Focus on right-wing violence as Dresden declares ‘Nazi emergency’

The Dresden City Council in eastern Germany has passed a resolution declaring a ‘Nazi emergency’ to warn the nation about the surge in right-wing violence and sentiment in the capital of Saxony, reports say.

The resolution moved by Max Aschenbach, councillor for Die Partei (The Party), was passed by 39 votes to 29 last week.

Die Linke, the Greens, the Social Democrats and the Free Democrats supported the motion while the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party and the Alternative for Germany opposed it.

The resolution called on civil society groups to strengthen a democratic culture, protect minority and human rights, and help the victims of right-wing violence.

Councillors, who voted for ‘Nazi emergency’, sought measures to stop anti-democratic, anti-pluralist sentiment and violence in Dresden.

They urged the state and federal governments to give them more support in fighting right-wing extremism.

Aschenbach likened the right-wing violence in Dresden to climate emergency.  For years, local politicians failed to take a bold stand on right-wing extremism by outlawing its proponents, he said.

The CDU opposed the resolution, saying it was intended to provoke and was symbolic with no legal consequences.

The resolution tarnishes the image of Dresden and is misleading. Most Dresdeners are neither right-wing extremists nor anti-democratic, a party spokesman said.

Dresden saw 60 far-right attacks in 2018, most of them inspired by Pegida or Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the Occident.

The group founded in 2014 claims it is fighting against the Islamisation of Germany and the West. Within five years, Pegida has expanded beyond Germany and Europe and organises regular rallies (above) in Dresden. 

Dresden gained world attention when anti-Islam protests erupted in the city immediately after the deadly terrorist attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris in January 2015.