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Extreme Rightism Among German Students (Trans)

Motarjim | 24.03.2009 00:22 | Anti-racism | Education | Social Struggles | World

I am a teacher in a technical high school in the northern edge of region of Ruhr. Our school at the present has about 500 students, of which about 40% are immigrants. The recent study [exposing right wing tendencies in schools] captures relatively well what I have been noticing for years. The gulf between children of German background and immigrants is not shrinking; rather, it’s growing steadily, digging in deeper. More and more of those who once stood alongside each other now stand against one another. Racist ideas are spreading.

Translation of Original Article

Looking at the school courtyard, one can see that the groups are forming more strongly around where people come from. It was otherwise so before. Physical Education teachers are reporting recently, that when teams are being chosen, in no way the result of individual students, spontaneously the suggestion of “German vs. Immigrant” can be heard.

Last fall, for the first since the late 1970s, did I hear totally natural discussions about the “the Nordic Race” and “Racial Purity”.

When it came to youthful flirting, the background of the love birds was totally immaterial. Now “German” students who date “non-Germans” are insulted and sometimes even bullied, and words like “race defiler” and “foreigner whore” (both happened in a 7th grade class) are often used. Additionally, the often extreme macho behavior of the boys particularly from the Middle East is anything but helpful in these situations. There are numerous of examples, in which young women reject the approaches of immigrant students with openly racist undertones.

I know personally of all told 12 students (all male) that are active in rightist cliques. They announce themselves to this end alarmingly openly, and leave no doubt about it through their clothing (Thor-Steiner, Masterrace, Störkraft, etc). Unfortunately, the school leadership as of yet have not brought themselves to ban these brands.

At the very least, 20-30 further students, whom I personally teach, I have good reason to believe carry strong Rightist convictions. A careless coquette spouting rightist chatter can be easily attested to. To be rightist among the Germans, especially among the children of resettled German migrants, has become chic in the last two years. In my 10th grade class, there are, among the 29 students, 2 self-proclaimed Neonazis and at least five more students with rightist tendencies. Three of these 5, interestingly, are children of resettled German migrants, and in total two are young women.

Upon further investigation, I find yet another worrisome trend: before, it was only the notorious outsiders who could be noticed using rightist slogans. Now, more and more are the natural leaders, who in this way have established a regular trend and attempt to collect allies around them. Often these people are elected to roles in student government, where they “shoot their mouths” and defy teachers. For us teachers, it’s a nasty situation. Whether or not we stop the election or let it go forward, the result for democratic pedagogy is disastrous.

The parental home, in my analysis, plays no decisive roll. We have students with rightist tendency, who have xenophobic parents. At the same time, one of the most active Nazis at our school is the son of a parents’ association member who, as an engaged mother and active unionist, is totally distraught and perplex.

I have the great hope, that the mortifying figures of the report, which in my experience are correct, will finally galvanize the general public and persuade political actors and civil society of the urgent need for action against extreme right radicalism.

With great consternation, I detect an increasingly strong dulling of the general public in the face of such developments. In 2000, a hundred thousand demonstrators came together after the fire bomb against a Synagogue. Today, another racist murder does not especially frighten them.

Bertold Brecht one wrote, the womb still is able to bear fruit. Not only can it bear fruit, it gives birth to yet another new horror.

If we don’t steer away from this trajectory, then a major fire threatens us!