The extreme right and the turn toward militarism in Germany
6 December 2017
Last week’s party congress of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the xenophobic, anti-immigrant party of the extreme right, marked a new stage in the legitimization of fascistic politics in Germany. Seven decades after the fall of Hitler’s dictatorship, the German media treated the congress of fascists as a major and legitimate political event, while German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier made a show of inviting two AfD leaders to his official residence for coalition talks.
Even though the right-wing extremist and Volkish nationalist wing under Björn Höcke dominated the congress, the establishment media and politicians criticised the AfD not for its extreme militarism and xenophobia, but for its lack of unity.
As the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung complained on Monday, the AfD displayed “an embarrassing chaos.” And this after its parliamentary group had presented itself as “united and politically capable.” The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung expressed a similar view, complaining that “not only the moderates, but also the radicals were merely observers of a leaderless party.” The news channel Phoenix even broadcast the congress live on television and commented on the disputes between the various party factions as if it were a sports match.
The AfD congress must be taken with the utmost political seriousness. The AfD is a vehicle for far-right forces that advocate the filth long considered to have been left behind in Germany: racism, Volkish nationalism and militarism. Alexander Gauland was elected as the party’s new co-leader, a man who praised “the achievements of German soldiers in two world wars” during the federal election campaign and demanded that the federal…