Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

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Striking Contrast between German Presidential Candidates

COMMENT: The impend­ing selec­tion of the Ger­man pres­i­dent will see two stark­ly dif­fer­ent can­di­dates com­pet­ing for the office.  (The office of pres­i­dent is impor­tant, though large­ly cer­e­mo­ni­al in sig­nif­i­cance. It should be not­ed that the chan­cel­lor [Angela Merkel] is the head of state of Ger­many.)

Long time lis­ten­ers will rec­og­nize the name of Beate Klars­feld, an anti-Nazi activist for decades. Ms. Klars­feld, along with her hus­band Serge Klars­feld, were instru­men­tal in bring­ing Klaus Bar­bie to heel and call­ing atten­tion to Nazis in the West Ger­man gov­ern­ment.

Ms. Klars­feld is opposed by Joachim Gauck, whose pro­nounce­ments have been seen as favor­able by Junge Frei­heit, a right-wing polit­i­cal jour­nal. Gauck has equiv­o­cat­ed about Ger­many’s bor­der with Poland as well as the Holo­caust. Gauck has used lan­guage describ­ing the Third Reich that many Ger­mans con­sid­er to be sub­tly revi­sion­ist. (Gauck is described at greater length in the arti­cle excerpt­ed below. German-foreign-policy.com feeds along the bot­tom of the front page of this web­site.)

“The Con­cen­sus Pres­i­dent”; german-foreign-policy.com; 2/21/2012.

EXCERPT: An extreme rightwing jour­nal is cel­e­brat­ing the agree­ment on Joachim Gauck as the next Ger­man pres­i­dent. Where­as the out­go­ing pres­i­dent Chris­t­ian Wulff made head­lines with “plat­i­tudes about Ger­many being ‘a mul­ti-eth­nic repub­lic’,” Gauck­’s “state­ments were sober,” for exam­ple on the ques­tion of “migra­tion,” praised the ultra-rightwing week­ly “Junge Frei­heit.” Gauck had in fact expressed his appro­ba­tion of Thi­lo Sar­razin, the SPD politi­cian, known for his racist state­ments against “Turks and Arabs.” The next Ger­man pres­i­dent also raised eye­brows when he spoke out on the ques­tion of the Ger­man-Pol­ish bor­der, the reset­tle­ment of eth­nic Ger­mans and the Shoah. He con­sid­ers that the “exces­sive exal­ta­tion” of the “Ger­man Judeo­cide to become some­thing unique,” some­times begins to take on a qua­si-reli­gious “dimen­sion of absolute­ness,” which he says must be reject­ed. In about four weeks, with the votes of the par­lia­men­tar­i­ans of near­ly all of the par­ties in the Bun­destag, Joachim Gauck is sup­posed to be elect­ed the eleventh pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many — with a cross-par­ty con­sen­sus. . . .

“Ger­many: Nazi Hunter Cho­sen as Pres­i­den­tial Can­di­date” by Melis­sa Eddy; The New York Times; 2/27/2012.

Beate Klars­feld, who spent decades fight­ing fas­cism and root­ing out for­mer Nazis with her hus­band, will run for pres­i­dent against a for­mer East Ger­man rights activist. The Left Par­ty nom­i­nat­ed Ms. Klars­feld, 73, on Mon­day, to run against Joachim Gauck, who emerged last week as a con­sen­sus can­di­date to replace the for­mer head of state, Chris­t­ian Wulff, who resigned amid alle­ga­tions of accept­ing favors from busi­ness­men while in office. Ms. Klars­feld, whose Nazi-hunt­ing exploits were por­trayed by Far­rah Faw­cett in a 1986 tele­vi­sion movie, is con­sid­ered unlike­ly to win. Mr. Gauck has the back­ing of Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel’s cen­ter-right coali­tion, as well as that of the main oppo­si­tion par­ties, the Social Democ­rats and the Greens.


3 comments for “Striking Contrast between German Presidential Candidates”

  1. I’m with the anti-fas­cist on this one 100%. Hope­ful­ly, she can pull off a dark-horse vic­to­ry some­how, some way.

    Best wish­es to Frau Klars­feld in her endeav­ors. May Lady Luck smile on her tonight, and beyond........=)

    Posted by Steven L. | March 12, 2012, 9:42 am
  2. KLAUS BARBIE. On March 13th 2012, Ger­man tv sta­tion ZDF broad­cast­ed an inter­view with stu­dent-his­t­ian Peter Ham­mer­schmidt, who, to his aston­ish­ment, obtained access to
    some clas­si­fied BND files. He was able to con­firm that BARBIE was on the BND paylist untill well into the 1970s. And, of course, the BND knew where BARBIE was hiding...and oth­er inter­est­ing details.

    Ham­mer­schmidt web­site:

    ZDF FRONTAL21 Broad­cast full video:


    Posted by Vicar in Aspic | March 17, 2012, 1:59 am
  3. Schauble on Sar­raz­in’s new book:

    “Either he (Sar­razin) writes scream­ing non­sense out of con­vic­tion or his work is an act of con­temptible cal­cu­la­tion.”

    Sounds about right.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 22, 2012, 10:54 pm

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