given Germany's history, one should think that even the most idiotic and uneducated Germans recognize Hitler's regime for what it was. However, as long as I've been able to read news, Neonazis are gaining in numbers and political strength.
A recent study by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, a foundation to promote democracy, has shown that an alarming number of Germans, to be precise: 9%, embrace far right political views an sympathize with the Nazi-Party or its (rather pathetic and ineffectual) reincarnation: NPD.
In East Germany, the structurally weaker ex-GDR, the numbers are downright terrifying:
During the past two years, the number of far right-wings has been more than doubled, from 6.6 to more than 15%. Which makes these numbers more alarming is that those who have been indoctrinated by the original Nazis are virtually extinct, so we're speaking of an entirely new generation of Nazis.
Surely these Neo-Nazis are misled by a cunning political entity?
Far from it. The NPD is a joke, it's not even worth mentioning. Although they have representation in 2/16 state parliaments, with no representation in the federal government, it is extremely hard to take them seriously. Their public appearances are clumsy, borderline comical, and attest a chaotic, haphazard political program without clear direction.
Why is this problematic?
If you grow up in Germany, you will be thoroughly educated about the Nazi Party.
The history of the Third Reich is mandatory part of your historical education and secondary schools frequently have week-long projects to further awareness of the horrors of Hitler's Germany. Chances are, you will at one point visit one of the concentration camps of Buchenwald or Auschwitz and schools go through great lenghts to get jewish orators who have witnessed Nazi Germany first hand. History programs on TV eat up that chapter as well and the Federal Agency for Civic Education offers a plethora of different magazines for free so one can educate oneself even further.
Against this background, it seems unthinkable that anyone could embrace Nazi ideals, because it's virtually impossible to grow up in Germany and not have a rather thorough understanding of them.
How do other Germans deal with these issues?
German constitution gives anyone including the Nazis the right for public assembly, NPD-member ofttimes gather in large numbers to March for their misguided cause and try to recruit members.
Obviously, the rest of Germany isn't oblivious to those assemblies and since the right-wing-extremists are vastly outnumbered, usually peaceful protest prevents them from marching.
To be perfectly clear, I don't suggest that in 10 years time we'll go about killing Jews and invading Poland again, I just want to express my anger and sadness that despite comprehensive educational matters and in times of peace of properity, there grows a new generation of antisemetic, antiislamic and antidemocratic young people who sympathise with the demonic Nazi regime.
Points of discussion
- German / Nazi related jokes
- Speculation of sources (educational, economic, political etc.)
- Right-wing extremists in your own country