Germany

Germany’s “left populists” collapse

Author

Ann Field

Sahra Wagenknecht has resigned as a member of the Executive Committee of Germany’s “left-populist” movement Aufstehen (Rise Up) and as co-chair of the parliamentary fraction of Die Linke.

Rise Up is the German equivalent of Momentum. Die Linke has its origins in the post-DDR Communist Party, which subsequently merged with a breakaway from the SPD (German equivalent of the Labour Party).

Wagenknecht has cited health reasons for her double resignation. But more fundamental political considerations are also in play.

A backlash book. Or three books?

Author

Dale Street

Bettina Rohl’s “The RAF (Red Army Fraction) Loves You – The German Federal Republic in the Intoxication of 68 – A Family at the Centre of the Movement” is several books for the price of one.

Rohl’s mother, Ulrike Meinhof, was one of the leaders of the early 1970s urban-terrorist RAF, otherwise known as the Baader-Meinhof Group (which Rohl insists on calling the Baader-Meinhof Gang, to underline what she sees as its essentially apolitical and criminal character).

Climate resistance must be built from below

Author

Neil Laker and Mike Zubrowski

In his new book Burning Up, A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption (Pluto Press), Simon Pirani notes that the world economy tripled in size between 1945 and 1973. And the world began to burn as much fossil fuel, every three years, as in the whole of the nineteenth century.

“Rise Up” remains seated as Berlin marches against racism

Author

Dale Street and Gerry Bates

Somewhere between 150,000 and 250,000 people marched through Berlin on Saturday 14 October in a protest against “racism, social exclusion and the shift to the right (‘Rechtsruck’)”.

The “#Indivisible” demonstration was backed by a range of individuals and organisations — around 4,500 of them — that Stand Up to Racism could only dream of. Official publicity for the demonstration declared:

The Daily Mail of the left

Author

Andrew Coates

[The French daily] Le Monde recently published a long article on what they call the “anti-immigrant/anti-migrant” left”: a “left” in favour of national sovereignty and closing borders.

The French daily cites the German Aufstehen movement of Sahra Wagenknecht, the “ambiguities” of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s La France Insoumise, and Danish Labour and ‘populist’ left forces.

What does #StandUp, stand for?

Author

Dale Street

#StandUp, the new “broad movement” initiated by Sahra Wagenknecht and Oskar Lafontaine (both leading members of the German Die Linke — The Left — party), will have its public launch on 4 September.

To date, #StandUp has existed only as a webpage, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and an e-mail address list. But, boast Wagenknecht and Lafontaine, some 85,000 people have already signed up to the initiative.

The dangers of Germany's new left populism

Author

Dale Street

Sahra Wagenknecht, co-chair of the parliamentary fraction of the German left-wing Die Linke party, has announced the launch-date and name for a new extra-parliamentary “broad movement”.

It will be launched on 4 September, and it will be called #StandUp.

On one level #StandUp — targeted at members of Die Linke, the SPD (German Labour Party), the Greens and those not members of any party — is a response to last year’s general election results.

The dangers of Germany's new left populism

Author

Dale Street

Sahra Wagenknecht, co-chair of the parliamentary fraction of the German left-wing Die Linke party, has announced the launch-date and name for a new extra-parliamentary “broad movement”.

It will be launched on 4th September, and it will be called #StandUp.

On one level #StandUp – targeted at members of Die Linke, the SPD (German Labour Party), the Greens and those not members of any party – is a response to last year’s general election results.

How the German state let Nazis get away with murder

Author

Dale Street

A Munich court announced its verdicts last week at the end of the five-year long NSU (National-Socialist Underground) trial.

Beate Zschäpe, the only surviving member of the Neo-Nazi “NSU trio”, was sentenced to life imprisonment for her role in the ten murders, three bombings and 15 armed robberies carried out by the NSU between 2000 and 2007.

Zshäpe had claimed that she had known nothing of the activities carried out by Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, the two other members of the trio who had committed suicide after a botched robbery in 2011.

Antisemitism in Germany

Author

Gerry Bates

On 25 April thousands of atheists, Christians, and Muslims joined Jews on the streets of Berlin, Erfurt, Potsdam, Cologne and other German cities in “kippa day”.

They demonstratively wore the skullcap (kippa) used by Orthodox Jewish men, in a protest against antisemitism.

This was sparked by an incident on 18 April, when a young man was attacked on a posh Berlin street for wearing a kippa. He was an Israeli Arab who had put on the kippa to show a friend (so he thought) that antisemitism was slight and there would be no problem.

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