Right wing populist Nazi echoes in Germany

20 March 2016 6:57 pm

he world is getting used to the hammering Angela Merkel’s party received in the state polls which saw the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD), which had sparked outrage by suggesting police may have to shoot at migrants to stop them entering the country, recording double-digit support in the first elections they have stood for in all three regions.

The elections were widely regarded as a referendum on Ms Merkel's decision to open the country's doors to people fleeing war in Syria.

Now we have terrible revelations of the AfD’s Neo Nazi links. The Independent reports that the AfD has a secret manifesto that calls for draconian laws which would discriminate against handicapped children, single mothers, and the mentally ill – and oblige history teachers to end a perceived “over-emphasis” on the Nazi era in schools.

It says it “sees the traditional family” as the only model which can reverse the country’s declining birth rate. To this end the party pledges to take steps to ban abortion and make divorce more difficult. By contrast, German families which produce children should be rewarded with financial incentives, it says.

It says single parent mothers should not get state benefits and the mentally handicapped should be “put under lock and key.”

The party aims to end what it describes as the “current limitation” of history teaching to “the period of National Socialism”. Instead it proposes a “wider consideration of history” which includes more “positive aspects” of Germany’s past. It wants to cleanse Germany of the Nazi past.

Social Democrat Party leader Sigmar Gabriel called the AfD’s ideas “a fatal reminder of the vocabulary used in the 1920 and 1930s”.

To put it bluntly, Germany is the last place we would want to see this happening.