On 5 March 1945, the war pushed, declared and started by Nazi Germany also returned to Chemnitz. The destruction of the city was preceded by years of Nazi terror responsible for millions and millions of deaths. The extermination of European Jews in the Holocaust began with the pogroms against the Jewish population in 1938, to which the Jewish community and the synagogue in Chemnitz also fell victim. But long before that, the Eastern European Jews who had immigrated to the Kaiserreich and later to the Weimar Republic were marginalised, and as early as 1924 Adolf Hitler clearly articulated his "racial mania" and his ideas for the extermination of the Jewish population in his book "Mein Kampf". Many people at the time could not imagine that this could ever be implemented!
Today, a party - the AfD - in intellectual as well as actual affinity with old Nazis and neo-Nazis is once again using anti-Semitic set pieces and conspiracy ideologies such as the so-called "great exchange" to racially mark and exclude entire population groups. Both on the streets and in parliaments, they use old constructions of the enemy and create new ones. Anti-Muslim racism plays a prominent role in this, and not without reason: in Europe, anti-Muslim racism must be regarded as a "political guarantee of success" among broad sections of the population. Many European far-right parties have focussed their racist programmes on the construction of the enemy image of the "Muslim" or "Islam" and have thus been able to convert widespread social resentment into voter support.
The public discourse about a supposedly uniform "Islam" and actually quite different Muslims paints a predominantly negative picture: they are accused in a sweeping manner of being fundamentally sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, criminal, violent or potential terrorists. It does not matter how and in what way religious those marked as Muslim actually are, or whether they are Muslim at all or only perceived as such because of their name or appearance or because of their country of origin: Their actual or supposedly religious affiliation is constructed as the reason for their behaviours and social practices, which are then generalised and critizised. Thus, they appear as archaic and brutal - in any case as the "others" in contrast to "us" who are supposedly the only ones who are reasonable, emancipated and free. In right-wing contexts, such arguments are clearly exaggerated and those marked as Muslim are denied a right to exist in Germany and Europe. This is reaffirmed again and again by declarations that Islam does not belong to Germany. At the same time, the CDU/CSU has been the promptor for the racist arsonists from Pegida to AfD, who have made Islamophobia on the streets and in the parliaments fully acceptable. Current racist terrorist attacks such as those in Munich, Halle and Hanau are the sad consequence.
The AfD wants to give the impression of standing up for Jews and attributes the constantly growing anti-Semitism exclusively to Muslims. However, they do not mention that most anti-Semitic crimes are committed with extreme right-wing motives. On the contrary, the AfD uncritically participates in numerous demonstrations of so-called "lateral-thinkers" ("Querdenker"), where people disgustingly trivialise the Holocaust by comparing themselves as opponents of vaccination with the persecuted Jews during the Nazi era. The main motion for the AfD's national party conference on 10 and 11 April is full of racist prejudices against Muslims. We must take the threat seriously when there are again discussions about the expulsion of entire population groups from Europe, as is the case, for example, with the Thuringian state chairman of the AfD Björn Höcke, who rants about a "migration ban on spatial alien (raumfremde) populations". The lessons of the Holocaust for us mean: they will do it again! If they have the opportunity! And if we do not stop them!
To stop the AfD, we must confront this fascist party in the making and the other right-wing forces everywhere and speak up clearly against their racism and Nazi ideology! One opportunity to do this is the Anti-racist Market for the International Day of Action against Racism on 21 March, 2pm-4pm at the Neumarkt in Chemnitz. With speeches, information desks and red lines against AfD, Pro Chemnitz and Co. we want to position ourselves against everyday racism, structural and institutional racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and network with you for the tasks to come.