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Antje Feiks

Incidents in Chemnitz are Shocking

"What happened within the last 48 hours in Saxon town Chemnitz makes me speechles. After the conflict during the Chemnitz town festival on Sunday I was shocked to learn that one of the three heavily injured died in hospital. I express my sincerest condolences to the relatives. I hope the event will quickly be resolved by investigative authorities and this act will be prosecuted. I wish for a speedy recovery of the injured.

The subsequent wave of mobilisation among the extreme right and hooligan scene raises memories of the pogroms of the early nineties. A rightwing mob succeeds in instrumentalising and appropriating the commemorations. In a pogrom-like atmosphere a marauding mob, ready to use violence, is roaming the centre of Chemnitz hunting people of different origin, colour, or presumed political attitude: an esqualation spiral which equals nothing.

Many are aware that Saxony has a problem with established rightwing structures. Unfortunately not everyone. The federal government and especially the ruling Christian Conservative Party should realise the urgency now: what happened in Chemnitz on Sunday may not happen again. Chemnitz may not become a second Rostock-Lichtenhagen (a town where violent xenophobic riots took place in 1992). I hope people now see and understand what sort of mind seeks to make capital out of this tragic death. Warnings against exactly such a situation have not only been ignored in the past far too often but also presented as false. Rightwing baiting has sneakingly found its way into everyday life unchallenged and is now taken for granted. The many that oppose rightwing baiting, the humanists, have to stand up! We are more and we will not put up with this!