Germany’s week of right-wing riots highlights fears of racism becoming more mainstream

By | September 2, 2018

Quartz reports:

On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. A few days later, World War II began. Last night (Sept. 1), the 79th anniversary of that invasion, thousands of neo-Nazis, far-right politicians, and locals took to the streets of Chemnitz, a town in the eastern German state of Saxony, spewing hatred against foreigners and demanding “Germany for Germans.”

The significance of the riots happening on such a dark anniversary was not lost on many observers. Foreign minister Heiko Mass tweeted: “The Second World War started 79 years ago. Germany caused unimaginable suffering in Europe. If once again people are parading today in the streets making Nazi salutes, our past history forces us to resolutely defend democracy.”

Thousands of counter protestors also turned up, carrying signs saying, “Heart instead of hate.”

Saturday night’s march capped a week of violent, right-wing protests in Chemnitz, which erupted after the fatal stabbing of a German man by a Syrian and an Iraqi early on August 26. The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which entered parliament for the first time in the September 2017 elections, organized Saturday’s march “to mourn Daniel H. [the stabbing victim] and the others killed by Germany’s forced multiculturalisation.” The AfD stood shoulder-to-shoulder with members of PEGIDA, an anti-Islam movement that has been around since 2015. [Continue reading…]

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