September 15, 2009
For readers of this website who know some German, I heartily recommend the doctoral dissertation of Claus Wolfschlag, a study that was subsequently turned into a book published by Leopold Stocker Verlag, Das antifaschistische Milieu (2001). Wolfschlag, who has produced among other works an informative book, based on interviews, dealing with Hitler?s opposition on the right, and multiple movie and art reviews for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Junge Freiheit, is one of Europe?s most talented cultural historians. He is likewise a keen analyst of the antifascist and antipatriotic elites that have taken over his country, and much of my work on this subject has drawn heavily on his research and perceptions.
Wolfschlag approaches his area of investigation from a perspective that is noticeably different from mine. While my scholarship has focused on the effects of the postwar German re-education, introduced by the occupying powers, Wolfschlag stresses the irreversible shattering of the German national community. The absence of positive historical references and communal continuities has led to the often hysterical rejection of any non-incriminatory German identity among the author?s generation. He carefully distinguishes among certain German social types, those Germans who have adopted American values, especially consumerism, and who out of a fear of social and professional ostracism, go along with the state ideology; those Germans who are trying to scrape through and who therefore are for the most part politically passive; and finally, an idealistic segment that has turned its energy against all the foundational traditions of the German people.
According to Wolfschlag, this segment of idealists, who celebrate the cultural, ethnic, and political destruction of their country, may be the most uprooted of all Germans. Their only claim to community is derived from their networking with other anti-German leftists, while their demonstrations, which often turn violent, provide the frenzied participants with a sense of fellowship. According to Wolfschlag, the increasing tolerance of German authorities when faced with antifascist violence comes out of the fear of being perceived as nationalists. Such eccentric and even masochistic behavior is seen in the willingness of German police to turn a blind eye while antifascists and their Muslim allies vandalize property belonging to ?fascist? innkeepers, bookstore owners, and printers. This conduct goes back to an ingrained sensitivity that started with postwar reeducation. This mind-numbing process went on during and after the occupation and was re-enforced by Germany?s foreign image, as a Nazi-prone country that had already once succumbed to rightwing totalitarianism. (Leftwing totalitarianism continues to be in favor among progressive elites both inside and outside of Germany.)
A critical incentive for the expansion of this ?antifascist milieu? is the willingness of the German government to lend it material and moral support. The Christian Democrats, no less than the German Socialists, Greens and Party of the Left, contribute funding and government agencies to pursue a ?struggle against the Right,? the Right in this case being defined as anything that stands athwart the perpetually leftward drifting German party spectrum. Parties that are situated to the ?right of center? have no chance of going anywhere in the carefully policed German political landscape. Rightwing parties are usually placed under government surveillance as threats to ?the German democratic order.? People who are known to vote for them are kept out of Germany?s large public sector and often fired from their jobs. This ?antifascist milieu” does as well as it does not only because younger Germans have lost any sense of community, except for a shared hatred of their national past. The antinational German milieu also thrives because those in power and those who are uprooted cause it to prosper.
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