Friday, March 11, 2005

German Clampdown on Nazi Demo's

After weeks of near-hysterical inter-party discussions about what to do about a few shrill, unpopular, spotty neo-Nazi's, the German Bundestag today passed a proposal to ban the wrong sort of demonstrations at memorials to Nazi victims. The aim is to prevent a demonstation by neo-Nazi's at the new Jewish memorial on 8th May (the 60th anniversary of Germany's surrender in 1945).

The legislation will be rushed through so as to be active in time.

Some see the legislation as a sign that Germany is a strong democracy. Maybe. This blog thinks that kneejerk legislation of this sort, demanding weeks of concentrated work, and culminating in further censorship, is a sign of distraction, uncertainty and weakness.

Clearly the paramount desire was to make impossible a global rash of pictures showing repulsive shavenheaded neoNazi's, posturing at the Jewish memorial, mocking the dead and staining the image of Germany. A fair enough objective. The more so given the wretched situation of the German government. With well over 5 million unemployed and counting, parallels with Weimar (which never had an unemployment tally so high) would be most discomfiting to the current set of arrogant and deadbeat career leftists.

The pity of it, though, is that the measure isn´t going to be especially effective, for all the government and legal-expert time that has been put into formulating it. It merely repeats an existing law against unlawful assembly, which would have served perfectly well to stop neo-Nazi's posing at Jewish memorials, and it will be equally powerless to prevent them from demonstrating at visually symbolic locations unconnected with Nazi victims.

Rudolf Hess' grave in Winsiedel, for example, has long been - and will continue to be, a magnet for publicity-seeking neo-Nazi gatherings.

All in all, the shiny new measure is another fine example of German political actionism in practice (see Action vs Actionism). This blog much prefers Berlin's police plan simply to strip the Nazi's naked (see Nazi's will be Stripped). Would've made for more eyepopping visuals, too.

ignal einer wehrhaften Demokratie? - FAZ.NET - Politik (link article in German only)

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