This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Supporting Immigrants : Spurning Nationalists

"I was born in '58, and both of my parents were marked by the Nazi period. The older I get, the more I understand how traumatized my father, in particular, was."
"Today, seventy years later, you have the feeling for the first time that history could repeat itself. That's not out of the question."
Raif Teepe, German foreign service, bookstore client

"I think in the next few years we are going to need to not just 'protest' against, but really come up with a 'for'. What do we want in our society?"
"We wanted to take back the public space. At a certain point, you just have to do something."
Jorg Braunsdorf, proprietor, independent bookshop, Tucholsky Bookstore
Tucholsky Bookstore helped organize protests against right-wing extremists last month. Credit Gordon Welters for The New York Times
Mr. Braunsdorf's bookstore is a neighbourhood installation, much frequented by the people living there. The area in Berlin is known as the old Jewish quarter. The street the bookshop is located on is named after a German-Jewish writer of some renown who in the 1930s wrote critically of the new fascist movement in Germany. His name was Kurt Tucholsky and the street was named in his honour. When Mr. Braunsdorf opened his bookshop he thought it appropriate to name the shop after Mr. Tucholsky and he maintains a section in his shop dedicated to the author's work.

Mr. Braunsdorf was offended and angered when in 2016 a group of 'right-wing extremists' marched through his neighbourhood in a free-speech expression of nationalism. In speaking with his customers who were also his neighbours a general consensus of anger against the entitlement of the fascist movement to express its rancid message of hatred through the old Jewish quarter gripped them. And Mr. Braunsdorf went into consultation with his neighbours and they conceived of a counter-march plan.

Meant to inform the marchers in no uncertain terms that their loathsome message was not appreciated, and they had no business littering their street with their hate propaganda and their wretched presence so reminiscent of the dreadful past. They looked elsewhere also for support and linked with "Berlin Against Nazis" group targeting racism and anti-Semitism.
One customer said that he visits Tucholsky Bookstore once a week, in lieu of church, for spiritual enrichment. Credit Gordon Welters for The New York Times

Posters were designed along with fliers and three protest stations were set up along the route the marchers were taking, to be manned by some among the 200 to 300 people who showed up to demonstrate solidarity. They brought spoons to bang on pots and pans. The rise of groups such as the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West and Alternatives for Germany (AfD) has convinced ordinary Germans that the far right is making inroads they would prefer they not do.

The 58-year-old Mr. Braunsdorf is an agreeable man who considers himself and his shop to be something more than merely a purveyor of books. He hosts readings at his shop and has done so for refugee children with German-Arabic reading events. As well as moderating meetings on subjects as diverse as gentrification, the economy, politics, saying he "can't imagine running a bookstore just as a selling point".
Neighbors gather at Tucholsky Bookstore to discuss topics such as gentrification and how to respond to neo-Nazi marches. Credit Gordon Welters for The New York Times
For hundreds of years German Jews prided themselves on how seamlessly they integrated into German society. They considered themselves German first, Jews after. They felt secure in Germany, it was a country they loved and considered themselves an integral part of. Until the National Socialist Party took it all away, bit by bit and then entirely, including their lives. None of which could have happened without the compliance of the German public.

So it is very nice to see now that Germany is willing to be so inclusive as to introduce another ethnic and religious group to be given free reign to prosper and to multiply in numbers that Jews never achieved. And whereas Jews were content to be Germans, the new immigrants, refugees and migrants seek to achieve a milestone of their own, the Islamification of Germany, stifling its native culture with their own.
Related image
File:Hitler with Catholic dignitaries.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

But there are those like the good Germans living in what was once the Jewish quarter who are swift to come to the defense of the immigrants, the refugees and the migrants, willing and eager to aid them in any way conceivable, and to counter the ill intentions of the nationalist Germans who unaccountably press for a Germany for Germans. It is, of course, the Jews remaining in Germany who are now increasingly targeted with anti-Semitism by Islam. As they are throughout Europe.

Where Nazi Germany once occupied Europe and succeeded in exterminating six million Jews, millions of Muslims now occupy Europe and many among them promise that they are more than capable of aspiring to finish what Nazi Germany never quite completed. And that would be the ambition to conquer Europe and to rid it entirely of any Jewish presence.
Kristallnacht survivors share their recollections of the day the Holocaust began Centropa.org, dedicated to preserving the memory of Jewish life in Central Europe Nazis
The Night of Broken Glass
On November 9, 1938, Jewish people in Germany and German-controlled territories were beaten, arrested and killed. Synagogues were burned and Jewish businesses were vandalized. In most cases, the police made no effort to control the mobs that carried out these crimes. Bettmann / Corbis
“I think in the next years we are going to need to not just protest ‘against,’ but really come up with a ‘for,’” he said. “What do we want, in our society?”Read more: https://forward.com/culture/398534/berlin-bookstore-owner-anti-nazi-protest-organizer/
“I think in the next years we are going to need to not just protest ‘against,’ but really come up with a ‘for,’” he said. “What do we want, in our society?”Read more: https://forward.com/culture/398534/berlin-bookstore-owner-anti-nazi-protest-organizer/

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