Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.
July 26, 2011 permalink
The East German practice of suppressing dissidents by removing their children (examples:  ) continues in united Germany. Only the kind of dissent has changed. Now the targets are neo-Nazis. Since avoiding a repeat of the holocaust is such a worthy goal, one can easily be tempted to believe that separating parents and children is a good thing.
Children of neo-Nazis could be taken into care to stop them being brainwashed at summer camps
The children of German neo-Nazis could soon be removed from their families and taken into care - in a bid to beat a rise in the glorification of Hitler and the Third Reich.
German authorities are becoming increasingly concerned with the number of summer camps and special schools brainwashing youngsters into worshipping a movement that killed six million Jews in the Holocaust.
A recent raid on one camp turned up jigsaw puzzles showing Germany's pre-World War 2 borders and colouring books where children were encouraged to crayon in the moustache of Hitler.
Cakes with lightning S.S. flashes on them and embroidery with swastikas were also found - both banned symbols under the postwar constitution.
It has led to calls for the government to look at ways to take the children of the worst neo-Nazi families into care.
Child welfare expert Günther Hoffmann said: 'If ideological influence reaches such proportions that it can threaten children's well-being, state or civic bodies are obliged to look into the situation.
'If we don't, we are going to incur massive problems in the future.'
The children, who are sent to the camps by their neo-Nazi parents, are taught that democracy is for 'weaklings'.
They are also told that only a 'people's community', as preached by the Nazis, can save the country under a new Fuehrer - one who has yet to be found.
The children who attend these summer camps get to do all the normal things youngsters do - swim, horse ride, canoe, trek and sleep outdoors.
But they also travel back in time to worship a movement that also brought about the greatest war in history.
Germany's Der Spiegel magazine obtained a copy of an email for a neo-Nazi retreat at Ahrensfelde outside Berlin where youngsters were offered horse riding and divided into groups according to their 'world view' - a favourite phrase of the Nazis.
There were lectures on offer about the rise of the Nazis and how they 'saved' Germany in the 1930's following defeat in WW1.
'Volk und Vaterland' - people and fatherland - camps have sprung up all over Germany in recent years to 'educate' the impressionable children of these extremists.
The rise of neo-Nazism is a worrying trend in Germany, which also involves 'circling the wagons' where supporters move in with in-laws and grandparents into areas where all support one another.
The most drastic example of this is Jamal in Mecklenburg, 100 miles from Berlin, where 99 percent of inhabitants are Nazis and proud of it.
'Their aim? A nationalist upbringing outside the mainstream,' said Der Spiegel in its report on the phenomenon.
In June police got wind of a reunion of neo-Nazi families from across Germany and turned them back at the gates of the Finnhuete holiday village.
Government officials say that 'several thousand' households in Germany are now raising their children to admire the Nazis.
Raids have turned up S.S. flags, books glorifying German 'warriors' in the war, records of banned Nazi songs and scrapbooks of major Third Reich figures who are the heroes of those trying desperately to build a Fourth Reich.
'They are becoming part of a sworn 'fighting community' hidden behind a middle-class façade,' said Der Spiegel.
And the banned German Youth Faithful to the Homeland group (HDJ) still has a core membership which meets in secret and rents cottages at holiday parks in Saxony where far-right supporters make up one fifth of the electorate.
A recent intelligence report on the scene in the state of Brandenburg near Berlin said: 'The children of far-right extremist parents grow up as part of collectives of 'comrades.'
'The parents of these children rely on dances, children's parties and the apparent feeling of security in neo-Nazi youth camps.'
The NPD, the main neo-Nazi party in Germany which has successfully resisted several government attempts to ban it, said in its newspaper that the 'nationalist's life task is to raise the next generation' of radical rightists.
There is also a spike in registering old Germanic names such as Markward, Hermann, Lothar and Siegfried for new-borns in neo-Nazi families
The domestic intelligence agency report in Brandenburg added: 'Right-wing extremist parents make a connection with National Socialism with what they name their children, thereby transforming what are in the end rather everyday names into racist calling cards.'
Source: Daily Mail