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I quote:

“We must attack and abolish the print media and the public propaganda apparatus.” – “Political correctness belongs in the dustbin of history.” – “We must proceed in a very peaceful and thoughtful manner, adapt if necessary, and smear honey around the opponent’s mouth. But when we finally get there, we put them all on the wall. (… ) Dig out the pit, all in and fire lime up.”

Just three quotes from the mouths of AfD politicians. Three quotes from a list that can be extended as desired. Three times wishful thinking. Three times statements that could be dismissed as perverse fantasies or as brains of perpetual yesterday, if there were not actually a changing reality in Germany to be observed. If there were not people who choose and support the “alternative” not in spite of, but because of such statements.

“Gutmensch”, “left-green sifft”, “system parties”, “lie press”. Our language has already begun to change – and with it our thinking. The murder of the Kassel government president Walter Lübcke. Demonstrations against public media. Resignations of mayors such as Arnd Focke, who have been deliberately threatened and intimidated. Death threats against the President of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm. On average, every other week a despised Jewish cemetery. Banners with Nazi slogans on tractors at a peasant demo in Nuremberg. Shots fired at the office of Dr Karamba Diaby. Swastika and “traitors” smears at the citizens’ office of the CSU Munich-West. And on top of all, the roaring silence of the majority society.

Are we too afraid to get into the crosshairs? Or are we happy that it (still) affects others? Are we just indifferent? Are we doing too well overall? Or do we end up silently agreeing to this?

What we are currently experiencing is not to be outdone in terms of clarity: attacks on the freedom of the press and the media. Attacks on the churches and their representatives. Attacks on politicians. Attacks on parties. Attacks on people. At the end of the day, a targeted attack on our democracy!

It’s time to wake up and get up. Let us show our support and solidarity to those affected. Let us show them that they are not alone or are left alone. Let us show the haters that they are not the majority! Let us show together what we and our democracy stand for.

This year, the citizenship elections are due in Hamburg on 23 February and in Bavaria on 15 March. I would like to thank all the candidates from the democratic parties for their willingness to stand. For making an offer to the people and giving our democracy a face, their face. It does not matter to me whether they are running for the Union or for the SPD, whether for the Greens, the Left or the FDP – or for one of the numerous groups of voters. They are all strengthening our democracy. Let us support them in this!

Let us not be intimidated, of whom they want to be an ‘alternative’, but in fact they are only destroyers. Those who have no interest in solving problems. Rather, they need the existing problems for their populism, their mood-mongering and their incitement. Even if they may come out in public, they belong to spiritual arsonists and trailblazers in the background.

Let’s keep it as in the poem “Germany Awakens!” by Kurt Tucholsky, which was also named for this article:

“We see. We hear. We feel the coming crash. And when Germany is asleep, we are awake!”

Durch gezielten Populismus haben sich unsere Sprache und unser Denken zu ändern begonnen. / Es wird gemordet, beleidigt und bedroht. / Umso wichtiger ist die Solidarität mit den Betroffenen und das eigene Engagement für unsere Demokratie.

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