German nutzis held one of their biggest annual rallies last week (February 14) in Dresden, with somewhere between 5–6,000 jackbooting around the city (under the protection of 4,000 police). Approximately 10,000 counter-demonstrated, 6,500 of whom attended a rally, while several thousand militants attempted to blockade the route of the nutzi march (but were prevented by police).
Saturday’s demonstration by around 6,000 neo-Nazis in Dresden to mark the anniversary of the destruction of the city by Allied warplanes in February 1945 was a “dramatic sign” of the growing strength of the far right in Germany, a leading member of the country’s Jewish community said.
There were almost twice [?] as many far-right demonstrators as last year and police said they were surprised the far right had managed to mobilize so many supporters this time to mark the 64th anniversary of the air raids that devastated the city on Feb. 13 and 14, 1945. It was one of the biggest far-right demonstrations in Germany since the war.
~ Strong Neo-Nazi Showing in Dresden Heightens Concerns, Spiegel, February 16, 2009
Later that day, a small group of ‘autonomous nationalists’ (‘national anarchists’) attacked a busload of leftist trade unionists.
Attack sparks fear of rising neo-Nazi violence, The Local, February 17, 2009:
“A vicious attack at a motorway rest stop after a huge neo-Nazi march in Dresden last weekend has sparked alarm across Germany. As David Wroe reports, some believe the country’s far-right scene is undergoing a dangerous transformation…”
Trade unionist Holger Kindler has been to at least 20 rallies to protest neo-Nazi gatherings in various German cities and towns. But he says he’s never seen anything like what happened last Saturday.
Kindler was among the 80 unionists and leftists who were having a break at a motorway rest stop in the eastern German state of Thuringia on Saturday when a busload of 41 far-right extremists pulled in. He and his colleagues had just joined some 10,000 people demonstrating a major neo-Nazi march in Dresden.
”One of my colleagues who was in the car park called me on my cell phone and told me they had arrived and were aggressive,” he said. ”I just went into shock. It was a Nazi crew that was very political, not just sub-cultural. They weren’t satisfied with walking through Dresden.”
Five anti-fascist demonstrators were left injured, including one with serious skull fractures. The neo-Nazis weren’t bumbling skinheads, Kindler said. They were autonome Nationalisten or free nationalists – a radical, political segment of the far-right scene in Germany who are growing in number and, experts fear, poised to create a new wave of neo-Nazi violence…
The violent antics of the autonome Nationalisten reflect both their poltical ideology and their political marginalisation from the formal party structures of the NPD.
In reality, it makes sense to have a division of labour within the fascist movement, and while the NPD pursues a political road to power, the broader, extra-parliamentary movement attempts to control the streets; working together, the two can establish bases of operation in small towns, villages and neighbourhoods. It also makes good sense for the far right to appropriate anarchist and leftist imagery, organisation, and tactics. (After all, since the early decades of the twentieth century, fascist movements, being essentially parasitical phenomena, have made regular and eclectic use of such raw political material.) This is especially so in Germany, where the de-Nazified state has instituted various legal measures intended to outlaw public displays of loyalty to the Nazi regime and its doctrines.
The chief proponent of this strategy in Australia is ex-NPD member Welf Herfurth, who has established the ‘New Right Australia (and er, New Zealand?)’, via which he has managed to gather about him a few teenage refugees from Stormfront and a hadful of other fascist lurkers. More recently, after having been given the cold shoulder by boneheads belonging to Blood & Honour and the Southern Cross Hammerskins, Welf has attempted to branch out into The Wonderful World of Bonehead by establishing a rival sect, Volksfront Australia. In this endeavour he is being aided by the lead shouter in nutzi/Viking Power Reich ‘n’ Roll band Blood Red Eagle, Novocastrian Doug Schmitt, whose former allegiances were to B&H and the SCHS.
Nutzis have been marching on Dresden every year for the last 10, and along with the Salem march in Sweden, the Dresden rally is the largest such gathering in Western Europe. This year’s rally was one of the largest nutzi rallies since the collapse of Nazi Germany in 1945, exceeding by nearly a thousand last year’s rally. On the numbers game (‘Counter-Marches Don’t Impress the Nazis a Bit’, Spiegel Online, February 16, 2009):
The left-leaning Berliner Zeitung writes:
“The example of Dresden shows how institutionalized anti-right wing protests have become. One constantly sees the same reflexes: If there is a neo-Nazi demonstration or attack, political parties and labor unions speak out. They demand that the (right-extremist political party) NPD be banned and a counter-demonstration is organized at which rock bands play and politicians speak. The vast majority of residents remain at home and take part via the media.”
“In Dresden, one can see where this is leading. Now that huge neo-Nazi gatherings have been banned (elsewhere), the right-wing has adopted the capital of Saxony as its premiere march location. The citizens of Dresden must take action and can no longer leave it to their politicians to save their city’s reputation.”