In a first, German city declares a state of 'Nazi emergency'

Updated: Nov 03, 2019, 09:41 IST | Agencies | Dresdan

Aschenbach, from left-leaning satirical political party Die Partei, said he believed it was necessary to take action because politicians were not doing enough to "position themselves clearly" against the far-Right

The anti-Islam Pegida movement began in Dresden in 2014. Pic/AP
The anti-Islam Pegida movement began in Dresden in 2014. Pic/AP

Dresdan: The German city of Dresdan has declared a "Nazi emergency", saying it has a serious problem with the far right. "’Nazinotstand’ means—similar to the climate emergency—that we have a serious problem. The open democratic society is threatened," local councillor Max Aschenbach, who tabled the motion, said on Saturday. Aschenbach, from left-leaning satirical political party Die Partei, said he believed it was necessary to take action because politicians were not doing enough to "position themselves clearly" against the far-Right.

"The request was an attempt to change that. I also wanted to know what kind of people I’m sitting with in the city council of Dresden," he said. The resolution acknowledges that "Right-wing extremist attitudes and actions... are occurring with increasing frequency" and calls on the city to help victims of far-right violence, protect minorities and strengthen democracy.

Aschenbach told the BBC that adopting the motion showed the city council’s commitment to fostering "a free, liberal, democratic society that protects minorities and resolutely opposes Nazis". Aschenbach’s resolution was put to a vote by Dresden’s city council on Wednesday night. It was approved by 39 votes to 29, with Germany’s governing Christian Democrats (CDU) among those to have rejected it, according to local media reports. The CDU described the resolution as "pure political symbolism" and said the strong wording was a "linguistic error", German news agency DPA reported. Germany’s liberal Free Democrats (FDP) backed the legislation, but one councillor criticised the term "Nazi emergency".

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