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Posted: 9/20/2004 9:17:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 9:18:22 AM EST by vito113]
And so it starts; Germany has started electing Neo Nazis to power again. I see this as the beginning of the end of the great "European Union' experiment… Neo Nazi's on the rise in Germany, France… time to bail out of Europe! It['s all going to end in tears… thank God for the English Channel!

Schroeder unfazed by weak polls


Schroeder has suffered a series of election setbacks

Germany's Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder says he remains optimistic despite gains for the far right and ex-communists in former East Germany.

Both Mr Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD) and the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) lost votes in the Saxony and Brandenburg local elections.

The Saxony result was the SPD's worst ever in a state election - just 9.8% - but it remains in power in Brandenburg.

Mr Schroeder said he was "optimistic" and the result "will give us impetus".

The far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) - which the government has tried to ban - surged to 9% in Saxony, well above the 5% needed to enter parliament there.

In neighbouring Brandenburg, the far-right German People's Union (DVU) polled about 6%.

Ailing economy

Sunday's results reflect anger at welfare cuts and disillusionment with persistently low living standards, says the BBC's Ray Furlong in Berlin.

Analysis: Eastern discontent

Extremist vote worries press

The ex-communists of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) scored 27.8% in Brandenburg - their best ever election result - but the mainstream parties still won in both states.

Voters in eastern Germany appear to have expressed their concern at high unemployment, which they blame on the SPD.

Our correspondent says the results are being seen widely as a no-confidence vote in Mr Schroeder, who brought in the welfare cuts with the blessing of the CDU.

Fifteen years after reunification, east Germans still receive lower wages, benefits and pensions than compatriots in the west of the country, and almost one in five is out of work.

The SPD scored around 32% in Brandenburg, while the CDU won 41% of the total vote in Saxony.

Mr Schroeder said he saw the results as a positive signal for key local council elections in North-Rhine Westphalia on Sunday - Germany's most populous state.

The NPD's 9% in Saxony means that the party has gained seats in a German state assembly for the first time since 1968.

"It's a great day for Germans who still want to be Germans," said Holger Apfel, the NPD's leading candidate in Saxony.

Germany's government has described the NPD as a latter-day version of Hitler's Nazi Party and tried to ban it last year - a move rejected by the constitutional court.


news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3674142.stm
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 9:29:16 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 9:30:02 AM EST by motown_steve]

Originally Posted By vito113:

Sunday's results reflect anger at welfare cuts and disillusionment with persistently low living standards, says the BBC's Ray Furlong in Berlin...

Voters in eastern Germany appear to have expressed their concern at high unemployment, which they blame on the SPD...

"It's a great day for Germans who still want to be Germans," said Holger Apfel, the NPD's leading candidate in Saxony.



Frighteningly accurate assessment Andy!
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 9:39:56 AM EST
<<< YAWN >>>
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 9:42:52 AM EST
Are these guys really "Sieg Heil let's kill all the Jews" Nazis, or is this just a label being tossed onto any right wing group in Europe?

'cause I mean, parts of the "left wing" here in the US would get called "right wing" in Europe.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 9:43:02 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 9:45:56 AM EST by Lightning_P38]
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 9:45:46 AM EST

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
Have the French began making white flags in earnest?



And are we going to bail their asses out again or should we politely (or not) decline going to war on their behalf.....?
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 9:46:03 AM EST

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
Have the French began making white flags in earnest?



YOU OWE ME A NEW KEYBOARD!

Link Posted: 9/20/2004 9:46:57 AM EST
If we go to war with them again, I will probably be fighting them.

They better get their shit squared away, because they fucked up twice.

Third time is the charm.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 9:47:17 AM EST
Well Andy, it looks like it's time to seriously explore a purely Anglo-American-Australian alliance on it's own. When it comes down to it, we can always count on each other, but few others. I hate to have to leave Canada out, but except for the hockey players and a few others up there, they've gotten a little too wimpy in recent years.

Link Posted: 9/20/2004 9:48:36 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 9:51:57 AM EST
Good info Andy... I wonder if the former E. Germans would 'step' into line with the far right?
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 9:53:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By Spade:
Are these guys really "Sieg Heil let's kill all the Jews" Nazis, or is this just a label being tossed onto any right wing group in Europe?

'cause I mean, parts of the "left wing" here in the US would get called "right wing" in Europe.



VERY Seig Heil Nazis…



Picture of NPD rally… see what I mean?

Andy
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 9:53:56 AM EST
Fucking bullshit. Something sick going on in our culture when 'Far Right Wing' routinely gets tied to 'Nazi'.
Nothing in that article relates any proofs of this group being 'Nazi'.

On top of it all - the PLATFORM of this group includes:


The [National Democratic Party], which last entered a German state parliament in 1968, campaigned on a "German money for German interests" platform which included vigorous opposition to European Union enlargement, foreign immigration, and government plans to cut benefits for the long-term unemployed


Germany is in deep financial shit. Their own Finance Minister says 'we're bankrupt if we don't cut back on social spending, pensions, welfare.' They have a huge immigration problem, Islamists on the dole like ALL the other European countries. This Party is a response to those situations, NOT another Beer Hall putsch.

Worse, and more ironic, it is usually the little sniveling Socialist bastards on the LLLeft in this country that go around spouting 'Nazi!' - completely ignoring that Nazis were the National <i>Socialist</i> Party.
Fascists exist at both extremes of the political spectrum (the spectrum is really circular). But screeching 'Nazi!' every time some child's unrestrained Id runs up against reality is getting ridiculous.

I question the article author's characterization of the NDP. I question anyone that blindly forwards this article with the label 'Nazis on the rise'.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 9:56:01 AM EST

Originally Posted By RustyTX:
Good info Andy... I wonder if the former E. Germans would 'step' into line with the far right?



That's the worrying thing… Neo Nazism is rife in the East… even the German Government is now getting very worried at the spread of it from the East to the West.

ANdy
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 9:56:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By Spade:
Are these guys really "Sieg Heil let's kill all the Jews" Nazis, or is this just a label being tossed onto any right wing group in Europe?

'cause I mean, parts of the "left wing" here in the US would get called "right wing" in Europe.



+1
Anyone in European politics who thinks taxes ahould be less than75% and Muslims shouldn't be subsidized to live in their countries is branded as a "neo-Nazi". Western Europe doesn't have enough balls to even maintain their existing armed forces, let alone run another Blitzkreig.

Total yawn.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 10:02:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 10:15:39 AM EST by vito113]

Originally Posted By rayra:
Fucking bullshit. Something sick going on in our culture when 'Far Right Wing' routinely gets tied to 'Nazi'.
Nothing in that article relates any proofs of this group being 'Nazi'.

On top of it all - the PLATFORM of this group includes:


The [National Democratic Party], which last entered a German state parliament in 1968, campaigned on a "German money for German interests" platform which included vigorous opposition to European Union enlargement, foreign immigration, and government plans to cut benefits for the long-term unemployed


Germany is in deep financial shit. Their own Finance Minister says 'we're bankrupt if we don't cut back on social spending, pensions, welfare.' They have a huge immigration problem, Islamists on the dole like ALL the other European countries. This Party is a response to those situations, NOT another Beer Hall putsch.

Worse, and more ironic, it is usually the little sniveling Socialist bastards on the LLLeft in this country that go around spouting 'Nazi!' - completely ignoring that Nazis were the National <i>Socialist</i> Party.
Fascists exist at both extremes of the political spectrum (the spectrum is really circular). But screeching 'Nazi!' every time some child's unrestrained Id runs up against reality is getting ridiculous.

I question the article author's characterization of the NDP. I question anyone that blindly forwards this article with the label 'Nazis on the rise'.



WTF? If the Germans regard the NDP as a 'Nazi' Party I agree with them… after all they ARE the experts on Naziism… they fucking invented it!

"PROTECTING DEMOCRACY:
GERMANY WANTS TO BAN FAR-RIGHT PARTY

An AICGS At Issue Report
by Klaudia Prevezanos
AICGS Journalist in Residence

The current situation
The German government led by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has stepped up its efforts to ban the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) party. In order to accomplish this, the cabinet of Chancellor Schröder and the Bundesrat, where all sixteen states are represented by their premiers, must approve a request to Germany's Federal Constitutional Court (FCC), the supreme guardian of the constitution, by the end of this year. The lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, will decide by the end of November or early December whether it will bring its own request to the Federal Constitutional Court, where the highest judges of the country will decide if the NPD is unconstitutional. It is the sixth time in the history of post-war Germany that the Court has been asked to decide whether a political party can be banned because of its actions and policies. Only two requests of five have been successful so far: In 1953 the Socialist Reich Party (SRP), an extreme right-wing party following the former Nazi Party NSDAP, was prohibited for being unconstitutional. In 1956, the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) was banned because of its manifesto that stated its goal of building a dictatorship of the proletariat in Germany.


The actions of the Bundesrat and of the red-green government have set in motion a constitutional process that could take two years. In the next few months, there will be a preliminary investigation of the case by the Court, at which the representatives of the NPD will be heard and will have the chance to defend the party and themselves. After this preliminary investigation, the judges will decide whether the case should be heard or not. Until the final decision is made, the NPD is free to operate as usual and its followers shall not be hampered since the party is still legally permissible under the "privilege of parties."


Rising racism in Germany
Since reunification, the number of racially motivated attacks in Germany have risen. More than 100 people have been murdered in xenophobic attacks in the last ten years. For 1999 the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany's internal security service (the Bundesverfassungsschutz or BVS), recorded 746 right-wing attacks-a 5.4 percent increase from 1998. The main area for far-right violence is, according to the BVS, eastern Germany. Although only 20 percent of the German population lives here, more than half of the approximately 9,000 violent far-right extremists in Germany are active in the eastern states of the country. The security service recorded 519 violent attacks from January to August 2000-240 of them in eastern Germany. This year, three immigrants have died following neo-Nazi attacks. The National Democratic Party (NPD) that is to be banned has been blamed for stoking a renewed wave of violence against Jews and immigrants, writes CNN.com. Some of the incidents have been linked to members of the NPD. Security officials say that the party, though electorally insignificant--it has no seats in parliament but holds some seats in local councils, including the city parliament of Frankfurt-is a magnet for violent neo-Nazis and has helped to create a climate for the surge of almost daily far-right attacks on foreigners and other minorities. The NPD, which has 6,000 official members, prompted international outrage last January when it organized a march by 500 neo-Nazis at the site of Germany's planned Holocaust memorial and through Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.


Germany's security service (BVS) describes the NPD as a party that wants to end immigration and actively seeks to undermine the country's democratic and legal foundations. The NPD's ideas display close affinity with Nazi ideology and can be characterized by an aggressive hatred of foreigners, according to the service's 1999 national security report. The document further states that the NPD is anti-Semitic-playing down Nazi crimes and denying that the Holocaust ever happened. According to the report of the BVS, the party's main aim is to abolish Germany's democratic institutions and to replace them with a new political system.


The NPD, founded in 1964, has 6,000 members. It is not the only far-right political party in Germany, but the most active one among three. The largest party is the German People's Party (Deutsche Volksunion or DVU) with 17,000 members. It only becomes politically active before elections. The Republican Party (Die Republikaner) has 14,000 members and is also under observation by the security service BVS.



The legal basis for the ban
In the case that a political party like the NPD is deemed unconstitutional and dangerous for democracy, only the Federal Government, (consisting of the upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, and the lower house of the parliament, the Bundestag) is allowed to submit a request to the Federal Constitutional Court located in the western city of Karlsruhe. The legal basis for the ban can be found in the Federal Constitution written in the Basic Law. It states that political parties are important elements of the constitutional structure, as they participate in forming the political will of the people. They may be freely established and may freely pursue their activities. However, in order to preserve and protect the democratic order, Article 21, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law makes provisions for the suppression of the activities of parties hostile to the constitution-parties that, by reason of their aims and the behavior of their followers, seek to impair or abolish the free democratic basic order or to endanger the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany, are unconstitutional. They can be banned by the Federal Constitutional Court. The free play of political forces in a democracy can thus be restricted in cases where opponents of the democracy seek to eliminate it by democratic means.


The reason behind Article 21, Paragraph 2
The reason for this part of the Basic Law is a historical one. After the experiences and horrible consequences of the Nazi regime, it was agreed that a similar seizure of power by a radical group should never be allowed to happen again. Interior Minister Otto Schily, who is leading the push to outlaw the party by the Government, said that banning the NPD would be comparable to acting against Hitler's embryonic Nazi movement in 1923, a decade before it came to power. The example of the prohibition of the German Communist Party (KPD) in 1956 also shows that the Basic Law is designed to protect German democracy from any extremist parties, regardless of where they stand on the political spectrum. In the United States, laws banning political parties do not exist, due to very different historical legacies.


The pros and cons of banning the NPD
In brief, the arguments for the right to outlaw a political party are the following. Through the ban, Germany will be able to legally protect its democracy and constitution from parties that want to destroy or damage these. However, for the process and final ban of a political party the judicial hurdles are very high. Germany must also protect its people from such radical parties. Furthermore, the existence of parties such as the NPD can damage Germany's reputation abroad. By taking steps to ban radical parties, the German government is showing other countries that they are taking the problem seriously. As Edmund Stoiber, Premier of the State of Bavaria, stated: "Germany's credibility is questioned." Interior Minister Otto Schily invoked the past to justify the ban: "In a country where there were gas chambers for the extermination of millions of Jews, it is impossible to tolerate organized anti-Semitism." Furthermore, a ban of the NPD would be a means to prevent it from claiming public campaign funds. Last year, it was given about 500,000 U.S. dollars (1.1 million DM) in funds based on the number of votes it received.


Critics of the proposal to outlaw this party are that such actions restrict the right to free expression. They also argue that in the case of the NPD, and similar far-right parties, the party is gaining free publicity and even if it is banned, its members will be able to gather under the banner of a new party. Roland Koch, conservative premier of the State of Hessen, believes that, "We can be more effective in winning hearts and minds by not using constitutional bans on parties." Indeed, the banning of a far-right party does not solve the larger problem of rising racism in Germany.


Subsequent developments
German politicians, irrespective of their party membership, take the discussion about a ban of the NPD very seriously, including those who are against the ban. They are afraid that the Federal Constitutional Court could reject a ban on the basis of insufficient proof. This situation could lead to increased support for the party. It is for this reason that the Free Democratic Party (FDP) will not support the request of the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, at the end of November or in December.


When the ministers of the government voted to seek a ban on the NPD on Thursday, October 26, they stressed that any decision to declare this party unconstitutional could only be part of wider attempts to fight the far right, which is an effort that includes better education. On Thursday, November 9, more than 200,000 participants demonstrated in Berlin for tolerance and against racism in Germany. At the same time, the Berlin-based NPD is also active-clearing its web pages of articles, emblems etc. that could be used against them in the legal process at the FCC. NPD-chairman Udo Voigt wants his members to look more "common" and less aggressive. The dress code has changed-no more bomber jackets and military boots is the order now. To the German Financial Times Voigt said: "We should not look like the Allied Forces when they destroyed German cities.""

www.aicgs.org/at-issue/ai-npd.shtml



Cries of "Nazis Out!" greeted the right-wing NPD success in Saxony

www.dw-world.de/english/0,1594,1432_A_1333427,00.html
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 10:02:44 AM EST

Originally Posted By Jeepster:

Originally Posted By Spade:
Are these guys really "Sieg Heil let's kill all the Jews" Nazis, or is this just a label being tossed onto any right wing group in Europe?

'cause I mean, parts of the "left wing" here in the US would get called "right wing" in Europe.



+1




I wouldn't plus one that yet. I was asking because I really don't know about this German party, and I do know how "right wing" groups are labelled in Europe.

Except Vito now says that they aren't just "right wing" but actual freakin' Nazis.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 10:02:47 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 10:30:15 AM EST
europe, how quaint.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 10:40:33 AM EST
It's reporters (usually = liberals) calling them far right.

What political positions do they take that make them "the far right" ... other than being racists and wanting to stop immigrant waves .


to reporters conservative = nazi it seems
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 10:47:25 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 10:48:54 AM EST

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
I got news for some folks here, there are still really people who believe in the political and social ideals as prefessed by the dirty little Austrian A. Hitler. Yes the term "Nazi" is thrown about far to often, but the ideals of the Nazis are not dead in Germany, they have been there all along, and htey have just been waiting for the political and social conditions to be right to stage thier return.



Mick Jagger tells a story about goofing around at a concert years ago in Germany and giving them the heil hitler. It was all a joke to him and then a majority of the crowd saluted back and cheered wildly.

Link Posted: 9/20/2004 10:51:03 AM EST
Good to hear some Germans are still willing to stand up for their Fatherland. Best wishes to the NPD from me.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 10:53:04 AM EST
The National Socialist Party is illegal in Germany. Are these people actually following the same ideals of the Nazi party?
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 10:56:25 AM EST


Link Posted: 9/20/2004 10:58:51 AM EST

Originally Posted By Feedingcannibal:
Good to hear some Germans are still willing to stand up for their Fatherland. Best wishes to the NPD from me.



wow

Link Posted: 9/20/2004 11:02:21 AM EST
The commies did well, too.

Basically, European (I exclude the UK here, no offense, guys) politics is a mess, and you can't draw direct parallels to the US political parties. The left parties have a stronger Marxist/Socialist bent. The right parties are more paternalistic than freedom-oriented. Both are often corrupt to the core and take huge kickbacks and bribes. And the far right can veer off into facsism that would be completely outlandish in the US. The demographics of Europe are that they're rapidly aging while muslim immigrants are increasing their numbers. In another few decades I don't think it impossible that, given the lack of good alternatives, they turn to some nitwit party.

The lefties are always going on about the "dark night of fascism" descending on the US, but for some reason it keeps on landiing on Europe.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 11:03:35 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 12:09:32 PM EST
I know a girl who went to Germany a few months ago. She she said anti-semitizm is on the rise again in germany.

Some people never learn.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 12:22:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 12:23:59 PM EST by NeoCon007]
Screw all those kraut bastards!

I hope Germany breaks out in Civil War and they all exterminate each other, and France as well.

If they try to mess with any of the nations that are supporting the U.S. in the War on Terror, I say nuke the Nazis.

Link Posted: 9/20/2004 12:30:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 12:32:04 PM EST by NewbHunter]

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:

Many Germans believe that Germany was a victim in WWII, and that the war was brought on by the US and Russia.



And the scary thing is, that is EXACTLY how the Germans felt about WWI and what caused them to get Hitler into power and start WWII. I suppose some people just never learn from history.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 12:33:31 PM EST
That's slightly disturbing... I think. What, exactly, do these guys want to do?

If they do go WWII style again, I predict that France will surrender, and England will desperately try to replace all the guns they've been banning the last 50 years or so.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 12:35:32 PM EST
Only thing I know is that they are keeping France this time. There is no way in hell, we are taking it back this time!
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 12:37:53 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 12:43:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By 2whiskeyP:

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
Have the French began making white flags in earnest?



And are we going to bail their asses out again or should we politely (or not) decline going to war on their behalf.....?



I think they'll join the Nazi's again
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 12:49:58 PM EST
Germany will rise again and bring us to WW3, just like last time.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 12:58:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/21/2004 11:08:37 AM EST by vito113]

Originally Posted By NewbHunter:

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:

Many Germans believe that Germany was a victim in WWII, and that the war was brought on by the US and Russia.



And the scary thing is, that is EXACTLY how the Germans felt about WWI and what caused them to get Hitler into power and start WWII. I suppose some people just never learn from history.



The Germans are spinning out WWII as a War to 'Liberate' them……

Remember the D Day 60th Comemorations? Chancellor Schroder announced that 'D Day was the first day of the Liberation of Germany" how's that for revisionist spin!

Here is an interesting article on the new found German Spin on their 'Liberation'

 
John Vinocur: Just whose liberation was begun on June 6?
 
 
PARIS When Germany joins the Allies on the beaches of Normandy this week, it will mark not only a new phase in the country's reconciliation with the West, but also its growing political and historical desire to meld D-Day with the idea of German liberation from Hitler as the final act of World War II.
.
The use of the word "liberation" is more than an incidental question of euphemisitic diction because it goes to present-day Germans' view of their own reality. As much as Germany's presence for the first time alongside the Allies in a D-Day commemoration on Sunday reflects the country's democratic rebirth, its gradual institutionalization of the word "liberation" may be less comfortable.
.
Specifically, there is basic evidence that it is historically inaccurate. And there are good arguments that the idea of Germany's liberation, left without qualifications, caveats, and counter- arguments, fuzzes over both its defeat, and the distinction between victims and oppressors. Perhaps inadvertently, it creates in some eyes a measure of moral equivalency that blurs one of history's most devastating and important verdicts. Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who has expressed his gratitude for being able to take part in the ceremonies, said in an interview with The New York Times that the occasion was "important" to him "so as to make clear the meaning of D-Day, namely the liberation from National Socialism, which was not only the liberation of Europe, but also the liberation of Germany, or the beginning of the liberation."
.
More than details are at issue. If the idea of Germany's liberation, or its start, is superimposed on the period from June 6, 1944, to the Nazi capitulation, then it involves 11 months when German armies fought the Allies with what military historians have described as extraordinary fury, when American, British and Soviet forces suffered scores of thousands of casualties, when no trace of a broad German uprising against Hitler occurred, and when hundreds of thousands of Jews all over Europe continued to be sent to their deaths in Nazi extermination camps - a last convoy leaving Paris on Aug. 17, eight days before the city's occupiers were defeated.
.
For people who are uncomfortable with the word, liberation's use in Germany is not low revisionism, but seemingly a desire to fit the country's gradual postwar democratization into an easy-to-swallow concept that began in Normandy.
.
Clearly, this is not a movement consciously aimed at minimalizing Nazi crimes as the mark of ultimate bestiality. But it does involve an inroad into history, in which a modern generation seems to be finding comfort in a positive word - "liberation" - that effectively raises the status of the great mass of Germans in 1944 and '45 to that of the few German Social Democrats, resistance fighters and gays actually freed from concentration camps like Dachau near Munich.
.
On a historical scale that includes genocide, talk of Germany's liberation mandates caution. Former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt reached for it a few weeks ago.
.
"Eisenhower would never have thought of it as a liberation," he said. Very clear and precise at 85, Schmidt sat in his office in Hamburg and recalled how he, as a 27-year-old anti-aircraft lieutenant back then, certainly did not feel liberated. Among Germans, it was those in jails and concentration camps who did.
.
Nonetheless, he argued, "Today, though, I think it's legitimate to call it a liberation. Over time, that's the thing - it has worked out that way."
.
In some respects, the word has become a catch-all in Germany. ZDF, one of the main German state television channels, currently running a five-part series on the war's bloody denouement, chose to call it "Die Befreiung," or "The Liberation." That led to one faint reminder in a newspaper review that "the liberation of the Germans was not the aim of the Allies' war effort."
.
Quite fairly, the series doesn't run away from its title's contradictions. When it interviews an old Wehrmacht trooper and asks him how it was to be part of the occupation forces in Paris, he replies "fabulous," and when it asks for the recollection of a German-born Jew about fighting with the French resistance to liberate Paris, he answers that it's exactly what the German people didn't do against Hitler - participate in an uprising to free themselves.
.
For Pierre Lellouche, a Gaullist member of the National Assembly, who has privately organized a series of public events and seminars in Paris, called Semaine de la Liberté, to celebrate D-Day's 60th anniversary, a problem cropped up here. As much as a French invitation to Schröder in the context of 2004 was normal, Lellouche said, a tacit legitimization of the idea of Germany's liberation was not. Lellouche considered it did not fit the facts.
.
Unmistakably, it was not what the Americans and British had in mind coming ashore against German fire on D-Day.
.
"The Allies did not consider the Luxembourgers" -Luxembourg was annexed by Hitler during the war - "a part of the Third Reich or even Germans in the sense that the Germans had been formally declared 'an enemy people,'" wrote George Bailey, an American intelligence officer at the time. "The Luxembourgers were officially regarded as 'liberated' along with the French, Belgians and the Dutch."
.
Eventually, nonfraternization orders for the Allied occupation forces were rescinded and de-Nazification was turned over to the Germans themselves. Still, it took 10 years from the time of the Nazi surrender for the new Federal Republic of Germany to operate with full sovereignty. Until now Germany's notions of its liberation didn't have much of an international echo, although the issue has bounced around since the late 1970s. Schematically, before reunification, the left liked talking of liberation because it went with its sense of victimization and the moral high ground it sought, while elements of the right, through their own political prism, achieved the same victimized, nationalistic yield by referring to Germany's defeat.
.
Seen in the abstract, the factions' tactics and strategic goals appeared identical: Germany's lumping itself in with the world's victims in order to rejoin the world's just.
.
In Schröder's case, he was part of the hard-left group that fought the deployment of U.S. cruise and Pershing missiles in West Germany (to counter the already existing Soviet SS-20s) through the early 1980s. The movement's pet theorist, Peter Bender, pushed the idea that if West Germany rejected the missiles and found liberation from the necklock of the delegitimatized American "occupiers," then the Soviet Union would surely let democracy come to Russia's door.
.
Germany's liberation? For Professor Michael Geyer of the University of Chicago, a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, the careful handling of the word in the German context was well advised.
.
"It's an insinuation," he said. "Speaking of liberation insinuates a kind of ease with and a kind of equality among everyone in this very concrete and unequal historical moment. I'm for history. And history is about the right names."
.
John Vinocur can be reached at pagetwo@iht.com.
.
Tomorrow: Roger Cohen writes about the U.S. presidential election as seen from one of the swing states.
Politicus
 
PARIS When Germany joins the Allies on the beaches of Normandy this week, it will mark not only a new phase in the country's reconciliation with the West, but also its growing political and historical desire to meld D-Day with the idea of German liberation from Hitler as the final act of World War II.
.
The use of the word "liberation" is more than an incidental question of euphemisitic diction because it goes to present-day Germans' view of their own reality. As much as Germany's presence for the first time alongside the Allies in a D-Day commemoration on Sunday reflects the country's democratic rebirth, its gradual institutionalization of the word "liberation" may be less comfortable.
.
Specifically, there is basic evidence that it is historically inaccurate. And there are good arguments that the idea of Germany's liberation, left without qualifications, caveats, and counter- arguments, fuzzes over both its defeat, and the distinction between victims and oppressors. Perhaps inadvertently, it creates in some eyes a measure of moral equivalency that blurs one of history's most devastating and important verdicts. Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who has expressed his gratitude for being able to take part in the ceremonies, said in an interview with The New York Times that the occasion was "important" to him "so as to make clear the meaning of D-Day, namely the liberation from National Socialism, which was not only the liberation of Europe, but also the liberation of Germany, or the beginning of the liberation."
.
More than details are at issue. If the idea of Germany's liberation, or its start, is superimposed on the period from June 6, 1944, to the Nazi capitulation, then it involves 11 months when German armies fought the Allies with what military historians have described as extraordinary fury, when American, British and Soviet forces suffered scores of thousands of casualties, when no trace of a broad German uprising against Hitler occurred, and when hundreds of thousands of Jews all over Europe continued to be sent to their deaths in Nazi extermination camps - a last convoy leaving Paris on Aug. 17, eight days before the city's occupiers were defeated.
.
For people who are uncomfortable with the word, liberation's use in Germany is not low revisionism, but seemingly a desire to fit the country's gradual postwar democratization into an easy-to-swallow concept that began in Normandy.
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Clearly, this is not a movement consciously aimed at minimalizing Nazi crimes as the mark of ultimate bestiality. But it does involve an inroad into history, in which a modern generation seems to be finding comfort in a positive word - "liberation" - that effectively raises the status of the great mass of Germans in 1944 and '45 to that of the few German Social Democrats, resistance fighters and gays actually freed from concentration camps like Dachau near Munich.
.
On a historical scale that includes genocide, talk of Germany's liberation mandates caution. Former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt reached for it a few weeks ago.
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"Eisenhower would never have thought of it as a liberation," he said. Very clear and precise at 85, Schmidt sat in his office in Hamburg and recalled how he, as a 27-year-old anti-aircraft lieutenant back then, certainly did not feel liberated. Among Germans, it was those in jails and concentration camps who did.
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Nonetheless, he argued, "Today, though, I think it's legitimate to call it a liberation. Over time, that's the thing - it has worked out that way."
.
In some respects, the word has become a catch-all in Germany. ZDF, one of the main German state television channels, currently running a five-part series on the war's bloody denouement, chose to call it "Die Befreiung," or "The Liberation." That led to one faint reminder in a newspaper review that "the liberation of the Germans was not the aim of the Allies' war effort."
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Quite fairly, the series doesn't run away from its title's contradictions. When it interviews an old Wehrmacht trooper and asks him how it was to be part of the occupation forces in Paris, he replies "fabulous," and when it asks for the recollection of a German-born Jew about fighting with the French resistance to liberate Paris, he answers that it's exactly what the German people didn't do against Hitler - participate in an uprising to free themselves.
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For Pierre Lellouche, a Gaullist member of the National Assembly, who has privately organized a series of public events and seminars in Paris, called Semaine de la Liberté, to celebrate D-Day's 60th anniversary, a problem cropped up here. As much as a French invitation to Schröder in the context of 2004 was normal, Lellouche said, a tacit legitimization of the idea of Germany's liberation was not. Lellouche considered it did not fit the facts.
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Unmistakably, it was not what the Americans and British had in mind coming ashore against German fire on D-Day.
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"The Allies did not consider the Luxembourgers" -Luxembourg was annexed by Hitler during the war - "a part of the Third Reich or even Germans in the sense that the Germans had been formally declared 'an enemy people,'" wrote George Bailey, an American intelligence officer at the time. "The Luxembourgers were officially regarded as 'liberated' along with the French, Belgians and the Dutch."
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Eventually, nonfraternization orders for the Allied occupation forces were rescinded and de-Nazification was turned over to the Germans themselves. Still, it took 10 years from the time of the Nazi surrender for the new Federal Republic of Germany to operate with full sovereignty. Until now Germany's notions of its liberation didn't have much of an international echo, although the issue has bounced around since the late 1970s. Schematically, before reunification, the left liked talking of liberation because it went with its sense of victimization and the moral high ground it sought, while elements of the right, through their own political prism, achieved the same victimized, nationalistic yield by referring to Germany's defeat.
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Seen in the abstract, the factions' tactics and strategic goals appeared identical: Germany's lumping itself in with the world's victims in order to rejoin the world's just.
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In Schröder's case, he was part of the hard-left group that fought the deployment of U.S. cruise and Pershing missiles in West Germany (to counter the already existing Soviet SS-20s) through the early 1980s. The movement's pet theorist, Peter Bender, pushed the idea that if West Germany rejected the missiles and found liberation from the necklock of the delegitimatized American "occupiers," then the Soviet Union would surely let democracy come to Russia's door.
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Germany's liberation? For Professor Michael Geyer of the University of Chicago, a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, the careful handling of the word in the German context was well advised.
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"It's an insinuation," he said. "Speaking of liberation insinuates a kind of ease with and a kind of equality among everyone in this very concrete and unequal historical moment. I'm for history. And history is about the right names."



www.iht.com/articles/522710.html
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 1:08:18 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 1:08:53 PM EST
How does a "socialist" party get labled "far right"? I've never understood that. Do they get labeled for the "national" part and just forget about the socialist part?
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 1:09:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 1:10:24 PM EST by captainpooby]
DT. Oops.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 1:11:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 1:12:03 PM EST by vito113]

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
How does a "socialist" party get labled "far right"? I've never understood that. Do they get labeled for the "national" part and just forget about the socialist part?



yep! National Socialism… as in Totalitarian Police State were the Government owns and controls everyone and everything… sound familiar?… it's just the flip side of communism.

Andy
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 1:14:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By Boom_Stick:
Germany will rise again and bring us to WW3, just like last time.



I agree. There has never...in the history of the world...been a united Germany, no matter what it was called, that did not go down the path to war. It will happen again. They are a warlike people and they will make war...one way or another.

France may as well give it up right now...they stand as much chance as a mouse from a direct hit with a .50 caliber.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 1:14:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 1:17:59 PM EST by SteyrAUG]
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 1:25:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
How does a "socialist" party get labled "far right"? I've never understood that. Do they get labeled for the "national" part and just forget about the socialist part?



Exactly...many people don't realize that Nazis were LEFT-wing, not right-wing...
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 2:08:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 2:09:41 PM EST by DWFAN]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The [National Democratic Party], which last entered a German state parliament in 1968, campaigned on a "German money for German interests" platform which included vigorous opposition to European Union enlargement, foreign immigration, and government plans to cut benefits for the long-term unemployed
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Nazi's? I dunno know. I do know that an awful lot of people on these boards openly advocate:

1. Sealing our borders to prevent Islamic extremists and Illegals from getting in. Many view this as an invasion of our country.

2. Are sick and tired of their tax dollars being spent on second, third and fourth generation welfare recipients and other fraudulent SSI recipients.

3. Are espousing that the US says "Screw the rest of the world, either you're with us or against us".

I dont hear anyone calling them Nazi's.

On these boards we call them PATRIOTS
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 2:15:34 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 2:32:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By vito113:
And so it starts; Germany has started electing Neo Nazis to power again. I see this as the beginning of the end of the great "European Union' experiment… Neo Nazi's on the rise in Germany, France… time to bail out of Europe! It['s all going to end in tears… thank God for the English Channel!

1) Flood the chunnel
2) Pay airfare and freight for every American who wants to bring his or herself and their firearms and ammuntion to repel any invasion attempts.
3) Feed us lots of fish N chips!
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 2:50:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By echo459:
img.photobucket.com/albums/v320/visigoth/dora1.jpg




<Pffft> We keep TWO of those out at the Hun Farm!!!
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 2:52:39 PM EST
I've read some accounts of anti-semitism in France as well and I think there was a news story on it in MSNBC.

There's a lot of information to digest here, but I think the bottom line is that the new Nazi party is on the rise in Europe.

I'm going to state right now that I firmly oppose any Americans going to war to liberate France or Germany. Those holier than thou Europeans have shit in their mess kits this time and they can live with it.

It looks like the primary destabilizing factor is the mass immigration of muslims and the strain that places on the economy and social structure. What a surprise...
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 2:58:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
Have the French began making white flags in earnest?

Edited to add: This is exactly the tactics used by the Nazis to gain power. They preyed on the dispair of the Germans who were in a terrible economic state during the Weimar era, and slowly went from a lunatic fringe to an accpted part, until eventually they had complette control of the country. They did not come to power overnight, but sowly over decades.




Yep, history repeats itself. Wonder what it's going to look like in 10 years....or, um, 2012?


Link Posted: 9/20/2004 2:59:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By DWFAN:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The [National Democratic Party], which last entered a German state parliament in 1968, campaigned on a "German money for German interests" platform which included vigorous opposition to European Union enlargement, foreign immigration, and government plans to cut benefits for the long-term unemployed
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Nazi's? I dunno know. I do know that an awful lot of people on these boards openly advocate:

1. Sealing our borders to prevent Islamic extremists and Illegals from getting in. Many view this as an invasion of our country.

2. Are sick and tired of their tax dollars being spent on second, third and fourth generation welfare recipients and other fraudulent SSI recipients.

3. Are espousing that the US says "Screw the rest of the world, either you're with us or against us".

I dont hear anyone calling them Nazi's.

On these boards we call them PATRIOTS



I have no problem with PATRIOTS… however this particular brand of German 'Patriotism' resulted in a World War last time it was let out of the bottle.


I don't agree with the Right Wing Germans = Right Wing Americans (or Brits or whoever) comparison.

Germany has only existed as a country for just over 130 years. In that time it has started the Franco-Prussian War, World War I, World War II and the attempted Genocide of an entire race… that's quite a unique track record… a track record that resulted in something like 60+ miilion dead! As a Country they do seem to have an unfortunate habit of starting wars…

Andy
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