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Germany

German Activists Compare European Fiscal Pact To Infamous Nazi Law

The approval of European bailout measures has been widely criticized. But a German branch of the global activist group Attac went the next step, comparing the fiscal response to a 1933 law that paved the way for Hitler's regime.

Hitler's Reichstag speech in 1933 promoting the bill (German Federal Archives)
Hitler's Reichstag speech in 1933 promoting the bill (German Federal Archives)

BERLIN - Condemnation has spread in Germany over a left-wing activist group's campaign that compares the European bailout agreement to the 1933 law that paved the way for Adolf Hitler's dictatorship.

The Aachen regional group of the international global justice movement Attac sent out postcards in which the euro zone's European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and fiscal pact were compared to the 1933 Nazi Enabling Act.

Kerstin Griese, a Social Democratic Party (SPD) member of Germany's federal parliament, told Die Welt that the the Attac campaign attack demonstrated a lack of historical knowledge and "banalizes Nazi terror."

Even opponents of the fiscal pact disapproved of the comparison. "One should always ask oneself if historical comparisons --particularly with German history-- are helpful," Free Democratic Party (FDP) parliamentarian Frank Schäffler, who is known as the "Euro Rebel," told Die Welt: "I believe such comparisons are wrong."

The national Attac group has distanced itself from the campaign in Aachen, in western Germany, which was conducted without consulting them, spokeswoman Frauke Distelrath said. She added that he believed "the comparison to 1933 is incorrect..."

Distelrath said that although the German federal parliament's approval last Friday of the fiscal pact put Germany "on a course to a new order that we do not consider legitimate" and as such is a "frightening precedent," the situation cannot be compared to 1933.

Attac has 27,000 members in Germany. The organization is structured in such a way that regional groups largely act autonomously.

The so-called Enabling Act (officially, the "Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and the Nation") passed on March 24, 1933 effectively made it possible for Hitler to pass laws without their being approved by parliament.

Read the full story in German by Miriam Hollstein

Photo - German Federal Archives

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Geopolitics

Minsk Never More: Lessons For The West About Negotiating With Putin

The longer the war in Ukraine continues, the louder calls will grow for a ceasefire . Stockholm-based analysts explain how the West can reach a viable deal on this: primarily by avoiding strategic mistakes from last time following the annexation of Crimea.

"War is not over" protests in London

Hugo von Essen, Andreas Umland

-Analysis-

Each new day the Russian assault on Ukraine continues, the wider and deeper is the global impact. And so with each day, there is more and more talk of a ceasefire. But just how and under what conditions such an agreement might be reached are wide open questions.

What is already clear, however, is that a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine must not repeat mistakes made since the open conflict between the two countries began more than eight years ago.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Contrary to widespread opinion, the so-called Minsk ceasefire agreements of 2014-2015 were not meant as a definitive solution. And as we now know, they would not offer a path to peace. Instead, the accord negotiated in the Belarusian capital would indeed become part of the problem, as it fueled the aggressive Russian strategies that led to the escalation in 2022.

In early September 2014, the Ukrainian army suffered a crushing defeat at Ilovaisk against unmarked regular Russian ground forces. Fearing further losses, Kyiv agreed to negotiations with Moscow.

The Minsk Protocol (“Minsk I”) – followed shortly thereafter by a clarifying memorandum – baldly served Russian interests. For example, it envisaged a “decentralization” – i.e. Balkanization – of Ukraine. An uneasy truce came about; but the conflict was in no way resolved.

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