For a long time, Germany was known as a welcoming countries for people migrating from around the world, especially the third world. Since the “refugee crisis” that began in 2015 that has rapidly changed, where now xenophobia has exploded across Germany:
Xenophobia is on the rise in Germany, in particular in its eastern states, according to a new study. What’s more, an increased affinity for authoritarianism in the country could pose a threat to democracy.
More than one out of three Germans believes foreigners only come to the country to exploit the welfare state, a study on authoritarian attitudes in Germany says. Almost one out of two people in eastern Germany believes this to be true, and almost as many people are convinced Germany is already “dangerously watered down” by foreigners — 35.6 percent of those interviewed overall held that conviction (44.6 percent among eastern Germans).
“More than 30 percent of the people living in eastern Germany unanimously agree with xenophobic views,” said Oliver Decker, the head of the study at the Leipzig-based Competence Center for Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy Research. That is a really high percentage, he told DW. Roughly 22 percent of western Germans agreed with those views. Since 2002, the institute has published a biennial study on authoritarian and right-wing extremist views in Germany.
Hatred for Muslims, Sinti and Roma
The latest study found that prejudice against migrants has increased in general, in particular against Muslims, Sinti and Roma. The latter groups face significant aggression, Decker said. Almost 60 percent of the people who participated in the study agreed with the assumption that Sinti and Roma are prone to crime — almost 5 percent more than in the 2014 study.
Misgivings about Muslims have also increased. According to the study, more than 44 percent of those surveyed believe Muslims should be banned from immigrating to Germany, compared to 36.5 percent four years ago. More than one out of two (55.8 percent) said that the number of Muslims in Germany made them feel like strangers in their own country sometimes, compared to 43 percent in 2014.
Such figures from the study were almost always higher in eastern Germany than in the West.
Wary of Jews
Anti-Semitism, too, has increasingly made headlines throughout Germany in the wake of several high-profile incidents in Berlin and elsewhere. One out of 10 people questioned felt Jews still have “too much of an influence even today” and almost as many said there is something special and peculiar about Jews and thus they “do not really fit in with us,” according to the study. Its authors suspect that even more Germans harbor anti-Semitic feelings but won’t admit to them in public because doing so is not socially accepted.
But hating foreigners, Muslims, Sinti and Roma has nothing to do directly with these groups, Decker argued. Not all Germans have equally benefited from the country’s overall positive economic development over the past few decades, resulting in anger and aggression among those feeling left behind. Xenophobia has proven to be the perfect outlet to direct their frustration, he said.
Consequences for democracy
This kind of changing sentiment poses a threat to democracy in Germany, according to Decker, who added that while more than 90 percent of the people surveyed believe the idea of democracy is a good thing, they interpret that term differently.
“Most people believe democracy can also be something akin to a dictatorship by the majority,” he said. They believe the protective rights of individual people or groups can be abolished if it is necessary for the good of the whole, Decker explained. Should this kind of thinking ever gain a majority in government, he added, democracy itself could be threatened by democratically elected lawmakers.
Political platform for far-right extremists
Almost 8 percent of the participants in the study said a dictatorship might be the better form of government under certain circumstances, while 11 percent said they wanted a leader who “governs the country with a firm hand for the good of all.”
Voters of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in particular harbor xenophobic (55 percent) and anti-democratic (13.2 percent) views, according to the study, which found that the AfD offers people “with a right-wing extremist view of the world” a political platform. At roughly 20 percent, xenophobia among the voters of Germany’s establishment parties — the conservative Christian Democratic Union, its Bavarian Christian Social Union sister party, the center-left Social Democrats and the business-friendly Free Democrats — is quite high, too.
That said, the study also shows positive developments. “We can say that 30 percent of the population has a decidedly democratic attitude,” Decker said. That may not sound like a lot, he added, but Decker believes these people are willing to take a stand for democracy while they also accept different positions.
A good part of the German people may be ambivalent about democracy, but that doesn’t automatically make them authoritarian, Decker noted. “Unfortunately, 40 percent of the people are in favor of more authoritarian social structures,” he said. “And that is why we are currently seeing such a clear polarization within the society”. (source, source)
The rise of nationalism across Germany is a bad sign for the future.
Germany has always been nationalistic, going back to the days of antiquity and the days of the migrating German tribes. This nationalism posed a formidable challenge to the Catholic missionaries, who while being geographically close by comparison- walking by foot from Rome to Cologne is the same distance as from New York to Milwaukee -took many centuries to convert because of the deeply ingrained paganism owing to nationalist tendencies in Germany. Further north into Europe such as Sweden- for comparison the distance from Rome to Stockholm is the same at this “migrant caravan” is having to travel from Honduras to Texas -took almost a millenium for the same reasons.
German nationalism has never disappeared, but was brought to a healthy management by the Catholic Church, who channeling her impulses was able to either have them work for constructive purposes for Germany and her neighbors, or if she was intent on following with her impulses, could mitigate the damage caused by them. This was the great disaster of the Protestant Revolution, for while the revolution was done using theology to justify nationalism and thus theology was made subject to her nationalistic impulses, in doing this it stripped the Church of her ability to act as a safety device on Germany’s potentially destructive tendencies and allowed for her to indulge in war with her neighbors and within herself. The immediate result was the formation of conditions for the Thirty Years War, and has continued in a march of unending war since. World Wars I and II were not an accident, and neither is the slow but measured de-Christianization of Germany and the Germanic nations, because at its essence, Protestantism is about nationalism, and if one is willing to consider it hard enough, there is no point in going to church if being a good person is synonymous with the social ethos of the time.
Nationalism, generally speaking, is regarded as a pre-condition to war because it cultivates an elitist mentality that is used to justify militarism, especially against those a particular nation does not like. As I have warned, the nationalism is a direct product of the mass transfer of peoples in the non-crisis called the “refugee crisis” and the ensuing permissions of the German government to allow the “refugees” to commit crimes with impunity and then refuse to prosecute them. This is not an accident. Germany is not just “weak” and “unable” to defend herself. She wants to cultivate that attitude because she intends to blame the ensuing destruction on the “migrants,” and then to use their actions to promote nationalism and militarism.
The plan is working so far as the statistics indicate. German nationalism has seen an immediate resurgence, and there are increasing calls for militarism and for Germany to “take care of herself.” The hatred against the “migrants” only continues to grow, and as predicted, they are being blamed for “destroying Germany.”
As I have said before and I will say again, if you are a person living in Germany who does not “look German,” one might want to consider leaving Germany now because the conditions are being prepared for a major war.
Why else did major banks leave Catalonia when CalExit took place, or the same for British banks with BreXit? It is because while there is no war right now, the conditions are being readied for a war. The banks know this because it is the banks who historically speaking bankroll wars for government and in this way have more power than said governments as they are the source of funding.
Will German banks leave? This is to be seen. The point is, there are multiple conditions taking place in Europe right now that are historical indicators of a major war, one of them being the rise of German nationalism and xenophobia in Germany, and they should not be dismissed or overlooked. They need to be taken seriously because they are omens of a future that in five to ten years from now may shock the world.