German City Declares “Nazi Emergency”

The city of Dresden passed the resolution after years of "right-wing extremist" activity

Saxony, Dresden: The silhouette of the old town is reflected in the morning in foggy weather in the Elbe.  (Photo by Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Saxony, Dresden: The silhouette of the old town is reflected in the morning in foggy weather in the Elbe. (Photo by Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / November 3, 2019 1:08 pm

The German city of Dresden has declared a “Nazi emergency” after years of growing “right-wing extremist, racist” activity in the town, passing a resolution warning of the increase in far-right influence.

“The word ‘Nazinotstand’ is an exaggerated formulation for the fact that there is a serious problem — similar to the climate emergency — with right-wing extremism right up to the middle of society,” Max Aschenbach, the councilor who tabled the motion, told CNN. While the resolution is a symbolic one with no legal consequences, he hopes it will raise awareness about the growing threat. It passed Dresden’s city council with a vote of 39-29.

“For years, politicians have failed to position themselves clearly and unequivocally against the right-wing extremists, and to outlaw them,” Aschenbach said. Dresden is where the anti-Muslim Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West movement originated in 2013, and in this year’s state election in Saxony — where Dresden is the capital — the far-right Alternative for Deutschland party won 27.5 percent of the vote.

Still, some German politicians took issue with the resolution’s phrasing, insisting that there is no state of emergency in Dresden. Jan Donhauser, a representative for the center-right Christian Democratic Union party, told CNN it was an “intended provocation.”

“The choice of words in the title of the application does not do justice to the realities in our city: the vast majority of Dresdeners are neither right-wing extremists nor anti-democratic,” he said.

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