On July 11, Saturday, progressive sections in Frankfurt organized a gathering to commemorate the victims of right-wing violence in Germany. The meeting was held on the second anniversary of the verdict on the notorious murders committed by the neo-Nazi group, National Socialist Underground (NSU), in the country in the 2000s.
The commemoration was organized by the Frankfurt committee of the Socialist German Workers Youth (SDAJ), the students wing of the Die Linke (The Left), VVN Association of Anti-fascists, youth wings of IG Metall, Federation of Democratic Workers’ Associations (DIDF), and several other anti-fascism and migrant rights groups. Participants in the gathering denounced rising hate crimes across Germany perpetrated by fascists and racist groups targeting the migrant and minority communities.
The NSU was a far-right neo-Nazi terrorist group in Germany responsible for a series of racist violent crimes, including at least 10 murders. Many of the victims were immigrants of Turkish, Kurdish and Greek origin. There are strong allegations of collusion between the police and intelligence department and the NSU. A biased media was also complicit in concealing the involvement of the neo-Nazi group in the crimes. However, after widespread protests and an international outcry, the NSU murder trial began on May 6, 2013, and on July 11, 2018, the Munich Higher Regional Court found five neo-Nazis guilty.
The organizers of Saturday’s gathering stated, “whether #NSU_Murders, #Halle Synagogue Shooting, or #Hanau Shooting, none of these acts have been solved, and they were never individual offenders! Racism has a structure and this has to be demonstrated. We call for protests on the 2nd anniversary of the NSU pronouncement of judgment because the motivation for the actions is always racism, which tries to divide our society and prevent us from fighting together. On this day, we would like to commemorate the victims of right-wing violence.”
Right-wing extremism characterized by hate crimes and racist campaigns has spiked in Germany in the last few years. Far-right political parties, including the Alternative for Germany (AfD), have been trying to consolidate their base in the country by running a hyper nationalistic and anti-immigrant campaign at a time when Germans are disenchanted by the austerity-ridden neo-liberal policies of Angela Merkel’s government. Islamophobic, anti-semitic and neo-Nazi fringe groups have also increased their activities, with several hate crimes registered recently. Even during the COVID-19 lockdown period, racially-laden hygiene demos have been organized across Germany under the patronage of such right-wing groups, subtly accusing the immigrants and minorities of being responsible for the spread of COVID-19 in the country.