Commissioner for Eastern Germany: “Where is not objected to, is more right-wing agitation”


The number of right-wing extremist offences in the East of Germany is high. A new study shows that right-wing violence thrives in structurally weak regions with weak civil society. Criticism there was for Saxony, praise for Thuringia.

Why accumulate extreme right-wing violence and xenophobic protests, especially in Eastern Germany? A new study commissioned by the Federal government has investigated which factors this kind of extreme right-wing currents that favor. At the presentation in Berlin, the Commissioner for Eastern Germany, the Federal government, Iris Gleicke, emphasized the necessity of the investigation: “There is in certain regions in the East, a historically tendency to xenophobia and right-wing extremist Thinking, which may not be wiped in the political debate, just step aside.”

The research team led by Franz Walter made it clear that it is going to make East Germany under General suspicion. “It would be a mistake to situate right-wing extremism, xenophobia and xenophobic Attacks as a primary East German-or even mainly-Saxon Problem.” Also in the old Federal länder, there is no doubt of regional Clusters on the right settings. Dortmund is one such example.

Experiences with the GDR, without the foreigners

The study of the göttingen Institute for democracy research comes to the conclusion that some factors favor the development of a right attitude especially in structurally weak regions of Eastern Germany. The authors of the study include the socialization in the “dominated society” of the GDR, a widespread “feeling of collective deprivation” and lack of experience with foreigners.

Also a lack of economic perspectives and is a widespread skepticism towards the state structures, reinforced this Trend. Similarly, a feeling of isolation, which had been due to the collapse of many Association and community structures after the turn.

Commissioner for Eastern Germany Iris Gleicke (SPD) is struggling in her home country of South Thuringia, often against neo-Nazi marches

For the study, the researchers examined two regions: on the one hand, Dresden and the surrounding area, the extreme right-wing activities in the summer of 2015 in the cities of Freital and Heidenau has gained notoriety. In addition, the researchers participated in the Erfurt district of Mr. Berg, under the magnifying glass. Mr mountain in the Thuringian state capital is for a long time for a very active right-wing scene is known. The study is based on observations of the researchers, as well as over 40 individual interviews with representatives from politics and society.

Dissuasive conditions for foreign investors

Miri Iris Gleicke, who is offended on your Social Media channels again and again as a “nest beschmutzerin” and threatened, pointed out: “right-wing extremism is not solely an East-West Problem, but also a city-country Problem.” For Gleicke, who works in the Ministry of economic Affairs as Secretary of state, is the struggle against the Right, therefore, also a question of the economic future of Eastern Germany. “Who is going to attract a foreign Investor in a Region, when it comes to xenophobic conflicts?”, she asks.

Leipzig’s mayor Burkhard Jung (SPD) opposed to the extreme Right of the Legida movement

You must make an honest, even with the unpleasant sides of their own history, says Gleicke. The study speaks of a widespread “selective memory culture”, in which the image of the GDR “transfigured and the novel,” become a Saint. The same is true for dealing with migrants, explains study author Michael Lühmann. In the minds of many a picture of a GDR set migration policy, the migrants “as a guest with limited residence status” consider. This and the lack of personal contacts with migrants acting up today.

Saxony proud identity of its Own over-height, defensive reflexes against Other cultivate

Many East Germans feeling to West Germany structurally disadvantaged and too often in the “right corner” urged. This could lead, in extreme cases, as it observed the authors of the study, especially in Saxony, to an “Exaggeration” of its own regional and East German identity. The “Saxony proud of,” expresses the positive Roots in the home could, therefore, also against immigrants. Especially in Saxony, a specific, of the local representatives of the CDU-dominated political culture”, the” exaggerated and defensive reflexes against the Alien, the Other, cultivated External acting accordingly””.

The study throws Saxony government under Stanislaw Tillich (CDU) to be of little use against xenophobia

For the Commissioner for Eastern Germany is clear: in Saxony, the land policy would be closed too often faced with the Problem of the eyes. And it would have been a lack of commitment to those civil society groups that face against the brown cutting cycles showed. “Where is not objected to, is more right-wing agitation,” said Gleicke.

It does not need to be observed in the study in the neighboring state of Thuringia. There, one could observe that the “country – and in Parts also the local policy is significantly different accents”. A change of course was therefore also “as necessary”. The researchers include notably Jena, Leipzig and Hoyerswerda to the cities that have successfully pushed the right attitude from the public life and back again.

A “Saxon pride”, is directed against Strangers?

Further, it States: “An open discussion about the diagnosis of ‘Saxon democracy’ and a party of government, not glossed over problems with Saxony’s pride, but their accepts, would be a first step.”

Criticism of the left party

The Commissioner for Eastern Germany, asked the authors of the study, to continue with its investigation, by making positive examples in the fight against right-wing extremism known. “Solution proposals with a raised index finger and teachings from the green table from the supposedly so much more open to the world West of the Republic should do well to remain under,” warned the Secretary of state. Structure-weak regions in the East would have to be strongly promoted: “A withdrawal of the state from all over the country, it must strokes.”

Criticism of the study came from the Left. The reference to the socialization of the East Germans in the GDR was covered “completely,” said Left-Boss Katja Kipping, the AFP news Agency. This is no cause for a societal shift to the right is “the worst will current scale construct”.