Everyone Welcome: There’s a right way and a wrong way


On Friday I attended the wedding of two dear friends who belong together more than anyone I know. They met at Uni. Some people seeing them on the streets may see it differently. He’s German and she’s from Vietnam.

During the meal I heard there would be a Nazi demonstration the next day. To be honest, I then decided to avoid it, based on the stories I’ve heard about previous Nazi demos. To my dismay, this decision is not based solely on the Nazis. It’s also about the Anti-Fa opposition.

Don’t get me wrong. I am completely anti-Nazi, but I think random violence and destruction of public and private property is not the way. Even as I write this, I laugh at myself. I admit I have problems with all the rules I encounter here. Usually when told what to do, I feel myself gravitating the opposite way. In this case, however, I don’t see how burning up Südvorstadt is helping. I think it just adds fuel to the fire, so to speak.

This fight has such a long complicated history. The Anti-fa started in the 20s and was always open to the option of force. There continued to be a gang war between the Nazis and the Anti-fa during GDR times.

“Fighting squads must be created … nothing increases the insolence of the fascists so much as ‘flabby pacifism‘ on the part of the workers’ organisations … [It is] political cowardice [to deny that] without organised combat detachments, the most heroic masses will be smashed bit by bit by fascist gangs.” – Leon Trotsky as quoted in Fighting Talk Antifa pamphlet no. 22 October 1999, p.11 (Wikipedia)

I wonder if that tactic is still relevant in today’s society.

Do we respect violence? I feel respect is what we need most right now.

When I got home from the wedding, I checked my email. I was moved to tears by what I received. This week, two girls at a school I’ve just finished working on an empowerment project at were badly injured when classmates shut them and others in a door. One had a broken arm and the other had to go to emergency. Luckily it was only excessive bruising. But these are just the exterior injuries and they will heal. What worries me is the bigger story.

This was not just a case of teenage bullying. My kids are DaZ (German as a second language) kids. Here’s the film about their journey to Germany that we made during the empowerment project.

We have so much work to do! The first thing we need is mutual respect. We can learn a lot from my friends about focusing on how we are alike and embracing our differences. Congrats you two!

wedding by Daniel Kaiser
wedding photo by Daniel Kaiser

A political scientist who follows global events with pious devotion. A Venezuelan by virtue of being born in that interesting tropical place, but who has lived and studied in several places around the world. He will write some analysis on important global issues, especially if they have an impact on Germany or Leipzig.

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