Chemnitz: “The Moralizing pain in the … to many”


Chemnitz has a lot to be done after the fatal knife attack and the riots burnish a year ago its Image. But the “We are More”campaign is not at all in the Saxon town.

You have to look closer to discover the small blackboard, on the pavement of the Chemnitz bridge road to Daniel H. recalls. The small, silver-colored plaque with a peace sign is only as big as a paving stone and marks the spot at the 35-year-old German-Cubans on the 26. August 2018 during a town festival, was killed.

Of the crime, Alaa S., a 23-year-old Syrian asylum seeker was accused of. Now, he was sentenced in Dresden for manslaughter and grievous bodily harm to nine and a half years in prison. What is not can bring the judgment but to make clear, why this event had such far-reaching consequences for Chemnitz, but also for the political climate in Germany.

The accused Alaa S. before the court in Dresden

The day after Daniel H.’s death tipped the mood in the city. There were Videos in which migrants were being hunted, while the police was apparently not able to control the Situation. When the Festival was prematurely aborted, there was a week-long protests by right-wing radicals clashed together again with counter-demonstrators of the Antifa, while the local politicians tried desperately to contact the Guarantor in the Dialog.

It came to the big demonstrations in Berlin and other German cities, called under the Hashtag #Wearen was. This should be shown to more people in Germany stand for an open and inclusive culture as a rejection of migrants.

A Year #We Are More

Since then it is happening in Chemnitz much. Everywhere, projects developed for tolerance, diversity and openness. On 4. July of this year was held in the heart of Chemnitz, the cosmos concert, this Time under the Hashtag #wirbleiben more. A number of well-known German pop stars performed there.

The annual city festival, which ended last year, so abruptly, will be replaced this weekend by a street festival under the Motto: heartbeat – Chemnitz lives! Has organised it this time, not the city, but a local Initiative.

Inconspicuous: The plaque for Daniel H. in Chemnitz

The city has invested, with the support of the Federal government a lot of money in projects. One of the Chemnitz Open Space. You can find it just behind the head of Karl Marx, a giant statue and the landmark of Chemnitz. Here are all of the Demos will be held in Chemnitz, in the Wake of the knife attack.

Since last may there are events of artists and activists, to promote the democratic culture of the city. One of them shows, for example, the linkages of Chemnitz with the right-wing terrorist NSU.

Rebecca Dathe, one of the project managers, plant on Wednesday afternoon, new flowers around the head of the sculpture. Until last summer, many of the Chemnitzer had looked away easy or is it tacitly accepted, if neighbors or friends are loaded in the right extreme attitudes of the day. “But the events of last summer brought many people to be involved in politics more,” she says. “You notice that people become more aware with right-wing extremism. You no longer look the other way.”

Setbacks for the tolerance

So far Franz Knoppe, project Manager at CAC network for Global Learning, agrees. “There is more civic Engagement. There are many citizens who work there now, the dialogue spaces, projects to start. There are also many events that are really full. As happens quite a lot,” says Knoppe to the DW.

Riots in Chemnitz a year ago

But then the political structures are still in Chemnitz. In the municipal elections in may of this year, the AfD received 18 percent of the vote and was, according to the CDU, the second strongest force. Add to that eight per cent for the extreme right-wing voters Association Pro Chemnitz, including Hardcore neo-Nazis, and organized according to Daniel H.’s death in demonstrations in Chemnitz.

Karsten Hilse, who sits for the AfD in the Bundestag and from Saxony, finds that the protests in the past year have been misinterpreted: “What is taken is the Chemnitz of the policy is very bad, that of this murder, very little was spoken, but only by people who have demonstrated. As a normal citizen who goes to work every day and pays taxes, they say: Ok, now it’s no longer enough for me, now I go on the road, with this migration policy, I’m just agree. And if you are then referred to suddenly by the media as extreme right, then you have a neck like that.”

In spite of the city’s effort for tolerance of dealing with the issue remains difficult, says Knoppe. “I always have the feeling that if the theme again, there is a counter-reaction. If it is too simple, it is divisive.” So you can’t reach the people, which were not actually marching with the Nazis, but, nevertheless, the death of Daniel H. alarming find. “Moralising is annoying many people here. If you come with openness to the world, then show them the finger. This is morally, and reminds many people of the GDR.”

Karl Marx Statue in Chemnitz: the place of Demos

“Moralizing” is reminiscent of DDR

Knoppe shows, as an example, a Video of a local rapper Bengalo Doberman. Has just released a Song in honor of the late local Hooligans Thomas Haller, who had founded an extreme right-wing organization that was linked to the Chemnitz football scene. In the Song tolerance of the pipe will have to dance after all; the press and policy, said, sitting in the same boat.

But as much as people demonize the Moral decline: On an everyday level you will find often a way to get along with each other. Knoppes children, for example, he told on this Sunny August day with a Cup of coffee, play together in their football clubs with the offspring of migrants and the AfD supporters.