Mathew D. Rose – Germany on the Wrong Side of History Again

Germany’s uncontrolled drift towards an authoritarian, repressive, and xenophobic state seems unstoppable. They have been here before.

Mathew D. Rose is an Investigative Journalist specialised in Organised Political Crime in Germany and an editor of BRAVE NEW EUROPE


On 22 March there were  two unexpected polls presented by German state television broadcaster ZDF. They had asked Germans if “Israel’s military action in Gaza Strip is justified despite many civilian casualties”. 69 percent said no, 18 percent said yes, and the other 13 percent did not know.

This is surprising as Germany’s traditional political parties and institutions have created a fanatical pro-Israel discourse that has been become a tool of authoritarianism and xenophobia. There is a palpable fear throughout German society of publicly saying anything critical about Israel – a fear that is justified by the number of cases of people losing their jobs or engagements for doing so. The same is true with regard to Germany’s support of NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine.

The result of a second poll by ZDF was therefore just as surprising: “Should Germany supply Ukraine with Taurus cruise missiles?” 34 percent said yes, 59 percent no. In a parallel poll by a private television broadcaster the results were 28 percent yes and 66 percent against. Both broadcasters confirmed that only voters for the Green party supported with a majority sending Taurus missiles to Ukraine. The Greens, which emerged from the German peace and environmental movements, have transitioned into the party of German blood lust, once the domain of the far right. These polls appear to confirm John Mearsheimer’s claim that the war in Ukraine and Israel’s genocide in Gaza are being driven by the political elites in Western nations and the Goebbellistas of state and mainstream media, not by their citizens.

It is the cowardice of German social institutions that is startling. No major voice of protest has been raised against these wars and the genocide. Instead many have become auxiliary re-enforcers and enforcers of government policy. No Christian Church, neither Protestant nor Roman Catholic has opposed them. State and mainstream media, intellectual and political institutions – universities, unions, institutes, NGOs, the arts – have followed suit. Their internal enemy are the Putin Stooges and Anti-Semites, who they exclusively are permitted to identify, denounce, and punish. For many foreign academics and artists, not to mention Jews, this intellectual reign of terror by the “good Germans” has come as a shock, probably comparable to discovering that the nice man next door or the much loved parish priest is a paedophile.

One need not be a political scientist to figure out why the traditional German political parties are prepared to trample on basic democratic rights and why civil institutions are not up in arms with regard to these events. Germany has been here before – previous to both world wars. Now we are witnessing the authoritarian liberal state flexing its muscles to a degree that has not been seen in Germany since the Third Reich.

It is not only the current German governing coalition, supported by barely a third of voters, but all the traditional political parties that realise that they are standing with their backs to the wall. The deterioration in their support among their citizens had become obvious after the last general election and has inexorably continued since. They however have no intention of dealing with the dissatisfaction that troubles most of German society: increasing inequality and economic insecurity. Instead the wars and xenophobia against Russia and the Palestinians are being off-loaded as a substitute for social change. Their hope is that if Germans are brought together in a campaign of hatred against Russia and now Palestinians, the disparities between rich and poor – a gap that is expanding – will be overlooked. Last week it became known that the number of children living in poverty in Germany has reached a post-war record. Germany’s political class has as much regard for the well being of its own children as they do for those in Gaza.

The two wars were the opportunity that the political class assumed was needed to reunify German society behind its leadership. This however has not succeeded as there have been no changes in social or economic power. And there will be none. Germany’s current political class is administering the status quo, not governing the nation. Although the coalition of Social Democrats, Greens, and Liberals are the ruling parties, they are nothing more than interest groups, concerned not to develop policies, but to win concessions for the particular interests they represent, something that has not gone unappreciated by their supporters, the metropolitan elite. It is this group that the German political class are successfully mobilising under the banner of Russophobia and Islamophobia, by claiming to be enforcing a monolithic common will. This has been a brilliant success story with regard to the urban elite, and nowhere was this more poignant than with what used to be termed the radical left in Germany, but according to the polls, not with the vast majority of Germans.

But what about this majority, those opposing the military adventures of their political class? Twenty years ago, during a Social Democrat and Green coalition, this same political class abandoned the working class and disadvantaged, assuming they would simply despair of the political system and cease voting, which was the case for a long while. Abandoned by the Social Democrats, much of this class was left without its traditional voice. In the course of time the transfer of wealth to the rich increased. So did the creep of economic disadvantage into higher economic strata. The most recent ill-fated attempt to tax farmers to help cover the government’s fiscal deficit was the latest example. Much of the blue collar middle class has also come under economic pressure and is turning its backs on the established parties. The political backbone of the traditional parties has become white collar workers, civil servants, and pensioners, although many of the latter are also feeling the cost of living pressure, especially in former East Germany.

Many will ask, what happened to all those “good Germans” who propagated a socially just liberal democracy? The genocidal conduct of Israel in Gaza has put paid to these notions. As in the past their “goodness” is synonymous with ineffectiveness. Their proclaimed lodestar used to be “Never Again” and “Don’t look away”. Again has happened, and as during Germany’s own genocide against the Jews, Slavs, and Roma and Sintis, they are once again ignoring reality: Israel’s – and Germany’s – genocide in Palestine. When their ideological house of cards collapses, they will, as they did almost eighty years ago, claim they had not known what was really happening and see themselves as victims. They are currently ardently trying not to know.

Among those who feel abandoned by their political elite and disadvantaged by its authoritarian neo-liberal policies there is a vague grumbling, but the historical acquiescence to authority reigns. Those who are vociferous have no programme, still less a defined class interest: they stand simply for destruction and action, not contradictory but complementary. The one passive, the other active, but like the ruling possessing class anathema to democracy and historically integral to German fascist order. We are now seeing once again that political behaviour is beyond the German society.

The German political class is slowly becoming aware that they are once again on the wrong side of history. The anti-Russian crusade is turning into a debacle similar to the “Battle of the Ice” almost a thousand years ago (German aggression against the Slavs has such a long history). Following the US withdrawal from the war, Germany has been left as the mainstay of a bankrupt, corrupt, anti-democratic, not to mention militarily demoralised nation with a strong fascist current.

It was maybe this that caused Germany to pivot away from the Ukrainian losers, and throw its full support behind Israel with its potent and geographically dominant armed forces to once again be on the side of “siegers”. As Israel began its genocide against Gaza, it was two German politicians, Urusla von der Leyen in the name of the EU and Annalena “Butcher” Baerbock for Germany who were first to rush to Israel to declare that the EU and Germany would support Israel without limits – including genocide. That the German arms industry is enjoying record profits as the second largest supplier of arms to Israel after the US certainly plays a major role.

The relation between the US political class and Israel is commonly described as “joined at the hip”. One could describe that Germany’s political class and Israel are “joined at the heart”. Many of these share Israel’s Islamophobia, showing the same glee we regularly see as Israeli soldiers commit their war crimes in Palestine, a carbon copy of German soldiers during the World War II. But then again, they are no different with regard to the fate of Russians: civilians and soldiers.

But here too the situation is rapidly deteriorating. As Israel’s genocidal intent in Gaza has become undeniable and denounced by most of the none Western nation, then confirmed by the International Court of Justice, and more recently by UN Human Rights Council, Francesca Albanese, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied territories, Germany is feeling increasingly like a pariah state.

On 8 and 9 April, the International Court of Justice will be hearing Nicaragua’s case against Germany with regard to the Gaza genocide of of violating its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention and other “intransgressible principles of international humanitarian law,” including the Fourth Geneva Convention. The first of its kind with regard to the Israel genocide. The ICJ, which appears to be concerned about damage containment of its own credibility and the reputation of the West, will probably draw the line here. If they decide against Germany, the floodgates would be opened with regard to other similar cases against other Western nations. This is not how the “good” Germans wish to be seen. Their decision as the only nation in the world to intervene on Israel’s behalf at the International Court of Justice was just another example of their current hubris.

Germany has a long tradition of war crimes and genocide, unfortunately none in diplomacy. Despite its reputation for military prowess, it has not won a war since 1871, if we do not count its colonial genocides in Namibia with the Herero-Nama and during the Maji Maji Rebellion in Tanzania. The two world wars ended in surrenders, diplomacy not being an option. With Butcher Baerbock as Germany’s foreign minister the nation has the worst person at the worst time responsible for foreign policy.

As both the war in Ukraine and the Israeli genocide in Palestine spiral towards disaster the Germans are not returning to reason or considering using diplomacy, instead increasing the repression at home against political opposition.

The question is, is Germany going to drive the rest of Europe into a Götterdämmerung? We are suddenly being inundated by calls from European leaders as well as state and mainstream media that “Europe” is facing an imminent invasion by Russia, whose army has not even made it the few miles to Kyiv after two years.

Whoever supports genocide has lost their moral compass. Threatened by the loss of power, we can only view with anxiety where European authoritarian liberal democracy, led by its hegemon Germany, is driving us.

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