Once again, hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated against the right across Germany. The media commented on the large turnout as a glimmer of hope, but warned: Politicians must do their part to ensure that the AfD does not become even stronger.
The country’s media comment on the Germany-wide demonstrations against right-wing extremism largely positively and see them as an encouraging signal in the fight against anti-democratic activities. Nevertheless, at the same time they are demanding more commitment from politicians, who must make their contribution. The press reviews:
“Mitteldeutsche Zeitung”: “With just one weekend full of demonstrations across the Republic, the danger of right-wing extremism is of course far from averted. But it should encourage everyone who is for freedom and democracy: you are not alone. This weekend the right-wing narrative of a tired, “The republic that has been run down by ‘old parties’ has been powerfully refuted. Democracy in Germany is alive – and there are lots of people here who stand up for it.”
“Leipziger Volkszeitung: “The protests in Leipzig, Dresden, Görlitz, Munich, Hamburg or Cologne must not remain mere images: it is important to live the values of the Basic Law even the day after the large demonstration and to stand behind them, even if things get complicated. In discussions in To have the courage to stand up to the little ones. And to stand up for togetherness, the common good and humanity in the small decisions of everyday life. At the latest in the elections.
“Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“: “In times when the liberal state is under pressure and some people doubt who is still behind the democratic institutions, which have to defend themselves against severe criticism and are considered by many to be cumbersome and outdated, in these times it is important to maintain their strength to remember. With word and deed. The democratic constitutional state is not a project of a few – at least it cannot survive as a minority project. That is why the Federal President is now calling for an “alliance of all democrats”. It is for active commitment to the community “It’s never too early. But you can’t order such a democrat front. It can’t be a substitute for politics.”
“The way we deal with the AfD should change”
“Munich Merkur”: “The large demonstrations of hundreds of thousands against right-wing radicals are very good for Germany. As strong and as powerful as these demonstrations were, they are not a signal to continue as they are. The way we deal with the AfD should change. The parties react too hectically, too quickly every twitch from the far right. And because of these reflexes, they forget their huge responsibility: to change their own policies in two or three areas so that there is less cause for anger and protest. No amount of demonstration, no matter how large, can replace this change in policy. “
Hundreds of thousands show the flag against right-wing extremism and for democracy – the images from the protest weekend
“Nuremberger Zeitung”: “What follows after the mass demonstrations calling for democracy? Will they be reflected in falling poll numbers for the AfD? In any case, the ruling parties in Berlin should use the demonstrations as motivation to pursue policies that are not based on the concerns and needs of a majority of people in the country. Anyone who constantly claims to embody the center of society has failed when the political fringes become ever stronger.”
“Nuremberg News”: “It is now up to them, the center of society, because of course nothing is gained with a demonstration. The fight against fascism will only be successful if it is waged every day: today in the office, tomorrow at the regulars’ table – and on next Saturday at the next demonstration at the Nuremberg Kornmarkt.”
“The strong sign on the street must be followed by actions in everyday life”
“Rhein-Zeitung”: “This wave of protests shows that the majority of society does not agree with the expulsion fantasies of right-wing radicals. It lets you breathe a sigh of relief and dispels the leaden mood in the country to some extent. It shows that nothing is lost. Despite the wave of protests, and that is the truth In addition, the approval ratings for the AfD remain high in surveys. And the fragmentation of the party landscape is increasing: With the Union of Values, a new party will be founded, whose chairman Hans-Georg Maaßen enjoys firing on the right-wing fringe and firewalls to the far right or far left However, it would be completely wrong to conclude from this that the parties on the fringe will cannibalize each other and also undermine the AfD. The parties in the democratic center – and the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators for democracy – must not rest on this theory. “
“Rhine Palatinate”: “And yes, the fact that hundreds of thousands are marching against the right is, above all, a signal. A signal that many Germans – across party lines and world views – are standing together to defend democracy. That is extremely important. But signals and symbols run the risk of becoming one another to wear out the time. It remains to be hoped that the demonstrations will not be hijacked by groups that pursue their own agenda. It must be stated quite soberly: demonstrations alone will not stop the right. Their rise or fall will be decided primarily on the Ballot box. It is also up to each individual to counteract right-wing ideas – perhaps in a small group conversation, perhaps in private – with something counteracting right-wing ideas. Demonstrating, voting, talking – that’s a good triad.”
“Nordwest Zeitung”: “The strong signal on the street must now be followed by actions in everyday life: intervene where hatred and agitation are breaking out. Be careful when racist ideas spread. And seek dialogue with those who think that their attitude is just ‘protest’ against ‘those above.’ For democracy it is also important to vote! Ideally in the European elections in June. A high voter turnout and the tick for a democratic party would – purely mathematically – cause the AfD’s share to melt away. The weekend’s demonstrations should not be a one-off affair. If the middle of society no longer wants to remain silent, it must not leave public space to extremists.”
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.