German Of The Day: Unerklärlich

That means inexplicable.

Islamophobia

You know, inexplicable like of all places on earth it’s inexplicable that Islamophobia and xenophobia could be on the rise in Germany. But it is. What could possibly be behind it?

Prejudice towards Muslims and foreigners is rising in Germany, a study has revealed.

More than 44 per cent of Germans believe Muslims should be banned from immigrating, compared to 36.5 per cent in 2014, the Competence Centre for Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy Research found.

The poll found more than one in two (55.8 per cent) said the number of Muslims made them feel like strangers in their own country, while 43 per cent gave the same answer four years ago, the Die Welt newspaper reported.

“We want a leader who governs the country with a firm hand for the good of all.”

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How Tasteless

How could British newspapers report such things? In this way, I mean. As if they really happened. Which, of course, they did. But still.

Rape

If a German newspaper printed this it would be… Well, it wouldn’t be a German newspaper

Five Afghan asylum seekers are arrested for allegedly raping a girl, 15, in Germany – as country is rocked by sex attack on student, 18, ‘by Syrian migrants’

If it’s not in the German news, it didn’t happen.

They Still Don’t Feel Anything

They’re still numb. And if they’re honest, they’ll admit it. Germany’s Willkommenskultur has always been a myth.

Feel

We asked Germans what they really felt after Angela Merkel opened the borders to refugees in 2015.

German chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision in 2015 to keep her country’s borders open and give shelter to hundreds of thousands of refugees was praised by commentators and leaders around the world. Her decision was also approved of by thousands of German citizens who welcomed refugees and provided clothes, food, and other support.

The term welcome culture, or Willkommenskultur, was frequently used in political debates and the media to describe the events of autumn 2015.

But a year later, the picture had changed dramatically. By the end of 2016, the public debate had shifted to focus on the so-called refugee crisis, or Flüchtlingskrise, alongside the religion of refugees and migrants, and limits to Germany’s capacity to integrate them. The change of perspective was reflected in discussions about upper limits – Obergrenzen — of the numbers of refugees that should be allowed to enter the country.

Our recently published research suggests that welcome culture has never been as widely embedded in German society as public debates in 2015 would make us believe.

Despair Is In The Air

But there ain’t nothing new about it.

Despair

Germany’s New Politics of Cultural Despair – The Authoritarian Revolt: The New Right and the Decline of the West (a book by Volker Weiss).

Nothing against new takes about how the West is in decline (again? still?) but the West has been in decline for as long as anyone alive can remember, not to mention for as long as a whole bunch of folks who are no longer with us could.

Take Oswald Spengler and his The Decline of the West, for instance – from 1922! Nothing against declination, folks, but how much longer is this decline of the West going to last? As a wise man once said: What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

In modern times, fears of social change and spiritual impoverishment can always tempt the malcontented to imagine that the present is an interregnum destined to yield to a new age of faith and wholeness.

Not Bad

The polling predictions made before the Bavarian election yesterday, I mean.

Polls

Whether the actual results are bad or not depends entirely upon your point of view.

The CSU’s drop was not quite as bad as predicted (although they will no longer be able to govern without a coalition partner), the SPD’s drop was breathtaking (the worst regional election result in their history) and the AfD did not get the votes that many had feared they would. This was probably due to the success of the regional “Free Voters” party (CSU-light) that will now most likely be the CSU’s coalition partner. The free market-friendly FDP just got in by the skin of their teeth with 5.1 percent of the vote (5 percent minimum needed). The Left didn’t make it in, as usual. The Greens made a huge leap forward but who cares? This is Bavaria and they don’t go for this utopian stuff so they’ll make a fine opposition party which is where they belong.

So it looks like Angie Merkel will live to resign another day, as usual.

Die CSU hat die absolute Mehrheit in Bayern verloren, sie kommt nach dem vorläufigen Endergebnis nur noch auf 37,2 Prozent. Die SPD erlebt ein Debakel. Wahlgewinner sind die Grünen, die Freien Wähler und die AfD.

Extension Extended

And it will extend on and on into the future indefinitely. These checks at the Austrian border are reality checks, you see.

Extend

Germany will extend temporary controls at its border with Austria for six months due to concerns the EU’s external frontiers are not sufficiently protected, the interior ministry said on Friday.

Germany coordinated the decision with Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, a ministry spokeswoman said. The Danish government made a similar announcement on Friday, citing the threat of terrorism.

Germany and other countries in Europe’s normally controls-free Schengen zone introduced emergency border controls in 2015 after more than 1 million refugees and migrants entered Europe.

There Is A Certain Logic To It

Jews joining the AfD? Well…

Jews

It is the only political party in Germany that declares “Jew-hatred” as “inseparable” from Islam, and says out-loud that Islamic religious dogma is “incompatible with the German constitution”.

That is Dimitri Schulz’s view of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). A Jew who was born in the Soviet Union and came to Germany with his parents as a small child, Mr Schulz is one of a small band of Jewish AfD supporters who see the party as a bulwark against the Islamic threat to Europe.

Warum sollten Juden politisch reifer sein?

Mysterious

Puzzling. Enigmatic. Inexplicable.

AfD

The latest poll indicates that the AfD has now surpassed the SPD in popularity and is now number two among the political parties in Germany. None of the other parties will work with them, of course. Not yet, anyway. Of course, none of the other parties will ever need to work with them if they get an absolute majority of the vote in the next election.

As for the causes of this continued surge in popularity, none of the smart folks in government, academia or media can figure out why this is happening. I think it’s time to call even more experts, don’t you?

Die Polizei teilte am Samstag mit, der afghanische Asylbewerber leide nach der Einschätzung eines Gutachters an einer tiefgreifenden psychiatrischen Erkrankung.

German Of The Day: Beschönigen

That means to whitewash.

Merkel

And as Angela Merkel herself says, there is nothing to whitewash about her party’s decision to refuse reelecting her man Volker Kauder as CDU party whip. They elected the Merkel critical Ralph Brinkhaus instead.

The natives are getting restless. The AfD keeps growing in popularity. Her coalition partner SPD is still dead and getting deader by the minute. Now her own party members are trying their hand at open rebellion. Other than that, though, everyhing is looking just fine.

“Das ist eine Stunde der Demokratie, in der gibt es auch Niederlagen, und da gibt es auch nichts zu beschönigen.”

It’s Not Supposed To Grow

The AfD’s popularity. But it keeps on growing. How can that be?

AfD

Anyone “good German” you ask will explain to you that the AfD is “bad” and “racist” and “Nazi” and “completely unacceptable.” The friendly people from the German media will explain that to you, too. How could such an awful group of people keep on growing in popularity? Something must be wrong somewhere. What on earth could it be?

The AFD is benefiting from being the official opposition to Chancellor Merkel’s grand coalition government. Polls rate it Germany’s second most popular party, dropping the Social Democrats to third.