Germany

Why the demise of Merkel?

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Socialist Review spoke to socialist activist Martin Haller in Germany about the crisis facing the “stronghold of stability in Europe”.

After the disastrous results for the CDU in the Bavaria and Hesse state elections in October, Angela Merkel announced she would be standing down as CDU leader. The mainstream explanation for her demise is that it’s because she let in refugees. How do you explain it?

German anti-racists stand up to the rise of the far-right

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Socialist Review spoke to left wing German MP Christine Buchholz about growing campaigns aimed at stopping the rise of the far-right

In terms of the situation in Chemnitz, it’s not just the AfD but other forces as well that have been involved on the far-right. What is the relationship between the AfD, the streets forces and the mainstream in terms of the growth there and what happened?

Fighting racism in Germany

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Left wing German group Marx21 interviewed Nora Berneis, spokeperson for Stand Up against Racism, about the campaign which is taking on the country’s far-right party Alternative for Germany.

Is it possible to describe Alternative for Germany (AfD) as a fascist party?
I wouldn’t say that the AfD as a whole is a fascist party. However, it is possible to say, the AfD is the party of the fascists. Not because everybody in the AfD is a fascist but because for neo-fascists the AfD is the way to infiltrate state institutions, to build racist protest movements and to gain allies for this strategy.

In the Fade

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Set in contemporary Germany and Greece, In the Fade, the latest film from Hamburg-born filmmaker Fatih Akin, is a chilling exploration of European neo-Nazism as seen through one woman’s insufferable bereavement.

Katja Sekerci (Diane Kruger), who is white and German, marries her Kurdish-German husband Nuri (Numan Acar) while he is in prison for drug dealing. Following his release, Nuri becomes a model of rehabilitation, setting up his own small business in Hamburg providing translation and travel services to the Turkish and Kurdish communities.

Germany’s grand coalition boosts right

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The Nazi-led Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) is poised to become Germany’s main opposition party thanks to the political bankruptcy of leaders of the country’s Social Democratic Party (SPD).

The SPD reached a deal with Conservative CDU leader Angela Merkel last week, reviving the “grand coalition” of the previous four years, which was a prime reason for the far-right’s rise.

German Nazi fear

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There have been protests by anti-racists against the election result in Germany last month. Far right Alternative for Germany (AfD) received 12.6 percent of the vote.

This gave them 94 MPs in the German pariliament. Although one, a former leader, immediately left the party and became an independent.

The MPs include Beatrix Von Storch who found infamy when she supported shooting refugees who approached the border. When defending her comments she said, “The use of firearms against children is not permitted,” but “women are a different matter.”

Change without struggle

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Michael Lavalette’s article on universal basic income (October SR) is welcome and I share his basic assumptions. I would like to add some points.

A debate about UBI has been raging in Germany for a while. The Left Party (Die Linke) is split on the question with the trade union wing inside The Left being against UBI for similar reasons to those Michael mentions.

Germany stands up to racism

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The success of the far right anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) in regional elections in March sent shockwaves across Germany, as we reported last month.

Socialists and anti-racists organised an emergency national conference in Frankfurt-am-Main on 23-24 April to discuss their response to the growth of the right. It was a real success, with around 600 activists attending from across Germany. The conference was organised by members of Die Linke (the Left Party) and other forces on the left.

Germany after Cologne

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The refugee crisis continues, and so does our rulers' racist offensive. Christine Buchholz explains the situation in Germany since the Cologne attacks.

The sexual assaults that took place in Cologne at New Year were terrible. They sent a shockwave across society. We still don’t have definite details of the backgrounds of the perpetrators, but it is clear that many of the men who were arrested or identified had Moroccan, Algerian or other backgrounds — although some of them have lived in Germany for many years.

Letter from Germany

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Christine Buchholz, socialist MP and member of die Linke, reports on the refugee "crisis" in Germany.

As new refugees have reached Germany over the past few weeks there has been a very positive response from many ordinary people. The government did not provide the support refugees needed, so people mobilised to fill the gap.

Members of die Linke have been part of this — greeting refugees, supporting the initiatives in different cities to give them a proper welcome, decent housing and a supply of food.

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