PRINT April 1993

Auchtung Baby

News from Germany

German TV news and newspapers are still reporting small-scale attacks on foreigners (attacks they now mention almost as an aside), but news of larger brutalities comes more rarely these days. This winter, hundreds of thousands marched through West Germany’s inner cities with candles to demonstrate silently against “xenophobia.” (The more appropriate term “racism” is seldom used.) Without overemphasizing the relationship between the simultaneous appearance of racism on the streets and the infiltration of the cultural mainstream by neoright intellectuals, it is striking that this neoright has taken its tactics—the breaking of old taboos, for example—and even some of its concepts from the left.

Exploding such taboos as the use of concepts like “nation,” “national identity,” “German culture,” and “German tradition,” Germany’s new rightists, both in and out of the mainstream, portray themselves

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