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The Sylt scandal shocks: stern editor-in-chief on champagne Nazis

The Sylt scandal shocks: stern editor-in-chief on champagne Nazis

The pictures from Sylt have caused a lot of uproar in recent days. The current issue of the star examines the question: How racist is the German elite? The editor-in-chief gives his opinion.

In February 1933, shortly after they seized power, Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring met the heads of the 24 largest industrial companies in Germany. The French author Éric Vuillard described the intertwining of Nazis and German money in detail in his book “The Order of the Day”: “They are called BASF, Bayer, Agfa, Opel, IG Farben, Siemens, Allianz, Telefunken. (…) They are here, among us and between us. They are our cars, our washing machines, our cleaning products, our radio alarm clocks, our home insurance and the battery in our watch.” At this meeting, Göring shouted that the entrepreneurs always spoke of the free initiative of the economy. Now they had free initiative, “make an effort” – in giving money, which the entrepreneurs did eagerly.

Of course, no German companies are currently financing Nazis, and there is no threat of a seizure of power. We should not keep conjuring up the ghosts of the 1930s. But money and right-wing views are by no means mutually exclusive.

That is why those who are surprised by the images from Sylt seem to have forgotten history. There, well-dressed and apparently well-off young people celebrated with Aperol and champagne, and they happily sang: “Germany for the Germans, foreigners out.” Sometimes it is made out that the rise of right-wing populists can only be explained by the economic frustration of those left behind. If this can be remedied, for example with money, everything will be fine again. Of course there are many AfD voters who feel left behind, economically or culturally, or who are plagued by fears of decline.

Politicians must address their concerns. But there are also people who are doing brilliantly and who are still racists. It may seem like a nightmare to us when we look at the pictures from Sylt. But for people who look different from native Germans, this nightmare is everyday life, as my colleague Jacqueline Haddadian writes. That is why we have to look at these pictures, as repulsive as they are.

Shocking things are happening not only on Sylt

The European Parliament is not as powerless as is often suggested. However, it is a place where some rules do not seem to apply – and where boundaries become blurred at parties between people from 27 EU member states. That can be fun, but also dangerous, especially when it comes to sexual assault. . This does not shake our image of Europe, but it is shocking how some avowed Europeans behave.

. At the same time, they feel committed to the principle, also a historical lesson, that rules should apply in war. The conflict in Gaza – imposed on Israel by Hamas, but conducted with alarming severity – is putting Germany in a dilemma. Do the arrest warrants requested by the International Criminal Court mean that German police officers, of all people, should arrest an Israeli prime minister? I do not envy Chancellor Olaf Scholz for weighing up this issue.

Source: Stern

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