Trump blamed the riots in the US, the movement “Antifa” and intends to ban it. The only problem is that the “anti-fascists” – not a movement emerged in Germany, the definition brings together supporters of different political views.
The President of the United States, Donald trump intends to make the movement “Antifa” list of terrorist organizations. However, he, like quite a few other people, is difficult to define exactly what constitutes the movement “Antifa”. This problem is not due to a knowledge gap (although trump’s plenty of them), and a number of specific historical reasons. In Germany politicians and public opinion for almost a hundred years cross swords over it, but still can’t reach agreement.
The literal meaning of the word in the German language is quite simple. “Anti-fascist” means “anti-fascist” or “antifascist”. In the most literal sense one would assume that this definition is suitable for almost all citizens and politicians in Germany today. But can it be called “anti-fascist” of all who oppose fascism, or the word only applies to dressed in black anarchists and leftists, with hatred looking at the German police on the streets? The last time major riots in Germany with the participation of “anti-fascists” were in Germany in 2017 in Hamburg, during the G20 summit.
The roots of “anti-fascists” – in the Weimar Republic
The meaning of the word “antifa” in Germany, arose from the moment of the Communist party of Germany (KPD) was first used this definition and related to him the emblem of the two flags for the election campaign of 1932. To the “anti-fascist action” regardless of party affiliation, the German Communists called representatives of different parties since the beginning of 1920-ies.
CNG considered themselves the only truly anti-fascist party on the last free elections in Weimar Germany in 1932, during which the National socialist German workers party (NSDAP) of Adolf Hitler, although not an absolute majority, nevertheless, were able to come to power.
The KPD, the social Democrats and other democratic parties of the Weimar Republic, collected together more votes than the Nazi party, are unable to develop a common decisive programme of action, which in some way paved Hitler’s path to power. Soon, the two largest center-left parties – KKE and the socialist workers party of Germany were banned and their activists against the persecution began.
Many members of the party leadership of the KPD during the Weimar Republic was the government of the GDR. The ruling party of East Germany, the SED (socialist unity party of Germany) used the definition of “anti-fascists” almost as a synonym to the word “socialist” when talking about the activities of their government. Bernd Lehner, the author is quite complimentary book about the history of the anti-fascist movement in Germany, says that anti-capitalist beliefs have always been a major component of the ideology of its most ardent supporters.
Renaissance “antifa”in Germany began with the 1980-ies
By the beginning of the cold war, the movement “anti-fascists” in Western Germany has died down, but already in the 1980’s it gradually began to revive in West Berlin and Hamburg – a city with traditionally left-active population. Its revival was facilitated by the squatters and left the student movement, calling themselves “extra parliamentary opposition”. After the reunification of Germany, the ideology of “anti-fascists” gradually gained momentum, received a boost due to the fact that it has adopted the anti-globalization and environmental activists.
Considered “anti-fascists” any particular political movement is misleading. A radical left Autonomous groups to one degree or another identify themselves with this definition, while often professing the ideology of anarchism or using non-political forms of protest. For example, in Germany today the “anti-fascists” and call themselves anti-Zionist groups to the dismay of members of the opposite views, confident that such a position is unacceptable, given the history of Germany.
Groups and movements who consider themselves adherents of the “anti-fascist”, hold so many positions that can’t even agree on the final version of the logo. The original version used in the 1930s, the KPD consisted of two located one under another red flag waving in the right direction. Emblems of today’s “anti-fascist” flags look to the left side, the upper flag is in most cases red, bottom – black, a reference to the element of the anarchist movement and socialist ideology. Some prefer to top and larger flag was black and the lower red: the ability to compromise – not the strongest side of the adherents of the “anti-fascists”.
The Federal office for the protection of the Constitution (Bundesverfassungsschutz) describes the “anti-fascists” as “the main field campaign for independent left-wing groups.” In the report of the intelligence agencies also noted that some supporters of the “anti-fascist” support “violent actions, the purpose of which are primarily political opponents, especially the real or alleged “Nazis”. This can often lead to significant financial, and sometimes physical damage.”
The number of participants in demonstrations or campaigns organized by the “antifa”, often depends on their agenda. If the purpose of the action there is no disagreement, can join sympathetic to the participants, not necessarily adhering to anarchist or leftist. The maximum number of demonstrators often gather a response of protest by the “anti-fascists” against the far right – usually they are joined by representatives of almost all strata of German society.
The SPD and the “anti-fascists”
Offers Donald trump to announce relatively recently emerged in the US and an equally disparate group of “antifa” terrorists and was formerly a topic of political debate in Germany, but never in them were not involved such a wide range of participants, as it is now. Discussion was started by the co-Chairman of the Social democratic party of Germany (SPD), Saskia Esken (Saskia Esken), which, bearing in mind his age, reacted to the trump initiative to ban “anti-fascists” short post on his Twitter page: “58 and “antifa”. It is obvious”. The theme was taken up in one of the official accounts of the SPD’s Twitter census Eskin tweet a comment: “157 and “antifa”. Obviously” – with reference to the age of the party.
The flash mob started Askin, was supported by some of its party members, while the members of other political parties, this idea did not cause delight. “Against fascism, for democracy and human rights. Without violence. It is obvious to me. It is a pity that the Chairman of the SPD is not strong enough to distinguish one from another,” wrote Secretary General of the CDU Paul Zimic (Paul Ziemiak). But the most creative post on Askin reacted in the youth wing of the block of Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU “Youth Union of Germany”, formed in 1947. Post on the organization’s page on Twitter was: “73 and in shock.”
“Antifa” and “anti-fascism”: the synonyms or not?
Askin response to criticism once again returned the discussion to the starting point, the discussion of the meaning of the word “antifa”. The antifa is not an organization. Anti-fascism is a point of view, which obviously must support all Democrats,” wrote the head of the SPD.
Even the German language dictionary Duden avoids to engage in a debate about what is the meaning of “anti-fascists”. In its online edition, the word “fascism” is defined as “the commonality of movements or ideologies, opposing fascism and national socialism.” The meaning of the word “antifa” in the dictionary: it is mentioned only as an abbreviation of the word “anti-fascism” or “anti-fascist action.” Although most people in Germany certainly agree that between “anti-fascism” and “anti-fascists” there is a big difference.