• Germany's news in English
 

Pirates under pressure to address anti-Semitism

The Local · 21 Apr 2012, 11:07

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.
Today's headlines
Whiff of foul play in Cologne mayoral election
An electoral poster next to Cologne Cathedral. Photo: DPA

Whiff of foul play in Cologne mayoral election

5 hours ago

Did the Social Democratic Party (SPD) deliberately skew voting slips in Cologne's mayoral elections to hand their candidate an advantage?

Refugee crisis
Five ways you can help refugees in Germany
Woman bring clothing donations to a German Red Cross station in Heidenau, scene of anti-refugee demonstrations last weekend. Photo: DPA

Five ways you can help refugees in Germany

3 hours ago

The Local's pointers for how to get started if you're interested in donating your money, unwanted possessions, time or skills to help refugees in Germany.

FC Bayern takes refugee kids under its wing
Players will walk into the Allianz Arena hand-in-hand with young refugees on September 12th. Photo: DPA

FC Bayern takes refugee kids under its wing

2 hours ago

FC Bayern Munich said on Thursday that it would help young refugees learn German and play football and donate €1m of the proceeds from an upcoming friendly match.

Berlin hotel extends beds for basketball giants
Dirk Nowitzki (r) - too tall for a normal hotel bed. Photo: DPA

Berlin hotel extends beds for basketball giants

2 hours ago

The Berlin hotel hosting the international basketball teams playing in the 2015 European championships matches here have extended their beds to 2.50 metres in order to accomodate the giant players.

Migrant crisis
Hungary says refugees are 'German problem'
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (l) and refugees boarding a train at Budapest's Keleti station. Photos: DPA

Hungary says refugees are 'German problem'

6 hours ago

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban insisted Thursday the migrant crisis was a German problem, not a European one as he defended his government's handling of thousands of refugees flooding into his country.

Banks jack up ATM fees for non-customers
Photo: DPA

Banks jack up ATM fees for non-customers

7 hours ago

Germany's big private banks are increasing fees for customers at other financial institutions to withdraw cash from their ATMs, making ordinary people pay the price for a bankers' spat.

Berlin mayor christens brand-new U-Bahn trains
Berlin Mayor Michael Müller smashes a bottle of Berliner Weisse beer against the metal skin of a new U-Bahn train to christen it. Photo: DPA

Berlin mayor christens brand-new U-Bahn trains

9 hours ago

The first of an all-new model of Berlin U-Bahn trains was christened on Wednesday evening by city mayor Michael Müller in a typically Berlin ceremony.

Migrant crisis
Biggest EU nations want refugees shared fairly
A man leads migrants in a chant in front of police lines at Budapest's Keleti railway station on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Biggest EU nations want refugees shared fairly

9 hours ago

Germany, France and Italy called for an overhaul of laws on the right of asylum and a fairer distribution of migrants throughout the European Union, Italy's foreign minister said on Wednesday.

The Local List
7 ways Germans get English totally wrong
Don't let their confidence fool you: Germans aren't always the best at English. Photo: DPA.

7 ways Germans get English totally wrong

1 day ago

As much as English-speakers might feel insecure about their Deutsch skills when faced with Germans' comparatively widespread grasp of English, Germans themselves often mess up English - in some pretty hilarious ways.

Mannschaft step forward to welcome refugees
Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger at a press conference earlier this week. Photo: DPA

Mannschaft step forward to welcome refugees

1 day ago

Germany's World Cup-winning footballers have condemned xenophobic attacks on the thousands of foreigners pouring into their country and led calls to help the refugees amidst the ongoing crisis.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

Features
'Berlin is kind of like the best American city'
Features
How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears
Sport
German named 'arse bombing' world champ
Travel
Retiree finds parked car after three-week search
National
Ten ways Germany puts Britain to shame
Business & Money
German gadget clamps down on Nutella thieves
Society
Is Germany now a nation of couch potatoes?
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,953
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd