THE TRIAL of three Neo-Nazis, who had beaten and kicked Alberto Adriano to death, has ended with their conviction and sentences ranging from 16 years to life. This coincided with German Chancellor Gerhard Schršder warning, on a vist to east Germany, that neo-Nazi violence could damage Germany’s economy.
Socialist Alternative member Wolfram, from Stuttgart, Germany looks at the recent violence and the Left’s response.
On 11 June Adriano, of Mozambican origin, was beaten and kicked by the three Nazis in Dessau until he lost consciousness. They dragged him to a nearby park, undressed him to humiliate him, stole his watch and his money, and mistreated him again.
In hospital he reported, that he tried to calm the Nazis by telling them that he had lived in Germany for nearly 20 years and that he had a wife and three children who depended on him – in vain. Three day later he was dead.
The judge excluded the public from trial to avoid ‘exposure’ of the defendants. According to reports they showed no signs of regret. Instead, Adriano’s widow suffered telephone terror by Nazis.
This is not a unique incident. For example, three homeless people were killed by Nazis during the last weeks: one in Ahlbeck on 23 July, one in Wismar on 9 July and one in Greifswald two weeks earlier.
Additionally, the Fascist party NPD organised a number of marches in several German towns. Several convicted Nazi criminals in recent years were members or even functionaries of this party. Also, there is a close co-operation with so called ‘comradeships’, more loosely and more open violent Nazi groups on a local or regional level.
Government, police etc, have ignored or played down the Nazis for years. At the same time they whipped up racism themselves.
For example, in many towns police consistently harassed blacks and other foreign-looking people under the pretext of fighting drug pushers.
But they protect Nazis (for example, on the weekend of 26-27 August, 2,000 police protected a NPD demo of only 50 against anti-fascist demonstrators in Halle).
NEW LABOUR’S racist asylum laws are mainly carbon copies of German laws. The new Schršder government refused to relax these laws. As they attempted to liberalise naturalisation of immigrants living here for decades the opposition CDU (Tories) started a racist petition campaign against it.
A few years ago the CSU (Bavarian Tories) organised a protest demo against an exhibition on crimes by the Nazi army during World War Two, which became the biggest manifestation of Nazis for many years.
This summer Nazi violence became a major issue in the media. Politicians demanded a ban of NPD. (See The Socialist, 18 August)
One of the first to do this was Bavaria’s home secretary Beckstein (CSU), who is notorious for his ruthless deportation of refugees. They are worried about Germany’s image internationally and of an anti-fascist movement from below which could lead a layer of youth to socialist conclusions.
They ‘fight fascism’ by repressive laws, which will be used against left-wing youth or trade unionists tomorrow. We have to rely on our own strength and to combine the fight against Nazis with the fight for a socialist alternative.
Socialist Alternative (German CWI-Section), YRE and other organisations are mobilising for a national demonstration against NPD’s new headquarters in Berlin on 7 October.