European Centre for Counterterrorism and Intelligence Studies, Germany & Netherlands – ECCI
Why are Germans protesting against the far-right?
reuters -BERLIN, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Hundreds of thousands of Germans have been demonstrating against right-wing extremism and the nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the country’s biggest wave of protests for years.
WHAT SPARKED THE PROTESTS?
The protests began after a report that some senior AfD party officials discussed policies such as the mass deportation of citizens of foreign origin at a meeting with right-wing radicals in Potsdam, just outside Berlin.The proposals for “unassimilated citizens” to be deported to “a model state in north Africa”, reported by the media outlet Correctiv, horrified many Germans.
Some have compared the proposals to the Nazis’ initial plan to deport European Jews to Madagascar and the meeting to the 1942 conference of Wannsee – near Potsdam – where Nazi officials plotted the Holocaust.Many say they can no longer stay silent about the rise of Germany’s most successful far-right party since the Nazis.The protests have also coincided with statements by business leaders fearing the impact of the rise of the far-right on Germany’s image and attractiveness to investors and foreign skilled labour.
WHO IS ORGANISING THE PROTESTS?
Civil society groups and alliances together with mainstream parties, trade unions and churches, with names like “Together against the Right”, “Cologne stands up” or “Live Democracy”, are largely behind the protests.According to “Together against the Right”, protests are planned in some 160 towns over coming weeks.