From Workers Voice
Organ of the Communist Party of New Zealand
November 18, 1992

Anti-Fascist Movement in Germany

The Communist Party of Germany analyses the struggle against the spread of nazi terror in a report specially written for the New Zealand working class.

"Hypocrites! Hypocrites!

Huge anti-fascist rallies took place in Germany on the weekend of November 7-8.

350,000 took to the streets of Berlin demanding a halt to the rising tide of nazi terror against immigrant workers and refugees.

Hundreds of thousands also demonstrated in Stuttgart, Freiburg, Hanover, Cologne, Munich, Rostock, Dresden, Bielefeld, Aachen, Duesseldorf, Mainz, Frankfurt and other German cities.

Responding to pressure from the growing anti-fascist movement in Germany and mounting international protests against the nazis, the main capitalist parties (Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and Liberals) joined the Berlin demonstration.

But these capitalist parties tried to target "left and right extremism" and change the anti-fascist rally into a demonstration against "any kind of violence".

President Richard von Weizsaecker, the main speaker at the Berlin rally, said the state should fight hard against left and right extremists. He called for prompt action to restrict the right of asylum, which is a demand of both the fascists and big business.

This year alone in Germany, at least 11 foreigners and German anti-fascists have been murdered by the nazis. Thousands more nazi crimes were registered by the police.

But the German state is doing very little to oppose the nazis.

In a recent case, an Albanian who had worked for 20 years in Germany was murdered by nazis near Stuttgart.

The atrocity followed a nazi feast, when these fascists toasted their idol Adolf Hitler, then at two o'clock in the morning set out to attack Polish workers.

Since they couldn't find any Poles on the streets, they broke into a hostel for foreign workers and killed the sleeping Albanian by hitting him with iron bars. Another foreign worker was badly injured.

The police statement about this incident denied that the killing was a political murder.

Yet in the same village only a year before, the same gang of nazis had attacked young Turkish communists, almost killing a German who was with the Turks at the time.

The only nazi brought before the court was the one who attacked the German, and he only received a very light sentence.

Indeed, the village mayor gave these nazis a room for their meetings, and some of them enjoyed a state-funded holiday in Hungary. The official line was that the nazis were only misled youngsters who needed help to become honourable members of society.

So the state encouraged these nazis who went on to murder the Albanian worker.

Big Business and the state falsely claim that foreigners are "responsible" for the falling living standards, rising taxes and social service cuts being inflicted on the working class.

By attacking foreigners, the nazis support this divide-and-rule tactic of big business.

Many Germans are aware of the co-operation between the state and the nazis to split the ranks of the working class.

So lots of participants in the huge Berlin rally were opposed to the hypocrisy of the capitalist parties and president von Weizsaecker.

The majority of protesters demanded that all nazi organisations be outlawed and all nazi criminals be brought to justice.

The majority didn't accept the capitalist slogan "fight against left and right extremism". Instead, they shouted "heuchler! heuchler!" ("hypocrites! hypocrites!") at the capitalist politicians.

Some young people belonging to the anarchist group Autonome threw eggs at von Weizsaecker during his speech.

The capitalist media used the Autonome's egg throwing to make a big noise about "left terror".

"The violence and terror of the left is a shame for Germany", thundered the same capitalist media which has downplayed the 11 nazi murders this year.

But the efforts of German big business to divert the anti-fascist struggle into a campaign against "the left" failed. The mass protests on the weekend of November 7-8 showed that German workers and anti-fascists are ready to fight against the growing nazi terror.

November 9 is a date of historic significance in Germany. On this day in 1938, Hitler's nazis burnt 190 synagogues, wrecked thousands of Jewish businesses and murdered or abducted to concentration camps about 20,000 Jews.

Dubbed the kristallnacht (night of broken glass) by the nazis, this pogrom was the opening shot in the fascist holocaust in which six million European Jews were murdered.

Since the end of the Second World War, anti-fascists have demonstrated each anniversary of the kristallnacht. In 1992, this date had a new dimension, since the danger of fascism is again spreading in Germany.

The Communist Party of Germany took part in all anti-fascist demonstrations, handing out large numbers of leaflets which showed that big business -- not foreigners -- are responsible for economic problems in Germany.

The Communist Party stated its opposition to any restriction on the right of asylum in Germany.

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