2008/09/11

"Wehret den Anfängen !"

I've found a possibly specific German attitude in my discussions with foreigners in the past few years; it's about how to handle the very seeds of potentially dangerous things.

The slogan for this is "Wehret den Anfängen!" - that could be translated as "Nip things in the bud!".

We have a remarkably low tolerance for even small seeds of potential political extremists, especially against the right wing here.
(Our right wing is comparable to the U.S. political center to its far right wing, but it's non-religious).

The Neonazis in Germany (they're politically powerless and outcasts, respectable election results only in small regions and only once or twice in a row) have absolutely no political talent and are much too inept to be a real danger.
One of their expressions of their existence are demonstrations, using fantasy flags and symbols.
It's a tradition to counter these demonstrations with an (afaik always) considerably larger counter-demonstration.

This attitude of marginal tolerance to extremists is strong in large parts of the population and is being applied on many occasions.

I had a discussion about the Ukraine recently, in which a Russian claimed that Ukrainians and Russians were the same ethnic.
Most people weren't alarmed, but I saw a private assault on Ukraine's sovereignty by negation of its national identity in this and emphasized their sovereignty
He couldn't understand why I bothered - he only expressed a personal opinion and had no political power anyway.

Well, that's how it doesn't work with Germans. We don't wait till harmful ideas reach the political leadership because then it's too late to bother.

Sven Ortmann

P.S.:
Exceptions prove the rule. The German people are not entirely homogeneous on this, of course.

2 comments:

  1. Gooden morgen. Thanks for providin' some insight into the psyche of the Deutsche people. Wehret den Anfangen indeed, but are the Americans even listenin'? Or are they gonna become the next fascist state after Mussolini Italy, NAZI Germany & Franco Spain?

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  2. I feel uncomfortable about giving negative comments on foreign domestic politics.

    I've got vague hints about my opinion in an early post, though.

    http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2008/06/learning-from-past.html

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