I note with disgust that the Dutch nationalist politician Geert Wilders endorsed Germany’s Alternative fuer Deutschland, a nest of unreconstructed Nazis masquerading as right-wing populists.
As Breitbart reported (citing AFP) last week, national outrage greeted a speech by a leading figure in the Alternative fuer Deutschland party calling for Germany to stop apologizing for the Nazis.
“AfD politician calls for Germany to stop atoning for Nazi past” — Daily Telegraph, January 18, 2017.
Björn Höcke called for a “180-degree turn” in Germany’s attitude to the Second World War and condemned the national Holocaust memorial as a “monument of shame”.
“Our mentality is still that of a totally defeated people,” Mr Höcke said in a speech in a Dresden beer hall on Tuesday night.
“We Germans, our people, are the only people in the world who planted a monument of shame in the middle of our national capital.”
Mr Höcke said that German history had been made to look “lousy and ridiculous” in schools, and promised the AfD would “rewrite the history books” if it came to power.
“This ridiculous coping policy paralyzes us, We need a complete 180-degree turn,” he said. “Until now, we have not been able to mourn our own sacrifice.”
AfD leader Frauke Petry meanwhile proposed to revive the Nazi-era term “voelkisch” (which then simply meant “Aryan”).
Last summer the moderate nationalists in the AfD left the party after it refused to expel an openly anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, Wolfgang Gedeon. The Guardian reported:
Comments made by Gedeon in a book published in 2012 surfaced in the media after he entered state parliament following regional elections in March.
In the book, entitled Green Communism and the Dictatorship of Minorities, Gedeon compares Holocaust deniers such as David Irving to Chinese dissidents, claiming, among other things, that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a faked historical pamphlet purporting to outline a Jewish plan to control the global economy and media, were in fact real.
The AfD’s deputy chairman had quit in 2015.
I have lambasted Chancellor Angela Merkel in this space and elsewhere for opening her borders to 1.4 million Muslim refugees. But that does not mean that her opposition is better. The left-wing opposition (“Red-Red-Green,” that is Social Democratics, the Left, and the Green Party) would make Germany a de facto satellite of Russia. And the Red-Red-Green coalition may succeed if the “Alternative” right draws sufficient votes away from Merkel.
This raises a broader issue:
Europe’s right-wing parties are not first cousins of the Trump movement in the United States, but a much older and nastier species.is not fascist, but its origins lie in the defeatist, pro-Nazi Vichy regime. Italy’s Five-Star movement is led by a clown married to an Iranian Islamist; the clown, Beppe Grillo, espouses anti-Semitic and pro-Muslim views along with opposition to the European Union. Britain’s Nigel Farage, who recently resigned as head of the minor-league Independence Party, is not a British Donald Trump. There is no British Donald Trump. Britain is an imperial monarchy, not a republic, and its politicians are servants of the sovereign. “British populism” is an oxymoron, except for the irrelevant republican fringe. As a monarchist populist, Farage is simply irrelevant.
Europe isn’t like the United States. Its nationalism is not our nationalism. De Gaulle’s French messianism (“dei gesta per francos”) has more in common with Russian Orthodox messianism or Germany’s previous obsession with its cultural or racial superiority.
Treating Mr. Farage as if he were important is harmless; it will amuse our British cousins, and no more. But giving credibility to AfD is extremely dangerous. Man wisse erst, wes Geistes Kind sie sei.