News Alert |

TBC Staff

Der Speigel, 6/9/05, Nazism and Anti-semitism revived in Germany[Excerpts]: German young people, faced with liberal parents who are tolerant about sex, drugs and rock and roll, are increasingly rebelling by turning to right-wing extremism. Neo-nazi fashion, music and ideology have become an ever-important part of German youth culture.

This defensive posture is referred to as Deutschtümelei, or sticking up for everything German. It’s an us-against-them attitude—us-against-the-Russians, the Turks, the Albanians. Young Germans no longer know how to differentiate between foreign thugs and peaceful foreign-born German citizens. And they are convinced that their generation should no longer be held responsible for Hitler’s crimes. Quietly and persistently, a new youth culture has developed in both the eastern and western parts of Germany. It’s Germanic and xenophobic and potentially explosive.

While the German government does its best to ban neo-Nazi demonstrations at memorials for victims of the Nazis, right-wing extremism is gaining new adherents in schools, concert venues and at youth gatherings. The “nationalist mood” has become “chronic and wide-spread” in former East Germany, says Bernd Wagner, an expert on extremism.

Many parents and teachers are completely perplexed by their children’s xenophobic tendencies. These are fathers and mothers who came of age in the 1960s, who provided their children with a liberal upbringing, and whose greatest fear was that their kids might be taking drugs. They have been completely taken by surprise by the right-wing sentiments of German young people.

The neo-Nazis have long since changed their tactics when it comes to young people, no longer relying solely on tired slogans to get their message across. Now they organize camping trips, soccer tournaments, hikes and concerts, as well as running youth clubs.

The federal government, whose chancellor has called for a “revolution of decent citizens,” plans to spend 180 million euros by 2006 for programs to combat right-wing extremist ideology. The main focus will be educational programs in schools. The result of many students’ lack of knowledge about Nazism can be devastating. According to youth expert Brigitte Kather, even upper-middle class students are becoming increasingly uninhibited when spreading anti-Semitic clichés. 

[TBC: Without the gospel, a “revolution of decent citizens” is a mirage.]