Shocked by the resurgence of the extreme right, Germany commemorates the Crystal Night


"The indifference towards racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism is the first step to challenge our core values," said Angela Merkel.

To commemorate the Crystal Night, a photo of 10 November 1938 is exhibited in the same place 80 years later, on 6 November, in Berlin.

show "It never was [son] makeup ". Politics affects only him "From afar". On Friday 9 November, Kristiane did not hesitate to come when she learned that an extreme right-wing group, called "Wir für Deutschland" (We are for Germany), had been authorized by justice to meet in the early evening, in front of the central station of Berlin. "Another day, it still happens that these people are demonstrating, but not November 9, no, not the day of the anniversary of the Crystal Night"This indignant young woman outraged, before moving on, her voice strangled by emotion: "I never imagined having to go down the street on November 9th to say no to hate."

In the end, this far-right demonstration – which the Berlin Land Ministry of the Interior had banned on Wednesday, but that justice finally authorized on Friday – was a miserable failure. At most fifty people.

Twenty times, perhaps thirty times less than those who had come to fight them "Nazi, out!", "Never again! " or "All together against fascism!" Usual slogans in this type of meetings but to which, in this 80is anniversary of the pogrom organized by the Nazis in November 1938, more specific references to the Holocaust. Like this quote by Primo Levi (1919-1987), survivor of Auschwitz, inscribed on many posters: "It happened, so it can happen again."

"We can not let go"

This sentence, Leo Schwarz "Think about it more often". 22 years old, this student in political science has no problem recognizing him "Today's situation has nothing to do with that of Germany in 1938". But he remains "Very shocked" recent attacks on a Jewish restaurant and an Iranian restaurant in Chemnitz, Saxony. And found "Incredible" a member of the Berlin party Alternative for Germany (AfD) dared to pin a blueberry on the back of his jacket on Thursday at a memorial ceremony at the Holocaust Memorial, claiming to ignore that this flower was the symbol of Austrian Nazis in the years & # 39; 30. "What such things happen today is staggeringexplains the student. We can not let it go. The risk is to get used to it. Here's what it is, birthdays. Not just to remember, but to say "Hey! Attention! & # 39;"

At the beginning of the day, Angela Merkel had given the same speech in the great synagogue of Prenzlauer Berg, a district of the former East Berlin, where the official commemoration of the years & # 39; 80is anniversary of the crystal night. "The indifference towards racism, xenophobia and anti-semitism is the first step towards the challenge of our fundamental values", said the German chancellor, before warning him "Those who answer with seemingly simple answers to the current difficulties".

Not once, Mmyself Merkel did not mention AfD. As often happens in such circumstances, the Chancellor spoke more as a shepherd's daughter than as a traditional political leader, opting for formulations very similar to those of a sermon: "What will people think in the next century when they look at our world? A world once again threatened to lose the sense of the common good because it separates people based on their beliefs, their origins and their appearance. (…) The dignity of man is intangible. Respecting and protecting is the duty of every state. This must be the guiding thread of each of our actions. Both politically and socially. "

During this ceremony, the president of the Central Council of German Jews, Josef Schuster, did not have the same prejudices. In his eyes, he explained, AfD is a party of"Moral arsonists". Hence his choice, presumed, to invite all the elected members of the Bundestag to commemoration except for the 92 members of the extreme right group. "For the Jewish community, it would be unbearable, eighty years after the Night of the Pogrom, to know that there are representatives of this party among us"said Schuster.

AfD almost feels like he wants to be forgotten

On this particularly intense day in memory – in Germany, the date of November 9 does not refer only to the Night of the Crystals, but also to the proclamation of the Republic (1918), to the failed coup d'état by Hitler in Munich (1923) and the fall of the Berlin Wall – the leaders of AfD remained very impassive. At the point almost to give the feeling of wanting to be forgotten.

This concern owes nothing to chance. L & # 39; 1st In November, several German media revealed that AfD's management had published a report to its members, listing a number of statements and expressions not to be used so that the party was not placed under the surveillance of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), responsible for internal intelligence. These recommendations come when two branches of the AfD youth organization in Bremen and Lower Saxony are already under surveillance, and while the BfV members in Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, are under surveillance. Westfalia), must decide in the coming days if they extend to the entire party this device that can go including the establishment of wiretaps.

Within the AfD, this threat is the subject of a heated debate, among a minority that represents the most radical wing, for which the party does not have to fear a procedure that allows it to pose as a victim. and a majority that fears a potentially devastating decision in terms of image, voters.


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