Right-wing extremism: killing shocks Germany

Roughly three weeks after the murder of Walter Lübcke, head of the regional government in the German city of Kassel, the presumed murderer Stephan E. has confessed to the crime and said that he acted alone and killed Lübcke because he was angry about his statements on refugee policy. Stephan E. is said to have contacts in the far-right milieu. How could things get so out of hand?

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taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

Still blind when it comes to far right

The fight against right-wing extremism is still not being taken seriously enough, taz criticises:

“More money, more know-how, more political will must be put into combating it - and above all into the analysis of neo-Nazi structures, which has been neglected for far too long. Instead the talk is once more of individual perpetrators, and this kind of talk already prevented a more thorough investigation of the network of terrorists in the case of the purported NSU 'trio'. ... The danger posed by far-right terrorism wasn't even at the top of the agenda at the interior ministers' conference. Seehofer wanted to focus on discussing deportations to Afghanistan and clan criminality instead. Yet Walter Lübcke had already been dead for ten days at that point and it was at the very least suspected that his death was linked to far-right extremism.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Disinhibited language can lead to murder

With its incendiary language the AfD bears part of the responsibility for right-wing extremists resorting to crime, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung comments:

“A glance at the daily comments by the party on Facebook, its most important channel of communication, suffices. ... The AfD's communication is like a toilet wall full of graffiti. ... Uninhibited language doesn't make those who use it murderers. But it can turn people into murderers. ... If an already radicalised mind constantly hears and reads that their country is a state of injustice and that its representatives are dictatorial actors, it may well get the idea that its plans for resistance could be justified. No one knows at this point what factors turned Stephan E. into a murderer. But presumably he too will have been using Facebook or other social networks.”

Financial Times (GB) /

Future of German democracy at stake

The CDU's not wanting to distance itself from the AfD could have bitter consequences for the party and all Germany, the Financial Times warns:

“The CDU leadership under Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has categorically ruled out coalitions with the AfD, yet not a day goes by without a public squabble within the party on the subject. To recognise the full meaning of this cold-blooded murder is to understand that something far larger than the future of the party or its power to govern is at stake: the future of German democracy, the best the country has ever had. That is the urgent business of every German citizen. But for the CDU, it is a test of its honour, and perhaps of its survival.”

La Stampa (IT) /

Blood trail spans Europe

Before Lübcke other politicians have fallen victim to right-wing extremism, diplomat Michele Valsensise points out in La Stampa:

“From the death of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was killed by a British neo-Nazi on the eve of the Brexit referendum, and the murder of the mayor of Gdansk Pawel Adamowicz at the start of the year to the Lübcke killing. Like the German, the two other politicians also campaigned for the observance of rights and for solidarity and became a red flag for intolerant, nationalist fanatics in different European countries. The violent radicalism of the far right has returned to Germany. ... Since the reunification more than 150 people have fallen victim to attacks by right-wing extremists, and the attack on Lübcke is the first political murder since 1949.”