While I was a student in a German institute, I was advised never to discuss Adolf Hitler with any German National, as it reminded them of the Holocaust. They despise Nazism, Nazis who followed Hitler, and do not want to be associated with any of that horrendous past. However, the results of the election in 2017 show a silent but salient growth of the new age Nazis or the neo Nazis. The Alternative für Deutschland (AFD) formed in 2013 has secured 13% of the votes enabling them to be in the Reichstag (Bundestag) for the first time in the last 72 years. History repeats itself. Neo-Nazis are far right ideologues like Hitler, who believe in racial superiority. They are anti equality, anti diversity and anti plurality. The tragedy is that the rise in these neo-Nazis isn’t limited to Germany alone. It has crossed borders, continents and is now prevalent in France, England, the United States, and India.
The French almost elected “Marine” Le Pen, the President of National Front, whose leaders were accused of racism and anti-semitism as their President. Le Pen has allied herself with the AFD and has been criticizing the four time German Chancellor Angela Merkel for opening the borders on the basis of humanity, welcoming Syrian refugees with open arms against the will of the people. The Brits have opted for Brexit – Britain exiting the EU which resulted in people asking immigrants to leave Britain. America has elected Donald Trump whose campaign was based on deporting illegal immigrants and refugees. India isn’t accommodating Rohingyas citing security reasons. With the rise of neo Nazis, the refugees and immigrants of the world are the new Jews.
Why are people attracted to Neo Nazis?
The common factor linking these countries to move towards a pro right ideology is the recent spate of attacks. For instance, two gunmen opened fire inside the Charlie Hebdo office in France as they were offended by a cartoon lampooning the Prophet. While this attack was seen as stifling the freedom of the press, attacks on the civilians on the roads were condemned as mass murder.
The Islamic State (IS) has kept killing innocent citizens by ramming a truck into people walking in Paris and the Christmas market in Berlin. The repeated attacks in London add to the already painted picture of the Muslims as brutal and blood thirsty. The continuous attacks especially on civilians have made Muslims look like the feared enemy because the outfits behind these attacks everywhere are followers of Islam. People have begun to feel they are at war with the Muslims.
When Merkel opened borders to the refugees who are also Muslims on humanitarian grounds, it was widely criticized by the AFD in Germany and le Pen followers in France. This can be seen as the immediate cause for a rise in the votes for the AFD in Germany and the neo Nazi feelings.
Neo liberals might argue that people are tired of the existing leaders and are looking for a change. My point is that in this digital era, where everything is just one click away from being exposed, no one is naive to vote for neo-Nazis without knowing what they are getting into. They’re aiding the fire that might consume them someday and the day is not so far.
An Indian was killed by white supremacists in America after Donald Trump was elected as president. Trump has banned people from four Muslim majority countries entering America. He wanted to deport children of the immigrants protected by DACA by removing DACA. The USA has witnessed the Nazi parade in Charlottesville and the violence that followed. In India, you can’t skim through social media without seeing an article about someone being lynched in the name of beef. India has asked Rohingyas refugees to leave the country.
As a non-European citizen under rejuvenated neo-Nazi conditions, I’m a little sceptical about where the priorities of my European friends lie. I’m not sure if the person I’m talking to is a friend or a foe; an anti-Nazi or a neo- Nazi, who silently hates me for my religion, race, and language.
The rise of neo Nazism unchecked could take us back into another dark age of this century, a repeat of the atrocities of the holocaust. Fascism of neo-Nazis isn’t something to be discussed. it is a threat that should be crushed with iron heels. It has to be stopped at any cost.
That being said, I’m sure there will always be people who will resist fascism /neo Nazism from the bottom of the heart. This following message is for them:
Let’s put an end to fascism and neo-Nazism
The writer would like to be known by his nom de gurre, Arrow. He is a proclaimed liberal from the South, a political observer, and a free thinker. Twitter: @asyounotlike.
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