Sunday, July 09, 2006
A bunch of German neo-Nazis (or "Nawzis," as we like to say in a bad "Churchill" accent) are getting a lot of press coverage for having burned the American flag and Anne Frank's diary. What drives that bizarre linkage? Anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism are now linked, according to at least one German commentator:
Juergen Falter, an expert on the far-right at the University of Mainz, said it was no accident the men targeted Anne Frank, who died aged 15 in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945, and Germany's chief post-war occupying power, the United States.
"The two (acts) go together: right-wing extremism is at the same time anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism," he said.
This is a linkage that few Americans understand, but mainstream Germans understand well: Nazism and its ideological descendants infuse their poison into the body politic by blending the enemy du jour with overt hatred of Jews. Perhaps this is why Germans are more worried about Iran and its virulently anti-Semitic President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than even Americans.