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German People, Pols And Papers Rally Against Far-Right Movement

Among counter-protestors in Cologne where Pegida was likened to Hitler
Among counter-protestors in Cologne where Pegida was likened to Hitler
Patrick Randall

The Pegida movement's weekly Monday night protests against the "Islamization of Europe" were supposed to rally Germans to their cause. But it now appears to be having the opposite effect, as counter-demonstrations have sprung up around the country.

"Pegida flops outside of Dresden," Tuesday's German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung’s declared, citing the eastern city where the movement was born in October. There were still a notable 18,000 people Monday night in Dresden to denounce immigrants and Muslims, with some 3,000 people marching against what Die Weltcalls the "citizens of rage."

But the Pegida movement is facing a boomerang beyond Dresden. Across the whole country, counter-protests promoting a message of tolerance were far stronger than the original demonstrators. More than 22,000 anti-Pegida demonstrators rallied in the cities of Stuttgart, Münster, Hamburg, Cologne and Berlin.

To protest what is widely perceived as a racist and extremist movement, the Cologne Cathedral and Berlin's famous Brandenburg Gate and television tower on Alexanderplatz switched off their lights.

Siegessäule, Brandenburg Tor, Kölner Dom, Berliner Fernsehturm: Deutschland schaltet #Pegida das Licht aus! Gut so! pic.twitter.com/NnExDbq7Rv

— Sebastian Jabbusch (@SebJabbusch) January 5, 2015

"The Victory Column, Brandenburg Gate, the Cologne cathedral, the Berlin television tower: Germany is switching off its lights against Pegida! Good!"

This follows a series of statements by German politicians over the past few weeks urging citizens to take to the streets to rally against the far-right movement. On Tuesday, the tabloid Bild published a three-page criticism of Pegida, penned by 50 well-known Germans, including former Chancellors Helmut Schmidt and Gerhard Schröder.

Bild's front page Tuesday, "No to Pegida!"

"The Pegida protests appeal to muffled prejudices, to the hatred of foreigners and intolerance," Schmidt wrote. "Germany must remain open and tolerant. Therefore a clear No to Pegida."

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble also wrote that "slogans can't change facts: Germany needs immigrants, and we need to have (open) hearts for refugees in need." The general manager of the German national soccer team stressed that many national players who won the World Cup last summer had foreign roots.

A Pegida protester holds a banner calling for ""potatoes instead of doner kebab"" in Cologne Monday — Photo: Bettina Strenske/London News Pictures/ZUMA

Around 200 right-wing demonstrators marched in Cologne against what they consider the "Islamization" of Europe — Photo: Bettina Strenske/London News Pictures/ZUMA

Meanwhile, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung underlines the absurdity of the concept of German identity the Pegida demonstrators claim, pointing out that the typical German Tyrolean bacon could soon be imported from the United States.

A counter-Pegida demonstrator with a poster calling for "human rights instead of right-wing humans" — Photo: Bettina Strenske/London News Pictures/ZUMA

Online, the fight against Pegida is also growing. Hundreds of thousands of people have signed an online petition against the movement and a "No Pegida" hashtag has spread across Twitter, from various countries and languages.

Don't repeat your history, say no to pegida, Germans! @#nopegida

— Shaviera Indriyati (@shavisapi) January 6, 2015

FM #Steinmeier cont'd: In GER,we know how much we can benefit from the exchange with foreign cultures. Thus,we are not afraid. #NoPegida 2/2

— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) January 6, 2015

Germany, you rock! I don't feel this often but right now I am f***ing proud of my country! #StopRacism #NoPegida http://t.co/z4lKHW5qVM

— Marcus Fischer (@marcusfischer) January 5, 2015

I’m very proud of all the brave citizens that are on Germany’s streets protesting against racism. #nopegida #nobärgida <3

— Jan Lehnardt (@janl) January 5, 2015

Lassen wir Zahlen für Vielfalt und Toleranz sprechen: Petition gegen #pegida https://t.co/OjACYn9qHg #nopegida

— Christiane Kliemann (@Schnecken_Post) January 6, 2015

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Shame On The García Márquez Heirs — Cashing In On The "Scraps" Of A Legend

A decision to publish a sketchy manuscript as a posthumous novel by the late Gabriel García Márquez would have horrified Colombia's Nobel laureate, given his painstaking devotion to the precision of the written word.

Photo of a window with a sticker of the face of Gabriel Garcia Marquez with butterfly notes at Guadalajara's International Book Fair.

Poster of Gabriel Garcia Marquez at Guadalajara's International Book Fair.

Juan David Torres Duarte


BOGOTÁ — When a writer dies, there are several ways of administering the literary estate, depending on the ambitions of the heirs. One is to exercise a millimetric check on any use or edition of the author's works, in the manner of James Joyce's nephew, Stephen, who inherited his literary rights. He refused to let even academic papers quote from Joyce's landmark novel, Ulysses.

Or, you continue to publish the works, making small additions to their corpus, as with Italo Calvino, Samuel Beckett and Clarice Lispector, or none at all, which will probably happen with Milan Kundera and Cormac McCarthy.

Another way is to seek out every scrap of paper the author left and every little word that was jotted down — on a piece of cloth, say — and drip-feed them to publishers every two to three years with great pomp and publicity, to revive the writer's renown.

This has happened with the Argentine Julio Cortázar (who seems to have sold more books dead than alive), the French author Albert Camus (now with 200 volumes of personal and unfinished works) and with the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño. The latter's posthumous oeuvre is so abundant I am starting to wonder if his heirs haven't hired a ghost writer — typing and smoking away in some bedsit in Barcelona — to churn out "newly discovered" works.

Which group, I wonder, will our late, great novelist Gabriel García Márquez fit into?

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