Racist assaults, Hitler's greetings and open Nazi slogans: The pictures and reports from Chemnitz entice you to mention last phase of Weimar Republic. But why and what comparisons can be drawn at time just before Nazis came to power? The historian Michael Wildt writes about this.
Are we in year 1932? No, differences are clearly recognizable: Höcke is not Hitler, AfD is not NSDAP, and re is no uniformed sa who systematically pursues terror against left and Jews. Every equation is prohibitive. History is not transferable to present.Michael Wildt is a professor of German history in 20th century with a focus on National Socialism at Humboldt University in Berlin. © Cordia Schlegel milk
And yet end of Weimar Republic and Nazi conquest of power are historical experiences that are naturally addressed when we look at events in Chemnitz. It is not by chance that numerous opinions refer repeatedly to years 1932/33. Although re is no doubt that political alarmism is at stake in a number of statements in order to give an appropriate drama to outrage with Germany's ultimate accusation of National Socialism, comparison is legitimate and useful, because with difference to The past, view of present becomes sharper. Five aspects should be examined in more detail below.1. Modern structures of violence are developing
Let's start with most obvious: a centrally run, uniformed force militia like SA with several hundred thousand members and local units everywhere in Germany does not exist today. But we would be wrong with historical comparison if we only looked at years 1932/33, when SA was at zenith of its strength, and not on its creation in mid-1920s. At that time anticommunist and anti-Semitic violence formed core of ir existence, but ir form was still in becoming. Structures of an organization are not fixed, but are developing. The fact that right-wing extremist groups today use social media to mobilize thousands of followers to a violent flashmob within a short time and thus extend ir reach beyond well-known Nazi racket groups, worries general attorney Right. Here, beyond brown shirts and marching columns, modern structures of violence are developing, which must be persecuted and banned before y can solidify and expand.2. The police can fight right-hand violence
Contrary to popular belief, state and police in Weimar Republic were not idle against NSDAP and SA. On contrary, Prussian Ministry of Interior, under Carl severing, who vigorously procured Republikanisierung of police after empire, has exhausted state funds to counter strong National Socialism. In May 1927, for example, Berlin police president banned after a critical interviewer had been beaten up at a NS meeting, NSDAP and SA in Berlin and Brandenburg, both of which clearly weakened. It was not until Reichstag elections 1928 that y were admitted again. It was right-handed Catholic chancellor Franz von Papen, who in June 1932 picked up an existing ban on empire and thus allowed terror to run free. The state and police can effectively fight right-hand violence if y wish. The example of Weimar also shows how important it is to ensure rule of law in police and judiciary. Opponents of constitution cannot be a constitutional protector.3. Parties not distancing mselves from violence
The AfD is not a NSDAP, but it is also not a normal parliamentary party of right. The opinions of leading AfD politicians in Chemnitz show that y were unwilling to clearly distinguish mselves from racist violence, rar bagatellisierten and even apologise. Even if Hitler publicly committed NSDAP to a legality course after 1925, violence for Nazis was always a means of politics. With speeches, brochures, posters, hatred was stoked against Jews and Marxists, violence was justified as "self-defense". Here Weimar holds a political litmus test: a party that does not dissociate itself clearly from anti-democratic violence is not a Democratic party.Updated Date: 09 September 2018, 12:00