.What happened in Chemnitz, Part 5: Tuesday to Friday, 28 – 31 August. Mass hysteria but also a few sane voices – The European Perspective

What happened in Chemnitz, Part 5: Tuesday to Friday, 28 – 31 August. Mass hysteria but also a few sane voices

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Somewhat bizarrely, the state prosecutor confirmed on 28 August that the two suspects “didn’t act in self defense”. It apparently found informing the public about this very important, as if anybody would have assumed that they acted in self defense. On the other hand, the state prosecutor gave no further information about how or why the victims were killed and injured. One wonders how the state prosecutor made the conclusion about the lack of self defense if it apparently didn’t know anything else about the events.

When asked if it was true that the dead victim had mixed German and Cuban heritage, the press speaker of the state prosecutor answered that she had no information in that regard. The answer is, of course, it is true. The surprising thing is that, after two days the state prosecutor still didn’t know about this easy-to-verify fact.  

Federal Minister of Justice Katarina Barley belongs to the SPD (“Social Democratic Party of Germany”), one of the coalition parties in Merkel’s Government. She participated in a TV discussion program on Thursday, 30 August, where she continued repeating the by now almost mantra-like condemnations of “rightist violence” and “man hunts”. Referring to citizens who maintained that they demonstrated to express their grief about the killing of Daniel Hillig, she had this to say:

But there is no feeling, no grief, no rage, no anger, no worries, no problems that justify the fact that one hunts people, (…), that one shows the Hitler salute and cries right-wing slogans—that has with sorrow absolutely nothing to do.

The first sane voices

And then, the first crack appeared. The same day, Thursday, 30 August, when Katarina Barley was talking about “man hunts”, the Freie Presse, a local newspaper in Chemnitz, wrote this:

The events in Chemnitz are described throughout Germany and beyond with the label “man hunt” (“Hetzjagd”). From the beginning, we, the editors of Freie Presse, have deliberately made the decision not to use the term “man hunt” to describe Sunday’s events because in our view it does not apply.

Scanning the online pages of the Freie Presse one gets the impression of a politically pretty neutral newspaper, if anything more-or-less leftist like even so-called conservative German newspapers are. Thus, it is hard to accuse it of far-right sympathies. In any case, it was quite a courageous act by the editors of the Freie Presse to refuse joining the choir of unanimous “man hunt” accusations by almost the complete German media and by the Federal Government of Germany. It broke the ice and more was to come.

Alexander Gauland, AfD fraction chairman in the German Parliament

The only party in the German Federal Parliament (the Bundestag) which took the side of the Chemnitz demonstrators was the AfD (“Alternative für Deutschland”). AfD Parliamentary Fraction Chairman Alexander Gauland said this on Friday, 31 August:

There is an all-out attack against people who stand up against a policy that has already cost many lives in Germany. The knife murder in Chemnitz is not an isolated case. Mainz, Kandel, Offenburg and Freiburg are only the more prominent further cases.

Chemnitz citizens, who are not only worried but also rightly angry, are being scolded as a “right-wing mob”. Yes, even the whole people of Saxony is denigrated as right-wing extremists or worse, because a handful of muddle-heads with anti-constitutional gestures appears in a mass demonstration.

The commentators give the impression that the recurring slaughter of people is a banality. But when thousands of people demonstrate against it, politics and media see the rule of law endangered. This is malicious and objectively wrong.

We stand firmly by the side of the people who stand up in Chemnitz and elsewhere against Merkel’s lethal welcome policy and peacefully demonstrate. Because it is not the demonstrators, it is this policy that undermines and destroys the rule of law.

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