Today, on February 13, 2020, activists have disturbed the reading of the names of the dead in the 1945 bombing of Dresden at the Heide Cemetery with a loudspeaker choreography. The name reading was organized by the Denk Mal Fort e.V. and advertised by the city of Dresden and the AG13February.
Originally published by URA Dresden.
The activists criticized the uncommented reading of all 4000 people known by name who died as a result of the Allied bombing, since among the dead were not only demonstrable perpetrators but also victims of National Socialism. This uncommented reading out makes the victims equal to their perpetrators, according to the activists. The historian Justus Ulbricht spoke in his speech in the subjunctive of the fact that there could also be perpetrators among those to be read out. Further Ulbricht said: “National Socialists were people like us.” When the names were read out, anti-fascists intervened by playing: “We remember the victims of German barbarism – German perpetrators are not victims! Abolish commemoration!” Additionally people protested with a banner against the Spirit of Dresden and various slogans criticizing the name reading was protested. The police proceeded brutally against the protesters. Activists were also pursued outside the cemetery, and some were pushed and beaten in the ongoing traffic on Moritzburger Landstraße. The police also tried to obstruct the work of representatives of the media.
The Undogmatic Radical Antifa Desden (URA) participated in the intervention. Press spokeswoman Alex Elser says about the name reading in general:
“This practice is reserved for victims of National Socialism. Reading out the names of people who were killed is a reminder of the victims of German barbarism and a warning that such things will never be repeated. In Dresden, this practice of commemoration and admonition is now to be reinterpreted for the benefit of its own victim role. The speech of Justus Ulbricht has impressively proven this and strengthens our demand to abolish remembrance.”
“Among the names to be read out are not only supposedly normal Dresdeners who have been complicit to a not inconsiderable extent in tolerating, defaming and persecuting, but also demonstrably perpetrators and beneficiaries of National Socialism.”
Therefore Elser, representatively for many anti-fascists from Dresden, says
“Just the thought of the victims of German barbarism and their murderers being mixed in the same way – whether mourning or admonishing – is just sickening and disgusting!”
“Also the claim that “Nazis were people like us.” is unsurpassed in perfidy. This releases the perpetrators from their guilt, makes the participation and silence of the majority society of the time irrelevant and, even worse, blurs the boundaries between the victims and the perpetrators of National Socialism and their minions.”
With regard to Thuringia and the current political mood in general in Germany Elser continues:
“The reading of the names is in our eyes not only morally reprehensible, it is also politically unacceptable. For it represents a further step towards normalization and a final stroke. Another step towards “not wanting to hear anything anymore about Auschwitz.” In the debate about the elections in Thuringia, it is currently becoming apparent that this normalization is preparing the ground for a renewed cooperation of bourgeois-conservative forces with fascists and Nazis. It was not the alleged political margins that caused the Weimar Republic to fail, but the close alliance of the bourgeois-conservative forces with the National Socialists!”
The URA criticises the police operation as follows:
“We know that cops are agents of reaction. Nevertheless, it should be possible to criticize this historical-revisionist garbage and egalitarianism, the degradation of the victims! Also it is again a sign of the right-wing lopsidedness of local policemen when critical voices are beaten into the running traffic of a highway feeder road. We, the URA Dresden, are an association of activists who have been working continuously on various topics of the radical left since 2011.”
On February 15 more than 1000 fascists want to March in Dresden. Antifascists are mobilizing for counter protests. Read the call out here: February 15th – All out to #Dresden – Prevent Nazi rally – Abolish commemoration