This piece from Der Spiegel depicts the ominous rise of “nazism” amongst German teenagers. One breathless passage tells us “Nazi culture has become so omnipresent in the daily lives of some young people that they use Adolf Hitler’s voice as their cell phone ring tone and Nazi symbols as their screen savers.” Note that “some”. How many? Five thousand? Five hundred? Five? This is not reporting, it is fear-mongering. It is funny, too that the supposedly Nazi kids are not organizing themselves into terrorist gangs, but listen to “right wing” rock bands and live in fear of the gangs which control the streets of their towns. Pathetic, really. Reading a little past the surface it is apparent that the German government, in typical modern leftist fashion, shies away from law-enforcement and refuses to provide physical security and pretends there is no problem. It is also apparent that the baby-boom era German parents are too PC to respond to the criminality that is becoming pervasive in Germany, and would rather have their kids get beat up than possibly think a racist thought. Also, these ultra-permissive parents will let their kids do anything, in typical Euro post-Christian fashion. So rebellious kids have found something to rebel with — wear boots or a jacket which is associated with “right wing politics”.
Is it bad that some German kids are acting nostalgic for the Third Reich? To the extent they really are, yes, of course.
But the rise of Le Pen, Haider and Fortuyn — and the recent French NON — all show the same thing. If the political rulers in the mainstream parties of Europe maintain a conspiracy of silence about issues that actually concern people, especially public safety, then this will open up opportunities for politicians and movements which would otherwise be on the “fringe”. This is yet another element of Europe’s “democratic deficit”.
(Via Arts and Letters Daily.)
18 thoughts on “Nazis in German High Schools?”
Good post, Lex.
I am a bit surprised you put Fortuyn in the same category as Haider and Le Pen.
Fortuyn was a nicer guy, but the issues he is responding to are similar: crime, national identity, immigration. And he was also outside of establishment politics, where no one is willing to talk about such things.
I believe that Fortuyn was frequently labeled a fascist by European leftists, which is also part of the problem. When everyone who dissents from leftist groupthink is labeled a fascist, the actual meaning of the word can become confused, and its menacing nature can become obscured.
The foreign minister of Germany likened our President to Hitler. This crass relativism dilutes the horrors of Germany’s Nazi past, and condones the romance of Nazism in a rebellious youth culture.
Is Germany really teaching their youth their past? Is France repudiating daily in its schools the shames of Vichy? These reports indicate they are not.
They ignore this duty at their own peril.
Lex – don’t you think any politician would be responding to crime, national identity, immigration? Don’t politicians respond to these issues in the US?
I am not sure I would agree with Fortuyn on a lot of issues (he was more of a socialist on fiscal issues and libertarian on social issues) but I do agree with him that we should not be tolerating the intolerant.
What is worse, the PC establishment, by ignoring non-leftists’ legitimate problems and likening those who have them to the Nazis, are actually pushing otherwise good people into the Nazi camp.
The PC establishment must either start actually caring about normal people’s problems and concerns, or face such social unrest and destruction that McVeigh looks like a benign juvenile prankster in comparison.
If the latter happens, the PC establishment had better not count on normal, law-abiding people to continue to be so. After all, they’re just Nazis, as the PC put it.
“don’t you think any politician would be responding to crime, national identity, immigration? Don’t politicians respond to these issues in the US?”
No, Sulaiman, I absolutely do not think so. Look at New York before Giuliani. Any attempt to take crime seriously was called racism and it got worse and worse. Finally people got sick of it and Giuliani got in. Same thing happened all over the country in the 60s, when we had whole sections of cities burnt down in riots. Then we had our own Le Pen, George Wallace, come along, until Nixon (may he rest in peace) stole his issues and talked about “law and order”. Politicians often refuse to deal with hard issues if they will be unpopular with the media or with what is considered “acceptable” opinion. Fortunately there is a deep strain of populism in the USA that does not care what the supposedly smart people think, in fact despises such people, and sometimes politicians can tap into that. But leftists have shown over and over again that the bedrock issues of physical security at home and military security abroad are issues they do not care about. They usually live in wealthy and secure areas, and the violence suffered by others is a price they are willing to pay to keep their supposed moral purity intact. In fact, when a criminal attacks someone, to the leftist, that is “frustrated rage against oppression”, to use Jesse Jackson’s words. That type of view is common in Europe, and amongst the supposed intellectual elite in the USA. It shows contempt for victims and for the criminals, who are treated as subhumans incapable of behaving in a civilized fashion, whose violent behavior must be excused and even celebrated.
If the Europeans cannot generate a Center-Right party that will push for public order and civil peace in a reasonable way, then unreasonable people will take up these issues, and those people will promise to turn things around, and they will be increasingly popular.
This kind of vacuousness is also found in Britain, where PC distortions have resulted in a failure to provide basic security and thus encouraged lawlessness.
1.Carl Murphy, 18, of Merseyside, England, received £567,000 for injuries sustained while attempting to rob a warehouse in 1996, from which he fell 40 feet. Murphy, who has convictions for robbery, burglary and assault, sued the company that owned the warehouse and won, saying he planned to buy “a few houses and a flash car”.
2. The BMJ has called for a ban on the sale of long pointed kitchen knives to citizens, for their own good of course (because no one “needs” a long pointy knife, you see).
Despite a gun ban, Britain has experienced increasing violent crime, with a 17.9% increase from 2003 to 2004. As it stands, you cannot protect yourself, but the state won’t protect you either. Crime pays, at least in Britain. Self-protection can land you in prison.
Incentives matter. Perverse incentives beget perverse outcomes. In Germany, the fear of appearing racist has trumped known ways to disincent crime. In Britain, they are finding that if a behavior is subsidized, you see more of it. Therefore, one would expect crime, lawsuits and thuggery to increase at the margins. This will continue until the average bloke experiences his Guliani moment.
I’m pretty sure that Pim Fortuyn, as a homosexual, would likely have been a concentration camp victim in Nazi Germany.
People, especially Leftist forget that it was a breakdown in social and economic order that brought Fascist to power in the first place. Much of that breakdown was directly caused by various socialist and communist groups attempting to so disrupt society that it trigger a revolution. They did trigger a revolution, just not the one they wanted.
The Socialist were directly responsible for Mussolini’s rise to power. Strikes and riots so devastated Italy that people hailed him as a great savior when he restored basic law and order and got the factories working again. Socialist rioting and fear of communism gave Hitler his boost over the top as as well.
The modern manifestations of Leftism are different in most places but the basic mechanism whereby Leftist undermine social and economic order in an attempt to accomplish their own short term goals still exist. It is not inconceivable that the modern manifestations could give rise to a modern Fascism all over again.
May I contrast breathless fear-mongering about nazism with breezy insouciance about communism? In a condescending article about the French Academy in yesterday’s New York Times, the author made this aside parenthetically: “Eastern and Central Europe’s Communist interlude left countries there wiped clean of many traditions, allowing them a relatively fresher start in the post-cold war era.” This is an appalling way to speak of an oppression that tried but failed to crush the traditions of their captives. Can you imagine the Times referring to the Third Reich as Germany’s Nazi interlude?
The collectivist “interludes” of the 20th century wiped clean the planet of a hundred million souls. A fresh start was indeed had by all, at least, all that remained.
My neighbor escaped from China after the Cultural Revolution, which erased family and tradition from its soil. You are correct in suggesting that such interludes contained evils which beggar description. Funny how “never forget” becomes forgotten.
“I’m pretty sure that Pim Fortuyn, as a homosexual, would likely have been a concentration camp victim in Nazi Germany”.
IIRC a number of the early supporters of Hitler were homosexual. Only after he achieved power, were they were purged.
I used to think this kind of stuff was relatively harmless. French kids love their Bin Laden ring tones. In a way, I wouldn’t be surprised some German teens would go this far to be cool. It’s a huge taboo and breaking it is, you know, like, kinda hot.
It’s just an in thing to ‘rebel’ by affecting respect for those people or ideas the dreaded grown-ups hate or oppose.
However, this reasoning must be qualified. For starters, if it was cool to go for things most working adults pretend to hate, Bush and Cheney ring tones and wallpapers would be everywhere. So it seems both teen conformism and rebellion lean the same way.
And the problem though is that some of these young individuals then grow up to open Cuban Cuisine restaurants with giant murals of Che. In fact, I have been thinking of opening an Iraqi cuisine restaurant myself, ideally in Berkeley with giant photos of Saddam and other Baathist memorabilia but, strangely, I cannot find any Iraqi willing to work in it. Such an ingrate people…sigh.
Or worse, a few will become the new Noam Chomsky du jour and root for US defeat rather than the liberation of millions of Afghans or Iraqis.
“if it was cool to go for things most working adults pretend to hate, Bush and Cheney ring tones and wallpapers would be everywhere.”
You forget… most WORKING adults love Bush/Cheney. It’s the college kids and the hippies without jobs who hate them.
The violent crime rate in big American cities make big German cities look like kindergarten recess.
Irrelevant, RLootin. The proper comparison is not to the USA, it is to what Germany has historically experienced. The trend is negative there. I hope they do not tolerate the level of crime we endure, and never let it get that bad.
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