Right-wing extremism in Germany – When anonymous collective research work


Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) banned “Combat 18” last week. The violent right-wing extremist group is considered the armed arm of the neo-Nazi network “Blood and Honor”, which is banned in Germany. Seehofer’s move was welcomed, and at the same time there was criticism – that the interior minister was late against the clandestine organization.

“The question of why the group should be banned has long been answered,” said a comment here on Deutschlandfunk.

Demonstration of (imago / Michael Trammer)“Long overdue” – Comment on the ban on “Combat 18”
The NSU or the Halle attack: The Federal Minister of the Interior should have assessed right-wing extremism much earlier than significant danger, says Marcus Pindur.

If you ask yourself where these answers come from, what “Combat 18” is, who is networked there – then you end up in a journalistic special area.

The extreme right is observed by collectives

It is not the case that the knowledge about the violent extreme right owes itself to the cover stories of “Spiegel”. Or comes from lengthy research by other major media, which have won one journalist award after another. Nor is it that information about such groups is only given to those who are briefed by secret services like an interior minister.

In Germany, extreme rights are observed by collectives that work covertly and anonymously. And who then publish their research on platforms or in specialist magazines that are considered anti-fascist.

The “Antifa” is a stimulus word in politics and the public, where you can sometimes get the impression that it mobilizes stronger and more decisive defense reactions than the crimes and strategies of neo-Nazis – the people against whom the “anti” is directed ,

Many people stand in a street during a rally on May 1, 2018 in Berlin. Several flags with the Antifa logo are held up. (AFP / John MacDougall) (AFP / John MacDougall)Myth Antifa – Between commitment and violence
Civil society engagement, but also prepared to use violence, an important source of protection of the constitution, but also in part an “object of observation”: the so-called Antifa has many facets.

Basic research on information

It is no wonder that right-wing extremists are creating a mood against Antifa. Because from this side trivialization, small talk or ignorance of right-wing violence is not to be expected.

On the platforms, in the information sheets and specialist archives, information is continuously collected to help you understand who you are dealing with in violent rights.

The most comprehensive presentation of “Combat 18” in recent times was published in the summer of 2018 on the portal “exif-recherche.org” – a 180,000 character belt, a quantity of text for which you would need a narrow book because it is no longer measurable in magazine articles.

These texts are written with great sobriety. They do not depict reality through chic, dramatic dramatizations that are used to dress up for journalist prizes. Rather, they live from enumerations and links – who did what with whom and where.

Basic research on information, you could say. A knowledge that other professional media can fall back on when needed.

The alleged murderer in the Lubcke case was no stranger

When Stephan E. became known as the alleged murderer of the Kassel government president Walter Lubcke last summer, his criminal, violent history was quickly available. Because the right-wing extremist was no stranger to the anti-fascist research platforms and archives.

If the interior minister now wants to act more resolutely against right-wing extremist groups, it might be an occasion for the media and society to appreciate the often poorly or poorly paid work of experts who are important for understanding German right-wing extremism.

Matthias Dell (Daniel Seiffert) Matthias Dell (Daniel Seiffert)Matthias Dell, Born in 1976, studied comparative literature and theater studies in Berlin and Paris. From 2004 to 2014 he wrote for the media watch blog “wastepaper“and publishes a critique of the current” crime scene “or” police call “for a period of time online every Sunday after broadcast. In 2012, his book” ‘Wonderfully incorrect’ ‘was published. The Thiel Boerne crime scenes “at Bertz + Fischer.

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