Blogs > Cliopatria > March of Extremism

Sep 20, 2004 10:26 am

March of Extremism

Fellow Cliopatriarch Oscar Chamberlain asked whether or not it is dangerous to humanize Hitler (with respect to the film Der Untergang). The film, however, may be evidence that Germans are becoming too comfortable with the ideas that Hitler represented, ideas which are making their way back into German politics.

The Neo-Nazis (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands, or NPD) made the cut in the elections in Saxony, winning 9.2% of the vote and twelve seats in the Landtag. In some areas of Saxony the NPD gained 20%, outperforming the Gerhard Schroeder’s SPD. There is little chance that the NPD will conduct any business: all other parties have refused to work with them, and the majority Christian Democrats have spoken of a possible “grand coalition” with other political parties to shut out the NPD. However, the NPD will work with ultra-nationalist parties in other German states, notably the Deutsche Volksunion (DVU), which has six seats in Brandenburg’s Landtag.

It was expected that both NPD and DVU would do well. Radical parties on both right and left have profited from the controversies over social reforms (especially Hartz IV), unemployment and the poor economic conditions that have overtaken German politics. The NPD has had victories in other fronts this year: a Bavaria court overturned an injunction against their commemoration of Rudolf Hess in Wunsiedel.

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