As violence is a challenge to the democracy

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The death threats against politicians are piling up. Germany is on the way in “Weimar conditions”? No, says the political scientist Jens Hacke. But the democracy had to prove their readiness to fight now.

The Green politician Robert Habeck (l.) and Dirk Adams have received death threats

It is the third murder was a threat within a week. First of all, the Green-chief Robert Habeck had been directed against him death threats in public. The Thuringian CDU top candidate Mike Mohring said suspected extreme Right-wing threatened on the Internet to kill him. And on Monday, the Thuringian Green party leader, Dirk Adams, announced to have a similar E-Mail.

Adams explained that he was taking the threat against herself seriously. How serious death threats, but it can be, is shown not least by the assassination attempt on the later of Cologne, Lord mayor of Henriette Reker, and the murder of the Kassel government President Walter Lübcke.

Return to Weimar conditions?

Politically motivated murders in the Federal Republic of Germany already in the past: for instance, the Red army faction (RAF), by the national socialist underground (NSU) or by a single perpetrator. Nevertheless, says political scientist and historian, Jens Hacke, Humboldt-University of Berlin, announce a new Form of violence on the Right: “The law of terrorism has become a close to the political operation, because the Alternative for Germany delimits never sensible of such deeds. The accelerated coarsening of political language creates a climate of violence.”

“The state must show its readiness to fight,” says political scientist Jens Hacke

At the latest since the AfD in 2017 in the Bundestag moved in, is warned of the return to “Weimar conditions”. What is meant is the first attempt between 1918 and 1933, to govern Germany democratically and according to the in Weimar, adopted a Constitution. The period was characterized by political turmoil between left, right, and liberal forces, as well as murders of political opponents.

Even today, left-wing and right-wing groups are at demonstrations. With the rampage at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, or the allegedly politically-motivated attack on the Bremen AfD’s Deputy Frank Magnitz also of the extreme left have revealed their readiness to use violence. But hoe is different: “Targeted death threats or assassination attempts in recent times from the left side.”

The comparison with the Situation in the Weimar Republic, the historian finds, despite certain Parallels – difficult: “What was Weimar, was a General militarization of the political Public. Since the combat units of the parties in open road were in regular battles, the were not in control of the police often. So far we are not there yet.”

The defense of democracy

The Weimar Republic ended with the democracy abolishing itself, by the Parliament voted the enabling act, the Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler the dictator gave of Power. The, adopted in 1949, the basic law of the Federal Republic of Germany is designed to prevent this, by excluding a Modification or abolition of fundamental rights. But at the same time most of these fundamental rights – including the freedom of expression can be restricted and freedom of Assembly – if people use them, in order not to violate the “free democratic basic order”.

Democracy is not a self-runner, but a life-form, which must be maintained, writes Jens Hacke

Therefore, the basic law is also referred to as the Constitution of a “military democracy”. Exactly this readiness to fight, says hoe, was the German state under the proof: “The state should show its ability to act and make it clear that certain behaviors are punishable and the consequences associated.” This is not about “attitude snooping around” or comprehensive monitoring measures, insults and incitement of Violence take place in Public, but would not be punished.

Hoe warns, to rely on the fact that the institutions are, after 70 years, strong enough to protect the democracy from alone: “We have a broad consensus in Germany. But: a democracy is always fragile, you must acquire their consent and the democratic culture as a way of life to maintain.”

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Rights networks in Germany

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Rights networks in Germany