Actually, I don’t know if “ashamed” is even the right or only word to describe my feelings. There is a good amount of “angry” in there, too, and a little bit of “scared”. Allow me to explain.
“Any plans for the weekend?”
“The usual, a lot of running. Oh, and then on Sunday I have to protest against Nazis.”
“Wait, what? What is that all about?”
This is the conversation that happened at work today. My colleague moved to Germany about two years ago, and as much as she has settled in already, German politics are not (yet) on her horizon. I asked her for permission to ruin her evening and then told her about the AfD, what they want and how they gained momentum over the past couple of years.
“But why all the protests, now?”
“Because we are at a point where we don’t want to be asked ‘Why didn’t you do anything, how could you not know?’.”
And then I had to tell her about a secret meeting involving AfD members and other far-right people, ah, screw that, let me just call them Nazis, where they planned “deportations of people from Germany based on a set of racist criteria, regardless of whether or not they have German citizenship.” This meeting was recently reconstructed and published by the non-profit independent newsroom Correctiv. Now, some might say “nah, just a meeting of a couple of morons dreaming of the 1930s, they won’t succeed” — but history repeats itself, we have proof it happening once, and we claimed that it wouldn’t ever happen again. The thing is, we can only guess how to fight this problem correctly because last time it didn’t work out, apparently. We need to stand up and show everyone that we will defend our current, privileged freedom that we (as in: the society) worked for over the past 70 years. No matter what. And so I’m going to spend my Sunday afternoon showing who has the majority in the country.
Never again is exactly now
My colleague? She’s jewish. Her grandmother survived the holocaust. I feel ashamed.