Back then it was the Jews. Today it is the Blacks there, here the students. Maybe tomorrow it will be the Whites, the Christians or the civil servants.
I can remember that reading the book “Back then it was Friedrich” in school touched me deeply. It was for the first time that I consciously realized how quickly a single person or a group can be excluded from the society. How easy it is to enrage people against “different-minded or different-acting” people and how blindly people follow diatribes of politicians. Examples for such maniac actions can be found in abundance within world history. Whether it is the attempted Holocaust of the “Drittes Reich”, the ethnic cleansing of the war in Jugoslavia or in Ruanda or the civil war in Lebanon. The list can be continued easily.
Don’t they say that one can learn from history? If that is true, then I wonder, where this process takes place in German society right now. There is increased talk about non-integratable migrants in the media and on political party conventions which can be broken down into one religious population group: muslims. What were again the words of our chancellor: “Multikulti has collapsed.” Is that really all that the christian party can do against decreasing votes? Is it only possible to gain back votes by stigmatization of a group which has hardly any chance to defend oneself as negative examples are exxagerating the amount of public reports in comparision to positive examples by far?
The development makes me increasingly reflective. Above all what lacks is a differentiated interpretation, a confession of own mistakes by the political management of the country and the courage not to put the blame only on the alleged underdogs. We live in a country where electricity supplier can achieve benefits of 24 billions Euro at the expense of the consumers (mind you: in the previous year it were “only” 5,9 billion Euros) and no politician bats an eyelid. But, if a colonel of the German armed forces commands evidentially wrong and thus kills human life that’s not even worth an apology? Are we are not talking about families then that are just torn apart, no matter if they are christian, hindu, jewish or muslims? Back then it was Friedrich … is it the Muslims today?
Further readings (German language):
- Quantara.de: “Victims of Corruption and Enemy Stereotypes”
- Qantara.de: “Compulsory Reading for Germany’s Guardians of the Constitution”
- Spiegel Online: “Falsche Kameradschaft mit Oberst Klein”
- Stewart, Ron: Der Spiegel, 26/2010: “Mission Impossible: Obama, die Nato und der Westen sind Gefangene einer falschen Theorie”.