Dresden. Germany. Speech by “Feministischer Blockieren” from February 13, 2020.
Originally published by Feministischer Blockieren.
Speech February 13th
Today is February 13th – for the 75th time. Not a day like any other! It is a day on which history is so heavily distorted and uncritically classified out of nationalist interest like almost no other day. From the city, from so-called “citizens”, and also from very official places like the Federal President. And of course from AfD, nationalist fraternities, and other Nazis.
Depending on the context, a different picture of Germany, its past and present is drawn – but all of them draw a collective, nationalist, “German” identity. They do not want this national identity to be associated with the violence that is being carried out on its behalf. To create a positive national identity, they must relativize this violence. And that’s exactly what happens in Dresden on February 13th.
On February 13th, of all days, victims of war and fascism are commemorated publicly and collectively – e.g. through the human chain. This is to pretend that one is now critical of the past and therefore commemorates all victims of war and fascism and no longer just those of the bombing raid as before. But it is absurd and dangerous to commemorate the victims of war and fascism on February 13th. It is to pretended that the dead of the air raid on Dresden can be equated with the victims of the Shoa, the Porajmos (the persecution and murder of Romani people), the German war of annihilation, with the victims of the annihilation of so-called “unworthy” life , equated with all victims of Nazi ideology. This relativization is insupportable – Dresden was a nationalsocialist city of perpetrators. Antisemitic and racist persecution and murder, forced labor, deportations, armaments industry, so-called “Volkshygiene”, the fortress Dresden as military base – anything but an innocent city, anything but an unnecessary air raid!
Responsible reappraisal of the nationalsocialist past of Dresden also requires disclosing how Dresden was an active part of nationalsocialism. And which parts of fascism can still be found today or found strengthened again. Instead of this reappraisal Dresden depicts Nazi Dresden as a victim – and current Dresden, too. Dresden wants to be a symbol of reconciliation and peace and to present itself as a progressive, enlightened city that is only repeatedly victimized – victims of Pegida, victims of the AfD, victims of neo-Nazi terror groups, victims of the Nazi march. And they simply cannot explain where these fascist structures could come from! A perfidious way to shirk responsibility!
Thereby Dresden and Sachsen do far too little against fascist structures. By right-wing parties, however, these fascist structures are part of them. Especially with the AfD, their wreath laying and their call for an even stronger commemoration on February 13th, it becomes clear how necessary it is to send a clear signal against the victim myth. It is simply not possible to simply assert that civic commemoration has nothing to do with right ideas and that civic commemoration is only there to promote peace. Rather, the absolute brutality of nationalsocialism is left aside and it becomes evident how fascist and civic views mix and let society move further to the right.
Another example of the lack of responsibility is shown in the cityscape of Dresden. The nationalsocialist past is largely made invisible. It is intolerable that Jewish communities continue to pay for commemorative plaques and the like and must stand up for this against resistance. At the same time, the city celebrates itself for the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche. A church that was an important part of the German-national evangelical identity during nationalsocialism. Only if history is being severely distorted can the Frauenkirche be seen seriously as a sign of peace.
So which picture shows up? Germany and Dresden as symbols of reconciliation and peace, German perpetrators as victims – unwillingness to break the national consensus and to take responsibility for fascism in the past and present.
With all of this, Dresden remains a city of perpetrators and perpetrator protection – antifascist resistance is being criminalized, little to nothing is being done against racist, antisemitic and sexist violence. Here there is a clear connection, a continuation of the lack of taking on responsibility – a continuation that urgently needs to be broken up!
What is so clearly visible on February 13th is unfortunately also a sad reality all year round. Our answer to this reality is therefore feminist antifascism. Right now, when fascist parties like the AfD do everything to prevent self-determination and social justice and to strengthen the victim myth in Dresden, it is imperative to question civic commemoration and to organize antifascist feminist resistance.
Part of right-wing and civic structures is also their anti-feminism or, in some cases, their ideas of feminism, which hardly go beyond criticizing a lack of women in supervisory boards. We don’t want feminism for a few privileged women, we want feminism for everybody. Feminism should not be limited to criticizing patriarchal structures, it must also stand firmly against antisemitic, racist and capitalist power relations and oppose them. Feministischer Blockieren sees a broad feminist movement as capable of naming and opposing these oppressive social structures. Only with a common understanding of patriarchal, racist, capitalist and fascist structures can arise a real, comprehensive improvement of the undeniably unjust world in which we live.
We are fighting for a broad feminist movement that takes on antifascist responsibility against nationalism in the past and present, a feminist movement that has the potential to reappraise history and to oppose conservative and right-wing interests.
We want a feminism that takes to the streets against sexualized violence and opponents of abortion, but also against shifting to the right and fascism, against racism and antisemitism.
As Feministischer Blockieren we are calling for a protest on February 13th and 15th. Let’s go out on the streets together and oppose the victim myth!
We will do this on February 15, as a feminist block in the demonstration from the central station – there we want to prevent the Nazi march together – in solidarity and a feminist way!
We also call for further antifascist feminist resistance against the supposed neutrality of the societal center and against the AfD and other right-wing, fascist groups and parties – today, the day after tomorrow and the rest of the year.
For resistance to fascism and national consensus! German perpetrators are not victims!
Feministischer Blockieren, February 13, 2020.
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