Germany’s left-wing: “This is also how it began in the days of Hitler”

Every Monday, a march with thousands of participants is held in Dresden in protest of the Islamization of Germany. PEGIDA, a far-right-wing political movement that will run for parliament in the next elections, organizes the marches. Individual protestors who stand against them in opposition warn: “This is how it began in 1933.”
Anti-Islamization protests in Germany Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Germany’s far right-wing is re-awakening as tens of thousands protest in the streets. Located about a two-hour drive away from Berlin is the City of Dresden, in which thousands march every Monday protesting against the Muslim migrants who have been entering Germany. The marches are organized by Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA), which is a far right-wing political movement that resists against what it calls the Islamization of Germany and has led to the rise of similar organizations throughout Europe.

Dresden is a great example of the double-sided developments taking over Europe: On the one hand, the city is utilized as a center for PEGIDA activities and on the other hand, it has become fertile ground for enormous amounts of volunteering in protest of Islamophobia. However, the amount of protesters against PEGIDA members may be trivial, but they are determined. “They must understand that the time has come to remove nationalism from their minds,” insists Ernest, a left-wing activist. “Someone has to say it to them. It is modern fascism. This is exactly how it began in 1933, when the Nazis began marching in the streets of Germany.”

Thousands of protesters take to the streets of Germany Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

PEGIDA itself renounces its comparison to Nazism despite the fact that its name is connected to a variety of scandals including the resignation of its founder and former leader Lutz Bachmann after a photograph was leaked of him dressed in a Hitler costume. Walter, a far right-wing activist, explains that Israeli flags can be seen at many of the protests: “Lutz Bachmann says that Christians and Jews live together.”

“We are currently experiencing what Israel has been facing for 60 years since its establishment,” explains Michael Struzenberg, who is a senior level figure in the movement. “People are afraid to go to church or to the train station, fearing that they will be beheaded or attacked with an ax. It can happen anywhere and the politicians ignore it and declare: ‘We are not at war with Islam. Islam is a religion of peace.’ It is bullshit.”

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