Millions say nein to Hitlerites

The fascist party Alternative for Germany is on the rise. However, the working class has not forgotten history and is standing up against the Nazis, again.

An anti-AfD protest in Berlin. The sign reads: Standing up against racism! PHOTO: Martin Heinlein / DIE LINKE
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In Germany, a neo-Nazi political party called Alternative for Germany (AfD) has been growing in popularity. As reported to the Associated Press, demonstrator Sabine Thonke summed up the situation, “I thought we had learned the lessons from our past.”

The platform of Alternative for Germany is a replay of the classic Nazi tropes including calls for deportations of all immigrants and non-German-born citizens of Germany. It targets those from North Africa and the Middle East and calls for closed borders.

AfD is projected to be one of the top two or three vote-getters on June 9 as Germans choose parties to represent them in the European Parliament.

However, there is significant fightback. As of mid-March, organizers estimate that 3.6 million Germans have protested their opposition to the rise of fascism in general and the Alternative for Germany Party in particular.

Some of the largest demonstrations happened after a publicized report stated that AfD leaders met secretly in Potsdam to plan the expulsion of immigrants and “non-assimilated” citizens. The party officials denied any official presence and maintained that those who attended were there strictly as individuals.

Not buying this flimsy excuse, mass protests erupted in Stuttgart, Nuremberg, and Hannover in mid-January. Huge anti-Nazi demos, each between 50,000 and 200,000 strong, followed in other cities and towns. In Hamburg, a protest was broken up due to so-called safety concerns. It is not unusual in capitalist countries like Germany and the U.S. for the state to protect the right.

These anti-fascist eruptions should hearten activists. And they will hopefully trigger more organizing. History has proven that mobilizing mass opposition is key to stopping the rise of Nazism. The world is watching to see what happens next.

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