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Germany: Antisemitic attack in Halle

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For a long time, the growth of Right wing terrorism in Germany has been downplayed or even denied outright. On Wednesday, October 9, it once again showed the reality of its bloody, inhuman face. Stephan Balliet, 27, a heavily armed, paramilitary Nazi tried to get into a synagogue in Halle on Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement) with the aim of carrying out a bloodbath. The model for this was obviously the attack on the Tree-of-Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last year and San Diego California this year.

The Halle Nazi live-streamed his assault, with a 30 minute rambling rant, plus an online “manifesto" denying the Holocaust, blaming feminism for the declining birth rates of the white population, and declaring their "replacement" by migration as a Jewish plot, proving once again that the latter were to blame for all Germany’s ills. After failing to get through the synagogue’s security doors, he wantonly shot and killed two passers-by.

Of course, in the next few days there will again be a lot of talk about such perpetrators being isolated and "crazed" individuals, although even right-wing bourgeois researchers on extremism now openly question this idea. We have already learnt from the many so called "lone wolf" cases, such as the murder on June 2 of Kassel district president Walter Lübcke. Such events are only the tip of the iceberg of everyday racist and fascist attacks and the obvious arming at every level of the right wing scene.

A quick internet search on the confiscation of weapons during police raids just this year is enough to establish that they must know the right wing already has enough guns for a small army. The fantasies of the group "Revolution Chemnitz", which wanted to start a right-wing uprising and seize state power in Germany after the racist attacks in Chemnitz last October, have a real background in the form of an expanding fascist scene and a political shift to the right.

Nor can those targeted by the far right rely on the police to protect them. This was shown in the case of the ten immigrants murdered by the National Socialist Underground, NSU, between 2000-2007. For years, the police denied there was any racial movitation involved, indeed they even tried to blame the murders on the immigrant communities themselves.

Right-wing circles can even rely on supporters and sympathies within the "security authorities" themselves. These include not only the trivializers and deniers like Hans-Georg Maaßen, the former President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The discoveries of right-wing networks in the army and SEKs probably only scratch the surface. The affair involving the lawyer of one of the NSU's victims, who was apparently threatened by police circles themselves, indicates the extent of their right-wing contamination.

This is the soil from which right-wing terrorists like Balliet grow, which allows them to get arms, and which ideologically shape, fanaticise and "train" them. It would not be surprising if it were eventually revealed that a larger group intended the synagogue attack to be a trigger for “bigger things”. In the event, because he was foiled by the security door of the synagogue and ended up killing and injuring ordinary passers-by, even the ultra-right scene will only recognise Balliet as a "hero" to a limited extent.

Of course, this development of right-wing violence cannot be separated from the general shift to the right in Germany and worldwide. Now, the "fight against replacement" is openly raised in parliament and Nazi crimes are played down, and not just by the Alternative for Germany, AfD, without resulting in public ostracisation, let alone being swept off the streets.

Moreover, Halle itself has a real right-wing swamp, which certainly favoured the development of the barbaric ideas of Balliet. He did not have to search the dark web to find a congenial right wing, racist, “völkisch” milieu. In Halle, there is a very real centre of the "Identitarian Movement", where AfD right populists and neo-Nazis mix with one another.

With the whole revival of German ethnicity and patriotic nostalgia, it is also clear that antisemitism, one of the core elements of right-wing populism, is fully alive again. “The Jews" always serve as the ultimate enemy of the right, as deadly enemies of everything ethnically German, as “cosmopolitans without a fatherland", as representatives of "globalisation". Racism, the core element of right-wing ideology, needs an "anti race," a "sinister power " which undermines "healthy ethno-national consciousness ", and is seeking to dissolve it into "global egalitarianism".

Halle refutes those who claim that revived antisemitism is a result of anti-Israel agitation and Palestinian solidarity. The real and growing danger for Jewish people in Germany does not emanate from BDS activists, migrants from Muslim countries or anti-Zionist leftists, as one might believe from publications of certain “anti-German” leftists. It stems from the centre of German society, which can once again be racially mobilised and in which genocidal antisemitism has obviously arisen once again. It was only a matter of time before the general agitation against migrants turned into murderous antisemitism.

Bertolt Brecht's play "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" famously ends with the sentence, "The womb remains fertile from which it crawled". Indeed, the womb from which fascist barbarism crawled does continue to produce monsters; not only in the form of individual antisemitic murderers, but also in the form of growing petty-bourgeois, reactionary, right-wing populist and even fascist movements and groups.

The bourgeois state, the police and security services plainly cannot be relied upon. We have to confront antisemitism, racism and fascism ourselves in an organised and mass manner by building a broad anti-Fascist united front for action. It needs to be based on that social force which can really stop it, the working class, and wipe out the social conditions that are its the breeding ground. The lesson, not only from Halle, must be to build a united front of trade unions, reformist workers' parties, the radical left, migrants and the racially oppressed that opposes Nazi terror and right-wing extremism together, in an organised and militant manner.

Against all racist violence - fight antisemitism!

Break-up of the neo-Nazi gangs through mass and organised joint action and mobilisation!

No trust in the bourgeois state - organise anti-fascist self-defence!