Rise of extremism: a German perspective

gerflagWhat does Germany fear the most? Probably the Japanese and Chinese taking over the Auto-Industry, a life without bread and the rise of extremist parties. During the Weimar Republic, from the end of WWI to Hitler’s Reich, Germans learned what an economic crisis and a wide range of small parties in the Parliament can do. Such a crisisled to the rise of the NSDAP, the radical right wing party, who triggered World War II and established a gruesome dictatorship under a Nazi Regime.
Ever since 1945 Germany has done everything and anything to prevent the ascent of another extremist group. The Constitution was changed to weaken the President, small parties now have to reach at least a 5% vote to be admitted into parliament and efforts were made to maintain a strong Economy.
Nevertheless small groups on either side of the political terrain kept existing but usually remained small and peaceful, aside from occasional protests and a small number of incidents of domestic terrorism. Recently however, with the influx of Migrants and Terrorist attacks in Europe, the voice of nationalist and right wing extremists has become louder.
Although the Constitutional Court recently banned the NDP (a neo-nazi political party), a new Party called the AFD, whose original goal was leaving the EU, has become more extremists in their opinions concerning nationalism. In the provinces of the former DDR, the Party has gained close to 15% of votes, a striking and astoundinshing result.
Another movement known as PEGIDA (Patriotic) is of even more concern. The group is violent and openly declares their hatred of Muslims and migrants in general.
Nevertheless, Germany has a long history of fighitng these movements and radical parties. As long as Angela Merkel is in power the “Welcome Culture” will proceed.

– by Pauline F.