” Reinfrank
At the same time, far-right parties have successfully made inroads into
Such a place is Jamal, north-east of Berlin where every home bar one is
owned by a neo-Nazi.
They hold pagan festivals around bonfires and cluster round a signpost
that tells you how far away Braunau am Inn is – Hitler’s Austrian
Germany has tried several times to ban the biggest legal far-right
party, the NPD, but as long as the country remains two societies – the
richer west and the far poorer east – the ultra-right will continue to
prey on the disadvantaged and malcontented.
And now, disturbingly, it is not only in the east.
Just a week ago, 900 armed police stormed 150 neo-Nazi premises in North
Rhine-Westphalia – the largest swoop ever in western Germany.
It came as the state’s interior minister Ralf Jaeger banned three
Hitler-worshipping groups. Two members of one were stopped en-route to
Berlin in 2010 with bombs containing glass shards.
This is the fear of the ruling elite – armed Nazis, comfortable with
violence and not afraid to use it.