“The rhetoric of the rapidly growing Alternative for Germany party and its supporters indicates a potentially profound shift in German political culture: it is now possible to be an outspoken nationalist without being associated with—or, for that matter, without having to say anything about—the Nazi past.”
Jan-Werner Muller explains that “the AfD has fed off and in turn encouraged a radical street movement, the “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West,” or Pegida, that has no equivalent elsewhere in Europe. And perhaps most important, the AfD’s warnings about the “slow cultural extinction” of Germany that supposedly will result from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcoming of more than a million refugees have been echoed by a number of prominent intellectuals. In fact, the conceptual underpinnings for what one AfD ideologue has called “avant-garde conservatism” can be found in the recent work of several mainstream German writers and philosophers. Never since the end of the Nazi era has a right-wing party enjoyed such broad cultural support. ”
This does not bode well for the future of Germany, or Europe as a whole, if things continue in this direction. But I think it is only if another major event (terrorist attack(s), severe economic downturn, another major wave of immigrants, etc.) befalls the German people will these groups be in a position to take power. Still, this is not good! Don’t they remember their own history?
Source: Behind the New German Right by Jan-Werner Müller | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
The economist Thomas Piketty, who gained fame last year as the author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, reminds Merkel, “It was in the 1950s, he notes, that Germany benefited from a massive — and, in those days, surprisingly common — round of debt forgiveness that catapulted its rise into a peaceful economic power. Greece was one of the nations forgiving Germany’s debts. In other words, Piketty suggested, when it comes to how to handle Greece in 2015, the best argument against Germany might be … Germany, circa 1953.” Piketty is right, of course, but I doubt Angela Merkel will change her stance. She seems determined to punish Greece even if it makes things worse not just for Greeks, but for all of Europe.
Read Piketty’s history lesson here: Thomas Piketty accuses Germany of forgetting history as it lectures Greece – The Washington Post.
“FILE – In this Feb. 27, 1953 file photo, the German Debts Agreement is signed in London. Though Germany is resisting Greeces pleas for some relief, it should know better than most what it can achieve. After the hell of World War II, the Federal Republic of Germany – more commonly known as West Germany – got massive help from its former foes, among them Greece. The agreement, in which Greece and about 20 other countries effectively wrote off a large chunk of Germanys loans and restructured the rest, is a landmark case that shows how effective debt relief can be. It helped spark what became known as the German economic miracle. (AP Photo, file)”