German city of Dresden declares ‘Nazi emergency’

City councilors in Dresden passed a resolution this week warning that the far right was gaining strength in the eastern German city.

“The word ‘Nazinotstand’ is an exaggerated formulation for the fact that there is a serious problem – similar to the climate emergency – with right-wing extremism up to the middle of society,” said Max Aschenbach, adviser of the satirist Die Partei (The Party), told CNN.

Aschenbach, who filed the motion, told CNN the move was symbolic and would have no legal consequences, but served to highlight the threat posed by the far right in Dresden.

It was in Dresden that the PEGIDA (European Patriots Against the Islamization of the West) movement first emerged in 2013, and regular rallies still take place in the city.
Anti-immigrant sentiment is high in the state of Saxony, of which Dresden is the capital: the Alternative for Germany (AfD) won 27.5% of the vote in this year’s regional elections.

The AfD became the first far-right party to enter Germany’s national parliament in nearly 60 years when it came third overall in the 2017 federal election.

Aschenbach said his resolution, which was introduced to show his commitment to a “democratic, open and pluralistic society”, was put to a vote by Dresden City Council on Wednesday and passed by a vote of 39 to 29.

“For years, politicians have failed to take a clear and unequivocal position against right-wing extremists and ban them,” Aschenbach told CNN, adding that he wants Dresden City Council to support the initiatives. citizens, education and culture in the city.

A representative of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union party, which voted against the resolution, called it an “intentional provocation”.

Dresden council CDU group chairman Jan Donhauser told CNN there was no state of emergency and the wording of the resolution damaged the city’s international reputation.

“The choice of words in the title of the nomination does not do justice to the realities of our city: the vast majority of Dresdeners are neither right-wing extremists nor anti-democratic,” he said.

CNN’s Sheena McKenzie contributed to this report.

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