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tv   Quadriga - The Far Right Can Germany Defeat its Demons  Deutsche Welle  September 7, 2018 10:30am-11:00am CEST

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and the continent of africa on the move stories about motivational change makers taking their destiny you speak to their parents to the w.c. multimedia series from for. d.w.b. dot com click on the most. touching. cut. cut. welcome to quadriga a recent string of violent right wing protests in the eastern german city of chem that's some involving intimidation of foreigners hitler salutes and mob violence has prompted consternation worldwide and soul searching here at home but this week it was other images that made headlines as sixty five thousand people assembled in templates for a concert get it dedicated to taking a stand against xenophobia and violence initiated by a local band and including
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a prominent groups the concerts model was we are more it began with a moment of silence for the victim of the attack the prompted the initial protests again man who was stabbed allegedly by migrants now in detention. far right can germany defeat its demons that's our topic this week on quadriga and here are our guests it's a pleasure to welcome matthew carney back to the program he's chief europe correspondent for politico and he says germany's demons are necessary and will never be overcome the question is whether germany's political elite is drawing the bright lessons from history the events of the past week suggest they're not and it's a pleasure to have valerie who are with us she's political correspondent in the berlin bureau of people online and she's been reporting on candidates the f.t. community is gradually merging with right wing extremist groups in germany she says
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if the moderates in the party fail to take a stand against this development they will inevitably be dominated by radicals and finally i'm very glad to greet our colleague from torch of elegant afia eka who also has been reporting from she says the events income that's have the potential to further divide german society so we have seen to start plainly different faces of come that's over the past ten days we've heard dramatically opposing views about what actually happened there on sunday august twenty sixth so you linda have been reporting from candidates and i'd like to ask you to get us started by giving us your sense of who is behind the violence and where kevin it's really comes down to which is the face of candidates that's a difficult question. something that the people there are some self i think i've talked to people from both sides as we can say initiative some people that are very
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engaged in fighting right wing extremism for many many years and they sat they they never got the support they wanted to actually. that's what they say for a long time but on the other side people from all not even from. the anti muslim immigrant movement that had its birth in dresden which is not too far away from him that's exactly and people that are you know go to the demonstration they're maybe not part of figure but they understand you know they have their fears and they actually fear the violence of the migrants so we really have two different fears here in the same city that that was my sims and of course i've been there for the concert and it was it was a very nice that was fear but of course the question is. it was nice for the one side and the other one side the other side will it include you know will it be can it be included will the society. be divided by that and not and we want to pick up
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on that question matthew just coming back to the concert it was certainly aimed at showing a different face of cabinets than the one that we'd seen during the protests and the mob violence it did draw sixty five thousand people your opening statement said the political elite doesn't seem to be learning the right lessons from history what about the people themselves what about those concert goers well i think that's an open question and i would say that we don't really know yet if you if you put on a free concert with some of the most popular bands in germany it's inevitable that you're going to have thousands of people come where the most of those people were there for political reasons i don't know it's interesting that a few days before the concert there was a demonstration also in kent it's and depending on which numbers you believe they range from about eight thousand to eleven thousand roughly evenly divided between sort of you know more right wing oriented groups and even nazi groups and people who were arguing the other side bets not
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a lot really right after everything that had happened in the previous ten days you know roughly ten thousand people show up five thousand to protest the nazi attacks doesn't really suggest to me that there's any sort of wave of nazi sentiment in the country at the moment to the point that people are going to go out onto street the . that's why i thought it was fascinating that when they had the concert which i think was on a monday you had sixty five thousand people there as you said and yet for this other protest which was really much more political which was on a sunday you only had a smattering of people show up valor their final these calls since the riots. for people to take a stand to stand up is it naive to think that a concert can make a difference i think that for the people who live there who are on the left wing spectrum is actually important to see that they have support within the german society. however of course this is one concert one day as matthew
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with saying and it's probably not going to make a huge difference in the political legislation that we're going to see come forward . now from from the sex sonia government i don't think that that would change much but i do think that for the people living there who are on the left it was very important however also for the people on the right they obviously they're going to be angry about this and they're going to probably want to respond in some way as well and in fact we have voices from chemists that show us some of those divisions let's hear the voices both of some of those who attended and those who organized the event. if it's going to sit here it's cool that so many young people have come to show their support for candidates it's not out of. america preferred which is most people here are quite normal they believe in democracy and
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they don't right wingers want to charge here and we wouldn't want them here just one more time. i don't mind the concept should it be neutral not against the right but simply for peace this way it was too provocative for. business just this is not the left battling the right. this is crucial anybody with a sense of decency and whatever his or her political positions has to stand up to a moment of violence right wing extremists out on this is conservation it's very important that we halt this kind of thing while it's still a snowball and before it turns into an avalanche on the forests and i live in a goat you know on the oceans of. winter your opening statement referred to the rising divisions in german society we heard a voice one person in that piece saying that a concert like this deepens the divisions because it's against a group within society would you say there's something to that argument yes i think
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so i mean i agree with company no i think it should be about left or right i think everybody in germany should actually be against right wing extremism we have right and left there's no problem to it but if it comes to extremism you just you know phrasal voice and with the history we have this should be an important test for a whole society but. the concert. was problematic in a way that they were seen as the left wing and many people who came there talked to an old couple for example born still during world war two they came there saying you know this is not all music we are against right wing extremism but on the same page we are against refugee violence here. happening in our town and we are very so and this was very. not a very typical situation because usually these people don't go to the demonstration it's an either or and that's what i was experienced either for or against it so you know and this is where politics has to come in matthew these two faces of
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candidates these two very different kinds of interpretations they look a lot like the polarization that we're seeing in a lot of other places in the west germany has long prided itself on the kind of consensus tradition in its politics in fact the governing coalition is composed of two rival mainstream parties which you say that's breaking down and we're seeing the same kind of divisions opening up here as we have let's say in the u.s. absolutely i think that it's really is kind of a crucible of that i think it's less about the town of chemists which is a really is a small city and it's more about what people project on to what happened there and you know if you if you go back and look at the way that this whole thing unfolded you know it started out as a murder by a couple of refugees apparently of a german citizen and that's what what triggered all of this violence and i think
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the problem in this debate is that the media and the society here they've kind of like lost the forest for it for the trees a bit because i think that most germans if you speak to them say well what do you think about what happened they want to talk about what linda just mentioned which is the refugee violence ok which is in many people's perception a big problem and you can look at the statistics and determine that yourself whether it's a problem or not germany's still a very safe country overall there has been an uptick in violent crime and murder and so forth were refugees have been involved in recent years but it is something because there have been some prominent cases that people are worried about the been the murder of a couple of girls there was a fourteen year old girl in. june who was murdered there was a fifteen year old girl in a small town in southwestern germany last december who was murdered in her her her killer was from afghanistan and was was just was just sentenced this week in fact but it is something that people are worried about and i think that there's
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a sense that the politicians don't want to talk about this they would rather talk about neo nazis and you know it's not the sort of rob's welcome there's one thing i mean it's all of these cases a lot they have been talking about this week in the context of chemist because that issue of what happened to the carpenter who was killed there was quickly overtaken by this talk of a a hunt for four people of color in the town by neo nazis which now appears not to have been the case depending on whom you ask and this question of the threat from the right and whether or not the german domestic intelligence service should put a if tea party under surveillance i don't know if this is what everybody is talking i'm going to quickly say that we will come back to some of those issues in just a month because we have a short report that i want to bring in if you come in a few minutes on the political scene but if i may let me just pick up on one thing that matthew said and it relates also to the question of how much are we talking
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about. crime in the streets how much are we talking about far right protest and who's doing the talking where and for you valerie as a member of the online media can you just take us through the role that online media are playing in this deepening polarization and in what appears to be a certain discrepancy in terms of reporting on crime perpetrated by migrants because clearly many people who are going to the streets are people who feel that their streets are unsafe where is that coming from i feel like that that's one of the issues that really was underestimated by many people especially in berlin an essay in the government. where the internet has such a high potential for just getting these people together out on the streets and protesting in such a short amount of time however if you're talking about online media you have to
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sort of distinguish between popular online media or you know publishing houses like i'm from sydney the unknown which is which is a publishing house with this bigots the mainstream media outlet or facebook groups twitter groups where especially right wing extremists just can mobilize so many people so fast which we saw actually on sunday after the murder initially happened that they were able to mobilize eight hundred to one thousand people in a matter of hours and that's something that i think was very much underestimated by the government of sex sonya by probably the german government as well and by the police and that was i think that was an issue and just to to because you said that that were the politicians aren't talking about the issues of violence that is coming from migrants i feel like there is there's such a focus on it though to where. a lot of media is focusing on these the civic crimes
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where they're not focusing on crime that are committed by germans. but i think that they're focusing on these high profile crimes i don't know that they're focusing on the larger issue and what the political consequences of that can be and what it can mean and i think just again this neo nazi thing is quite interesting because is it really that surprising that in germany given especially in east germany where you had this new nazi basically hit squad roaming through the country for ten years killing people that you have this very child is i mean you said you as you did it is germany that murdered with impunity exactly as you said they were able to put together online you know they were going to get six or eight hundred people together to come to chemists neo nazis well that's obviously horrible but is that really that surprising in a country of eighty million that you can you know that these networks exist and that they can mobilize very ignorant their minds know what's surprising is that you know that there is not a strong stand up against it and saxony has had
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a problem with driving extremism paul long time and actually there wasn't a strong voice against it from the ruling party from the sea view this for me is surprising and she says says you know we're quite talking about democratic values and i think the industry envoys against nazi i mean this is of the this is the comfort zone of german of german mainstream politics is to be against nazis everybody's against nazis it's like being against poverty or global warming and this is like everybody kind of i don't know we have to do something about it doesn't ocracy it isn't one of the challenges of standing up the apparently diffuse nature of this right wing sentiment oh of course to suppress the press because in effect as we saw also among those sound bites many of the people who are joining these protests in chemist's would say i'm not a member of the far right i am not a member of the f.t. party but i'm out here to tell people that i don't feel i'm safe on the street right but if you're marching along with it in violence are they complicit in seeing
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a phobia. i would say they are there they know what they're doing and they know they are marching next to me and on these and this is not only they state many members of they have are not neo nazis they're democrats but the a.f.d. just have they're just merging with right wing extremist groups and they have they were marching with people who definitely are right wing extremists and are new nazis and i do feel like the politicians that were marching are complicit in this you know phobia that result now the people i feel like it's hard to judge them but on the other hand they're marching next to people who have insignia who have tattoo that are very clear in their methods so i mean isn't that a reflection of the fact that they don't think that their concerns are being taken seriously by the political climate on the city of refugees so let me bring in the report that shows us exactly that march and does point to that blurring of the
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lines between the far right nazi groups and a party the ifti that is represented in the federal parliament. right groups marched through candidates holding up portraits of people they say were victims of crimes committed by migrants in the bank guard politicians from the right wing populist f.t. party such as beyond well known for his inflammatory anti foreigner tirades the national leadership does not rein him in. lot sparkman was also that he's one of the founders of the far right and the muslim peggy movement he's been convicted of inciting racial hatred. neo nazis and other right wing extremists who are out in force many already known to the police and ordinary townspeople this is the first time right wing populists and extremists have marched together so blatantly. the police broke up the march but its message had already come through loud and
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clear how dangerous is such an emergent right wing nationalist alliance. linda let me pass that question right on to you how firm and how dangerous is this alliance between a party sitting in the federal parliament the f.d.a. this right wing party came to power partly on anti immigrant positions and actual neo nazis. but it's it's also it's a sign you know it's a symbol also i mean we've been hearing things in the in the bundestag in the parliament. that are that are racist so you know the party is setting a tone that people on the street pick up they think it's ok to say that there are so you problem you know i mean that it's ok to criticise and there's reason to criticize also on migration politics here in germany. you know in a democratic circles let's put it like that valerie you talk to your opening statement about the blurring of the lines would you say that this means we are
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seeing mob violence actually orchestrated by the far right by neo nazis and would you say that this ideology is taking on mass appeal in large swathes of eastern germany or does that go too far. well i think those are really two very different question i don't think that they're orchestrated by the a.f.c. . i think they're they're more spontaneous eruption these are definitely the protests are organized but what we've seen that you know people who aren't white are being chased through the streets the video that we saw that. i don't think that that's that's just an eruption of violence i would say. and i think that the f.d.a. play the role in that as you said linda they're making it more possible for people to say these things without actually having to fear anything from society they can
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just go back to work they're not thanks and for it whereas before they were and i think that's a big part of what the f.d.a. is making making possible for them you know right matthew some people would say mainstream politicians are also lowering the threshold to the phobic talk and the person i mean in particular would be the head of the chancellor's sister party the very conservative party he said just this week apparently in an internal party meeting that he thinks the main problem in germany today is migration horsy hoffa has he in fact helped to normalize the kind of xenophobia we're now seeing on the streets well i think we'd have to know exactly what he meant by that i think he might have meant that this migration crisis which and the handling of the crisis and the political fallout from it is the mother of all crises politically in germany now because it has opened the door in many people's view to this search by the a.f.p. which you know is you know wasn't even on the map really in two thousand and
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fifteen before this happened they were in the boons talk at the time and they went from basically low single digit percentage points in the polls to all of a sudden fifteen percent and they did very well in the last election so i think this is to be fair to say over that's probably what he's referring to and he's on the front lines of this because he's the interior minister as well and is in charge of the police and is dealing with this every day he also exacerbated exacerbated the migrant sentiment for example by suggesting germany ought to be shutting down its border big debate that he had with the chancellor angela guy think he's running scared because his base down in bavaria they're very concerned about this and there is this kind of schizophrenia about it because on the other hand as you would be the first to point out varia has done more for the refugees than. any other state they've taken in more they've been very generous in their their contributions to dealing with the crisis so you have that on the one hand and then on the other
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hand you have the rhetoric and i think that they have the if the behind them you know and they're they're trying to find a solution and i think making a lot of bad decisions because instead of really you know trying to find a honest way of dealing with the crisis and instead of saying well we're going to turn people back at the border to say well this is how we're going to integrate people better this is what we're doing here here and here you know there's this kind of sense still in germany and merkel even said this during the campaign as well that well a lot of these people are going to go back you know and i think this is part of the problem you know again to these these marchers who were standing there next to the new nazis and stuff who look like completely normal people there's a sense that well this entire thing is just a sham that we've been lied to if you look at the numbers of people for example just as one one interesting data point yeah the number of people who come to germany whose asylum application was denied you end up staying ok that pool of
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people is in the hundreds of thousands so i think a lot of normal citizens and legislation this is why you need legislation to deal with that and it hasn't been done and i think this is the frustration that a lot of normal germans feel led to just taking us back to the immediate reaction to what's going on in kenya that's the question posed by our title can germany defeat its demons in the whole federal cabinet only one minister has actually been to candidates in the aftermath of these riots there and that's the family minister who herself has a background from eastern germany what's going on where are the rest of the government politicians and should they be standing up in a different way well left in the city interviewed her when she was in kenya i think she did a really good job you know bringing in the civil society talking to them and talk to them and they would have you know for. years nobody has talked to us you know so i mean it's it's important for politicians also to look at these remote areas chemist's you know this is a town in a very typical eastern german town you know big street socialistic architecture
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really like a place where you come to and say ok this is interesting here but you know i don't feel very good coming up at first sight so you know she did a very good job giving the feeling that we're looking we're here but of course i mean it's a question of the interior minister why wasn't he there why was why isn't the chance of going there i think that's true but the chances are she's not she hasn't yet but that's and that is that put that puts so much pressure on this whole protest and everything that is related to it i'm not sure that she is and i'm really not sure if she should go there because if she went that would be that would make it a national crisis and i think that what has to happen is that facts and it has to deal with this issue this statement which candidate say and also addressed in the birthplace of they need a movement are both located and the governor is in a really hard position because he knew he's young he has to win an election next
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year and he has a issue with definitely chasing him in the polls and he's a very conservative on the other hand he has to stand up against these right wing extremists and i think that's what we're not seeing that's what i would say man not seeing the total that's the last word a problem don't have a lot of time i think if you think the demon of me and say you know a lot of what's happened over the past three years didn't didn't go well and we're now we're trying to fix the situation instead of denying that and trying to change the subject all the time and that's why i think no one should go to kevin is i think she needs to go there to really you know take this this issue head on and deal with mr thank you very much to all of you for being with us and thanks to you out there for turning on season.
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