while the media are having heated discussions about which North Rhine-Westphalian male should govern Germany in the future, and while the left-wing phobia of the Thuringian CDU party continues to stand in the path of a formation of a new government, some incited racist has struck in Hanau. Nine people fell victim to the terrible attack.
It goes without saying that the AfD washes its hands in innocence and vigorously denies having anything to do with this awful event. AfD Chairman Jörg Meuthen comments: "This is neither right-wing nor left-wing terror. This is the act of a paranoid lunatic, who had not been, until now, picked up by psychological experts.” And Alexander Gauland adds: "As we are dealing with a completely mentally deranged person, I cannot see any political goal here, so I am cautious about using the term ‘terror’. Left and right wing do not come into it here. It is a crime."
Well, Mr Gauland, it’s not quite as simple as this. We do need to mention left and right! There is only one political course which, for years, has lashed out continuously at people of different origins and skin colour, stressing that the latter had no place in our country. Furthermore, if politically unstable people keep hearing again and again from supposedly honourable gentlemen that their Syrian or Nigerian neighbours are dangerous and should not even be here, they may then feel entitled or even forced to take the law into their own hands.
Tobias Rathjen, the assassin of Hanau, was a banker and sports marksman (quite frankly a bizarre mixture!). During his time as an apprentice in the bank, Rathjen was the victim of a bank robbery. As a result, he had to look through dozens of index cards with images of criminals during the enquiry at the police station. He noticed at that point that they were mostly of foreign origin. In his letter claiming responsibility he concludes: "First of all, I seriously wondered how it was possible that such ethnic groups are staying in my country at all? These people should be rejected instinctively because of the way they look and, what’s more, history shows that they have not proved to be efficient and useful. On the other hand, I got to know my own people as a country from whichthe best and most beautiful things that this world has to offer are born and grow out of."
It did not seem to enter Rathjen’s head that through his act, he utterly betrayed his own thesis of the "best and most beautiful" people, (not that Germany had ever been so fabulous).
He goes on to say that certain individuals “contributed to the fact that we now have in our midst ethnic groups, races or cultures that are destructive in every respect. (...) These peoples are particularly numerous on this planet and are obviously not willing to voluntarily cut down on procreation and, therefore, it is necessary to solve the problem in a different way. Although astonishing, these peoples even think of themselves as particularly valuable, even if they are not.” Rathjen also does not refrain from suggesting how, in his view, this can be solved and he names a few dozen peoples who, according to him "must be completely exterminated". He is not hiding his views to say that after the elimination of these "worst" peoples, one would still have to do the fine tuning and also go for a clean-up within Germany, because "not everyone who owns a German passport today is of pure race and therefore valuable".
Rathjen’s tone of voice does not even appear to be that of a "crazy" man, but rather his writing testifies in fact to orderly thinking, even if it reflects extreme emotional coldness and contempt for humanity. He looks down on parts of humanity like an immature, sadistic boy who decides to burn down an anthill because the little creatures annoy him. No-one can honestly say that these are not right-wing theses. If anything at all embodies right-wing thinking in its purest form, it has got to be this idea of unworthy lives, (i.e. those that even insist on procreation instead of just disappearing and becoming extinct in a shameful and socially acceptable way!) Many people may have become complicit and are now able to marvel at the deeds of their spiritual foster son; one of them being Thilo Sarrazin, who created a social acceptability of the thesis of inherited stupidity of Muslims, followed closely by Pegida founder Bachmann, who insulted the inhabitants of a refugee home as "filth" and "animals", and of course there are Gauland and Meuthen themselves, who make out they are the victims here.
The murders in Hanau did not occur out of thin air. An offended philistine went off the rail because interested circles had, for electoral reasons, talked him into massively lifting his self-esteem as a German. And politicians of the long existing older parties, have for too long been taking to and repeating the same lines. And despite massive cuts in civil rights and social welfare, they like to stage themselves as democracy keepers. Especially in 2018, at the height of the refugee debate, there was hardly anyone left, who - if he or she was not already right-wing - did not at least try to simulate a partial right-wing status for electoral purposes.
Politicians from the CDU/CSU and FDP parties in particular, stirred things up on the backs of migrants and refugees, in the spirit of their prayer leaders such as Gauland and Höcke. The famous handshake in Erfurt between Kemmerich and Höcke did not suddenly give birth to this national-neoliberal alliance, it merely symbolised it to become visible to all. Politicians of many parties wanted to win over right wingers away from their then political standpoint. They accommodated them and their views to such an extent that a disastrous tolerance and fraternisation took place. Now that declarations of demarcation seem strategically necessary, Union and FDP politicians, in particular, lack the necessary credibility as anti-fascist fighters.
Against this backdrop, it seems downright absurd that politicians of the so-called ‘middle’ still struggle to keep an equal distance to both the right- and left-wing corners. I is almost as if Bodo Ramelow were a soul brother of Anders Breivik, merely positioned on the other side of the political spectrum. Still, in the immediate aftermath of the attack, "established" people insist on the fateful equation of right-wing hostility to man and a danger emanating from the left wing. The CDU's new hope for the future, Norbert Röttgen, said in his candidacy speech: "If there were no more boundaries to one of the sides, we would no longer be the party of the middle. Therefore, we draw a line between us and the AfD with its ideologies and political agendas, but we also have to keep a clear dividing line between us and the left wing Party, be it for quite some different reasons.”
It is not quite clear though, why even a former SPD chairman had to position himself in the following way, after the murders in Hanau: "The enemy of democracy is on the right," tweeted Sigmar Gabriel, but went on to say: "It cannot be denied that harm is also being done by chaotic left-wingers, who are beating up policemen, setting cars and bins on fire and repeatedly cause major material damage. None of these should be trivialized." It is only at this point that the ex-foreign minister goes back to talking about the lurking danger from the right wingers. Well, in any case, Sigmar Gabriel wants to join the supervisory board of Deutsche Bank and is unerringly moving in the direction Friedrich Merz just came from: ie straight towards the big capital. The SPD party should be only too glad to be rid of him.
Our politicians from the middle ranks just have to put an end to creating these disastrous equations. And, above all, they must now succeed in cleaning the soil upon which such racist actions can flourish, and sadly I have to say, that a number of them frankly helped to prepare this soil for harvest. Anyone who is serious about the fact that attacks such as the ones in Halle and Hanau must never happen again should now direct all their energies into ensuring that the dark era of the new German fascist revival comes to a rapid end. People have to counter act forcefully the racist narratives of the last 10 years, narratives which have succeeded in unsettling the more humane forces; a new philosophy is called for, one of radical humanity and all-encompassing compassion, one of equality that treats all human life equally and bears in mind that the dignity of man is inviolable.
A soul infected by hatred may plant seeds of death; loving and caring people cling to life. Life does not exclude any-one, it is all-encompassing and embraces. And, above all, it is colourful!