Germany

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.

The dark heart of West Germany

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Günter Grass, novelist, poet and human rights campaigner, died in April aged 87. He was called the conscience of Germany, or more accurately West Germany. But at the heart of both the writer and the state lay a dark secret that has haunted his reputation. He was born in 1927 in the “free” city of Danzig, a port between Germany and Poland, today Gdansk in Poland. Its free-ness was a state given after the First World War as a price paid by Germany for its defeat.

Stopping the German far right

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As new racist organisations target Muslims and immigrants, socialist MP Christine Buchholz outlines the tasks and the challenges for the anti-fascist and anti-racist movement in Germany

The far-right in Germany is undergoing a process of regroupment, both in parliament and on the streets. To the right of the ruling conservative party, the CDU, is the Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, AfD). This is the German version of Ukip. The AfD has won more than 12 percent of the votes in some states following a racist election campaign which targeted Muslims. The party also gained a number of MEPs in the Euro elections.

Lenin, Luxemburg and the War

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Lenin's critical response to Rosa Luxemburg's Junius pamphlet

Rosa Luxemburg's First World War Junius pamphlet, written in prison and so vividly described by Sally Campbell in February's Socialist Review, was arguably the greatest anti-war statement of the last century.

Its haunting theme, socialism or barbarism, prophetically cast its shadow over the 20th century and continues to do so now.

Why read The Junius Pamphlet

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Right up until July 1914 anti-war activity was rife across Europe, led by the socialist parties of the Second International. In the face of growing nationalism Rosa Luxemburg and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) organised mass rallies and the SPD headquarters put out statements confirming their stance against war: "The class conscious proletariat of Germany, in the name of humanity and civilisation, raises a flaming protest against this criminal activity of the warmongers."

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