Saturday, February 4, 2017

TOO - Karla Friedrich: Björn Höcke and the Potential Return of Sanity in German Politics

In January 17th 2017, one of the leading members of Germany’s new alternative conservative party, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), Björn Höcke, gave a speech before his party’s youth organization (Junge Alternative) in the city of Dresden. In his 20-minute speech, Höcke addressed the future of his party, its rebellious function and patriotic orientation, the architectural disfigurement of landscapes and cities, the failures of the political establishment in the refugee crisis, German cultural identity and — yes, he did — the World War II guilt cult and the Holocaust memorial. The speech had the potential of ringing in a new era of self-liberation from the shackles of the post-war historical narrative that denies the German people their sense of self-worth.
However, Höcke clearly poked a hornet’s nest, given the hysterical reactions across the political establishment, including the media and representatives of the Jewish lobby in Germany. Although the speech was well-received by young patriots, some remarks did not go over well with the ruling class. Höcke had been bold enough to suggest that
  1. Instead of focusing primarily on those twelve dark years of the country’s history, German youth should be allowed to develop a positive identity by remembering and honoring the achievements of Germany’s numerous composers, poets and philosophers, of which the country had produced perhaps more than any other. ...