Controversy in Germany: Identifying Today’s Nazis

23 January 2024, Hesse, Darmstadt: Several people take part in a demonstration against right-wing extremism and the AfD. One poster reads “Democrats on the streets”.
Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images

Controversy in Germany: Identifying Today’s Nazis

“Never Again Is Now.” “Voting AfD Is So 1933.” “No Beer for Nazis.” “Against Nazis.” “Nazis Out!” Hundreds of thousands of Germans took to the streets over the weekend with signs protesting far-right sentiments.

The demonstrations followed revelations that right-wing leaders associated with the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) discussed the deportation of millions of immigrants. To many, the protests are a sign that Germany’s drift to the right has been averted.

The media and most politicians supported the protesters.

Former conservative political star Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and left-wing political legend Gregor Gysi made a podcast on January 24 titled, “Never Again Is Now! About the Fight Against the AfD.”

“The AfD is a Nazi party; Björn Höcke is a Nazi,” former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer told Augsburger Allgemeine on January 19. “I would never have thought it possible that this party could get a majority in the state elections in Thuringia …. After 1945, the belief that only Adolf Hitler and his circle of power were responsible for National Socialism became ingrained in us. But there is obviously something dormant in some Germans that we have overlooked. That shakes me to the core.”

This is a sobering warning. Even though the AfD’s leadership has not formally claimed to be Germany’s new Nazi party (which would cause them to be banned from politics), they have made light of Germany’s World War ii history and openly expressed sympathy for a similar German nationalism. But notice how Fischer limits the flaws of human nature to a select group on the outskirts of the political system: “some Germans.” Is evil really limited to a political party? Does protesting against the far right make our generation better than the one of the 1930s?

There is a bigger lesson we need to learn from history: how easily we can be deceived and manipulated.

In the same interview, Fischer made a concerning statement that explains why almost a third of all voters today consider voting for the far right. In light of the equally remarkable farmers’ protest, he said: “These people think they are entitled to have their diesel paid for by us!”

The elite has forgotten where our food is coming from. What “these people” are protesting about literally affects every eater. To ignore this reality or the equally concerning consequences of mass immigration is foolish.

Some on social media pointed to the irony that those who oppose the far right today cheered when the government issued lockdowns and suppressed opposition. Another video showed protestors being interviewed about the reason why they oppose the AfD—the answers lacked reason, facts and good arguments. This shows that millions in Germany just follow the talking points of the mainstream media. They might be right in this case, but that is the opposite of learning the lesson of “never again.”

Additionally, it was revealed that some of the protests have been organized by left-wing extremists, including members of Antifa, who hate Jews and fly Palestinian flags. Standing up against the far right but tolerating other extremists who openly despise Jewish life isn’t learning the lesson of “never again” either.

Jeremiah 17:9 says our hearts are “desperately wicked,” and no human is excluded. The Bible also says that Satan has deceived “the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).

Even though we may recognize the evils of the far right more rapidly today, the Bible warns that another leader will rise whose evil acts society will not recognize. Once again, this leader will deceive and mislead (Daniel 11:21). To learn what is ahead for Germany and Europe, read A Strong German Leader Is Imminent.