Sunday, November 27, 2016

National Socialism in Freiburg

Don't panic, it's all history. Yesterday Red Baron attended the opening ceremony of an exhibition: Nationalsozialismus in Freiburg at the auditorium of the university. The entrance to the building was well protected by security staff for the organizers feared demonstrations by right wingers.

Mayor Dieter Salomon greeting the audience.
The photo in color behind him shows a scene of a rally
 on Münsterplatz during the NSDAP district assembly in 1939.
The guy in traditional costume looks skeptical.
Is he aware about the war starting in September of the same year?
The auditorium was fully packed when Mayor Salomon addressed the assembled dignitaries and common people. This remark was the only joke in his heartfelt speech. On several occasions he deviated from his manuscript speaking off the cuff. With the rise of populists all over the world putting democracies to the test people in Germany are particularly perturbed. As the Holocaust survivor, the Italian chemist Primo Levi once wrote: It has happened and therefore it may happen again.

Admittedly the Weimar Republic was an unloved child attacked by the Communists on the left and the Nazis on the right with the latter winning in 1933. So when putting Donald Trump in the States, Marine le Pen in France, Nigel Farage in England, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey, Viktor Orbán in Hungary, and Frauke Petry in Germany in one, i.e., the populist basket democratic-minded people generally stress the stability of modern democracies with an uneasy feeling remaining.

Same rally as in the photo above.
People raising their right hands in the Nazi salute convey an eerie atmosphere.
Following a reception in the foyer of the auditorium attendees were invited to walk 500 meters and see the exhibition at the Augustinermuseum exceptionally open until 11 p.m. on the occasion. The place was too crowded so Red Baron only stayed for a short while but will come back another day.

Reichsbischof Ludwig Müller visiting Freiburg in 1935
Here is one of the exhibition items that has already excited me. I did not know that the gleichgeschalteten (brought in line) Lutherans called themselves not only Deutsche Christen (German Christians) but evangelische Nationalsozialisten too.

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