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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Right-Wing German Spam

My Gmail account is being swamped by hundreds of German spam mails today – literally hundreds of them, un-filtered in my inbox. Usually, Google is good at filtering out spam, but not this time. The mails cover different topics in German and English, linking to public (mostly non-spam, “regular”) articles. Implicitly, they all express right-wing views. Some more, some less radical. I suspect I’m by far not the only one getting these mails.

Topics are: the bombing on Dresden in 1945, in World War II, in which the overall tone accuses the allies of a war crime (“Dresden Bombing Is To Be Regretted Enormously”); Turkish people committing crimes in Germany (“Massenhafter Steuerbetrug durch auslaendische Arbeitnehmer”); Turkey’s proposed entrance into the EU; problems of multi-cultural urban areas in Germany (“Multi-Kulturell = Multi-Kriminell”, “Auf Streife durch den Berliner Wedding”); or the role of the “German woman” in Nazi-Germany (“Verbrechen der deutschen Frau”). Many of the links point to the homepage of the right-wing German Pary NPD.

Is the timing of this massive spam attack a coincidence? Probably not. In Germany, during the 60th year of the end of World War II, there is currently a series of TV shows, magazine articles, and discussion going on covering everything about Nazi-Germany. The focus of the discussion slightly shifted to cover a new area: now it’s not only about German guilt, but also about German losses*; not only about being defeated, but also being liberated; not only about how Germany destroyed other countries, but about the time destruction “came home”. In Russia, German chancellor Gerhard Schröder attended the ceremony honoring Russian war veterans. In Berlin, Peter Eisenman on May 10 officially unveiled the Holocaust memorial. Movies on TV and in cinema cover the life of Nazis such as Adolf Hitler or seemingly “good Nazi” Albert Speer (he wasn’t). Finally, a discussion on the guilt of the Nazi youth flamed up again as the new pope, Benedict XVI., was also part of it.

*Gila Lustiger (author and daughter of Arno Lustiger, a Jewish survivor of concentration camps), in a recent discussion said while all German losses during World War II are horrible, one should never forget the historical causalities behind them; that one shouldn’t discuss German deaths without pointing out what caused them in the first place.


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