Letter to the editor: Violent extremism
To the editor:
Once again we see right-wing extremists taking violent action in Germany, attacking a synagogue on Yom Kippur. This is not an isolated event. As World War II veterans are fading away, the xenophobic, ethnocentric, ultra-nationalistic philosophy they defeated is making a violent resurgence, with echoes of the 1920s.
Mr. Walter Lübcke was a German politician who supported his government’s policy on refugees. He was assassinated on June 2, 2019, by a neo-Nazi, after he was placed on a hit list. It has been reported that this was likely Germany’s first such assassination since the Nazi era. Such killings have a chilling impact on public engagement in politics, instilling fear of violence in those who speak out. Even here in the U.S., a person with far-right sympathies attempted to assassinate politicians and journalists. On Aug. 8, 1925, there was a march of 30,000 members of the KKK in Washington, D.C., and in August 2017 in Charlottesville, Va., we had the white supremacist rally chanting “Jews will not replace us!” That time they marched without hoods.
We must be on guard against the rise of a charismatic leader, here or abroad, capable of taking advantage of the next economic downturn to implement the right-wing extremist philosophy our parents and grandparents defeated. To honor our mothers and fathers who served in uniform during World War II, as well as all who fought and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice, we must not allow that vile philosophy to once again come to power.