AfD Party Congress decides on Erasmus Foundation affiliation

Published by carolyn on Mon, 2018-07-02 00:16

AfD support is growing in Germany and they are planning for the future.


By Carolyn Yeager

I've found a website that might make my reporting on Germany a little easier—it is Free West Media. Possibly an improvement over the so-biased Deutsche Welle.

The Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) held it's annual party congress in Augsburg over the weekend and the big news was the decision to formally recognize the Desiderius Erasmus Foundation (DES) as its only party foundation. It rejected the idea of a party-based foundation.

The beloved Erika Steinbach, chairman of the foundation (not a member of AfD), spoke to the delegates, saying “In the fight against Goliath, we must not take away the slingshot from David.” Steinbach, a former long-time member of the CDU and a close associate with Angela Merkel, left the CDU a couple years ago in protest over the migration and asylum crisis. “The AfD is now indispensable as the strongest opposition,” she said.

The following interesting detail I got from Der Spiegel.

The foundations mainly do political education work, organize seminars and conferences on specialist subjects, and award scholarships to students and doctoral students. In the long run, an academic elite could be bound to the ideology of the party, in which criticism of the EU, Islam and refugee politics are only one side of the coin, the other being a creeping revision of the picture of history (historical revisionism).

That could leave a mark on the republic. At some point, the academics supported by the party-affiliated foundation will emerge as teachers in schools, at universities, in radio and television stations, in editorial offices and in the state apparatus. They could influence the discourse; this is secretly the hope of the AfD foundation supporters. It would be their belated revenge on a "red-green" [Social Democrats-Green party] republic, as it is called in the AfD, a republic that, in Steinbach's view  has developed in the wrong direction. She cited the former Estonian President Lennart Meri, who in 1995 declared in the Bundestag on the Day of German Unity that one could not trust a people "who engage in intellectual self-contempt around the clock".

The reaction of the AFD delegates to this statement was thunderous applause and cheers.

Comments

In a recent visit to Belarus' "previously forgotten" Trostinez (so-called NS) camp, German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeyer said he was "full of shame and sadness."

He warned against "forgetting Nazi crimes" and said it took much too long for Germany to remember these crimes and profess its responsibility.

"Today, the responsibility is to keep the knowledge of what happened here alive. I assure you, we will also defend this responsibility against those who say that time will lessen it."

But I ask, is Germany responsible? It was only "recent research" that determined that Germans were responsible for "shootings and gassings" of 40,000 to 60,000 people there (including Jews from the Minsk Ghetto, it says). The first construction phase of this new camp memorial was completed in 2015--what took them so long?-- and Germans are sharing in the cost at the tune of a million euros. Sounds like another Katyn to me.

But Steinmeier, a Social Democrat, is playing it up for political purposes. In a concurrent interview with the Frankfurter Allegmeine Zeitung, he sharply criticized remarks by competitor AfD politicians such as Bjoern Hoecke and Alexander Gauland for their comments defending German honor. In contrast, Federal President Steinmeier proclaimed: "We must never forget that the German war of annihilation was aimed at extinguishing this country and the people who lived in it. I stand before you today - as a Federal President, as a German and as a person - grateful for the signs of reconciliation, and full of shame and grief over the suffering that Germany has brought over your country."

Steinmeier has got it wrong. According to real history, it was Stalin who wanted to conquer Belarus and succeeded in making it part of the Soviet Union. It was Hitler who was protecting them. But the heirs of the 1945 Allied victory use the enemy's version of history.

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