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Pirates under pressure to address anti-Semitism

Published: 21 Apr 2012 11:07 GMT+02:00

"The Pirates can't allow themselves to fall victim to a general right-wing extremism in society," Renate Künast, head of the Green parliamentary party told the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper on Saturday.

The upstart Pirate party, known for its free speech platform, sailed into troubled waters this week after failing to dismiss party member Bodo Thiesen for his comments relativising the holocaust and defending convicted Holocaust denier Germar Rudolf in a Youtube video in 2008.

"We’re astonished," Heinz Bierbaum Vice President of the Left party told the paper on Wednesday. "Whoever shows understanding for holocaust deniers and rejects German guilt for the Second World War isn't acting on the grounds of freedom of speech but rather is falling into a brown swamp."

Pirate Party Leader Sebastian Nerz defended the party’s position in the Bild am Sonntag paper on Saturday, pointing to a "clear commitment against right-wing extremism and racism" in the party statute.

He admitted however to not stepping in fast enough to distance the party from Holocaust deniers.

At the same time Nerz defended the decision made by the party arbitration commission on Monday that Thiesen should not walk the plank as he had already received official warning for his comments.

"Under the basic principles of the law you can’t punish someone twice for the same offence," he told the paper.

But there is mutiny afoot as other Pirate leaders have distanced themselves from the decision.

"I expect the Pirates to make Bodo Thiesen’s existence in the party unpleasant," Martin Delius, state secretary of the Pirate Party in the Berlin state parliament - where the Pirates currently hold 15 seats - told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper on Wednesday.

At the same time the party admitted to a problem with right-wing sentiments among members, with Delius referring to "other crazy people in the party."

"I recognize we have a Nazi problem in the Pirates," head of the Berlin Pirate Party Hartmut Semken told the paper on Thursday.

"There’s no alternative: a party which accepts members without any pre-screening can’t help but attract people trying to hide their contempt for humanity behind freedom of expression," he added.

Semken is now facing calls from within the party to step down after comparing Pirate election campaign methods in Berlin with those of the Nazis.

The Green party, who last week said they would not rule out forming a coalition with the Pirates, are especially disturbed by this week's events.

The Pirates "can’t be open to everything in every question," Künast told the Frankfurter Rundschau on Saturday. Otherwise they will be accepting and welcoming right-wingers into their crew.

DAPD/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

14:34 April 21, 2012 by ITAMAR
person like Bodo Thiesen exsist all over the world,

the importance is how the entire sociaty deals with the Genocide of the Jewish people,and it is surely not easy,specialy to the new generations in Germany,

but it is important for the future of the humanity to face the truth,

Denying the truth is a kind of psycological escape:"it did not happen, we did not do it,somebody other did it ecc..." all psicological defense meccanism that try to let you live good with your conscious
16:14 April 21, 2012 by Sastry.M
It is a universal tenet of jurisprudence that no person should be punished twice over for the same offense. Also there is a saying: "Crime is committed by body and Sin is committed by mind".

Since ww2 Germany resurrected herself by people with hard work and who toiled uncompromisingly against all odds any average human folk can face. The collective guilt heaved up by the victors for all the atrocities committed by Nazi leaders was shared by all people irrespective of political or religious faith by whoever beheld German citizenship.

Physically Germany resurrected from ashes and debris left by the disastrous ww2 and the economy secured by His Grace into a central European hub. All this happened by working people in the immediate aftermath of ww2 and continued unabated to the present day status. However the bodies of 'immediate' people are mostly extinct now but the electrical power generation remained continuous since its inception witnessing all vicissitudes of the nation.

"Krishito nasti Durbhiksham, Japato nasi Patakam" is a saying in sanskrit meaning hard and disciplined labor overcomes physical destitution and repeated recitation of holy and auspicious sayings (mantras) cleanses sins and sanctifies minds.

As we see today about Germany the former saying is magnificently achieved. But what about the latter? While the electrical power supported industrial and economic boom, the blot of collective guilt was belligerently repeated and reminded as if a holy mantra and left hanging, superimposed on the ever present consciousness of mind even up to a third generation. Noting that the physical folk who suffered during the dark period who experienced and narrated as 'their' story has now mostly elapsed into 'history' , the 'sin' that befell an unfortunate people once upon a time , is assiduously sanctified as a 'holy' reminder for their crimes perpetrated on a particular section of their own people whose misery of suffering could not be redeemed with in-spite of monitory compensation and whose authority of accusation against the penitent people remains ever beyond all benefits of doubt under jurisprudence leaving no access for contested justification either by common sense logic or by legislative law.

Thus sin only appears to be perpetuated by both accusers and the condemned people with never any hope of redemption but affecting the whole of humanity.
18:16 April 21, 2012 by McM
A party that stands for nothing finds itself with a members standing for something.

How ironic. This should be a good show.
20:24 April 22, 2012 by ITAMAR
Sastry.M

I read with interests your post and I do understand the frustration of the German people in front of the "refusal of the victims to forget the past", but the victims are still alive maybe old ,maybe in they are 70-80-90 years old, for them the normal life as human been did not return in 1945 ,they continue to live the tragedy every day for the last 70 years,more then that also their children who were born in another country grew up in psycological PTSD families,also these children were influenced by the behaviour their parents without even being exposed to the horrifical stories,

It means you wake up in the middle of the night and you hear your fother screaming in a strange language,you see them taking drugs or hiding bread even if they are wealthy people,sometimes also the children became depressive and need a treatment, you may know the story of Primo Levi who killed himself ,it happened many years after the war end,a few years ago a cousin of my mother hanged himself, he worked in the ovens in Auschwizim and he could not stand his life any more,

So the war for the Germans was over but for the victims and their families the post war effects are still going on,and it will take some more generations untill it will be eased.
18:33 April 24, 2012 by Sastry.M
@ITAMAR.#4,

Your observations truly clarify the traumatic and most horrendous remembrances imprinted on memories of those now going into attrition. The last para of your observation indicates horrors left over on human beings not only of those particularly singled out and victimized but in general all those who partook in the most gruesome war, also the victors and more so the vanquished alike.

Many victorious allied soldiers in post war assignments of military administration in Germany with spirited and forgiving conscience of rational outlook had attested to most horrific sufferings of German people under military defeat and ravaged civilian arenas. For example many German POW's who were rounded up and placed within fenced areas of open fields at Andersnach as was reported by an American guard, might have been traumatized not to speak many civilians across the battered country, suffered under rape and brutal assault in an exuberant spirit of victorious glory, now falling under present day age groups and relived shock sufferings ,vividly described by you in paras 1 and 2.

Any emotional shock impulsively experienced by a person, leaves its imprint on memory cells of physical brain and revived and re-experienced under steady state continuous life by some who are of weak mental strength.

Thanks for your comments.
20:43 April 29, 2012 by ITAMAR
Sastry.M.

I am aware for the suffering of innocent civilians in Germany and also all over Europe during the horribile 2ww, just to mention 20 millions of Russians who died in that war,nobody must undervalutared what these victims all over Europe came through, I expressed my feeling and expierience as a son of Holocaust survivals,but the suffer was not limited to the European Jews and hit also all other people in Europe and also in Germany.
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