Wie Deutschland auf den Trump-Sieg reagiert hat – das interessiert tatsächlich auch in den USA. Und auch die Pararellele, dass Deutschland just am 9. November der Kristallnacht gedachte, dem Start der gnadenlosen Verfolgung der Juden durch die Nationalsozialisten, dem Beginn eines Millionenfachen Völkermordes. Und weil wir gebeten wurden, unseren Artikel zum 9. November auch Englisch-sprachigen Lesern zugänglich zu machen, kommen wir dem natürlich gerne nach: Hier ist die englische Übersetzung des Artikels „Frühwarnsystem gegen den Chor des Hasses“.

Synagoge Mainz
The new synagogue in Mainz, built on the exact spot where the Nazis destroyed the Grand Synagogue of Mainz on November 9th, 1938 – Picture by gik

It was on November 9th that Mainz woke up to a US-president Donald Trump. A November 9th, of all days, this very special day in German history when the country commemorates the start of the greates hate-wave in the history of mankind. November 9th, when in the year 1938 synagogues and houses of Jewish people in Germany burned, when an unsurpassed wave of persecution was started that ended in the killing of millions of „the other“. In the official commemoration ceremony in Mainz, Mayor Michael Ebling (SPD) warned, November 9th reminded of democracy and tolerance. The knowleged of the past, Ebling said, „can help us to recognize, how fast a chorus of hate can evolve from single voices.“

In Germany, November 9th is one of the most forceful symbols for the darkest chapter of German history: the Nazi Regime with its relentless pursuit of everybody differing from the ruling ideology. The day „reminds us, that a democratic and humane society is not to be a given“, Ebling said in his speech, „but a permanent task for which we have to campaign for.“ And it was surely no coincidence that the Mayor chose especially strong words of warning as well as a deep confession for tolerance and diversity, for freedom and reconciliation on this of all November 9th.The not-expected triumph of Trump the night before came as a shock to Mainz and to Germany, scaring and unsettling people. This triumph, it effected manifold appeals to take democracy and human rights seriosly, yes: even to fight for them.

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Werben auf Mainz&

November 9th is for a second reason an especially apt day for that: On November 9th in the year of 1989, the Berlin Wall came down, it was an incredulous victory of the will to freedom and democracy, reached above all completely peacefully. „We are the people“, the demonstrators in the East chanted – not: „We hate…“ Hate, discrimination, anger, persecution and defamation – these were instruments of the Nationalsocialists which amounted to the burning shops, houses and synagogues in the Reichskristallnacht in 1938. And in the millionfold murder of everyone who thought and believed different afterwards.

„It is exactly the knowledge about what happenend then which can serve as alert system now“, Ebling said: „It can help us realize how from single voices there can grow a whole choir of hate – and how fast.“ In Mainz as well, human beings were hunted, humiliated and killed under the banner of rassism and the joy of destruction. „How could that happen? How could they loose all standards of right and injustice? How could inhumanity and terror gain in such an unprecedented dimension?“ In that night in 1938, Ebling reminded, there were not only perpretators and victims, but „even more citizens who stepped aside and looked away – or even joined these barbarian deeds.“

Neue Synagoge Mainz Oktober 2012
The last pillars of the old Grand Synagogue of Mainz, reminding of destruction and hate back in 1938 – Picture by gik
And even today, Germany experiences a rising number of deeds of hate-inflicted crimes which are directed against the political opinion, against nationality, color of skin or religion. „Right-wing, xenophobic, extremist ideas are long since accepted in the middle of society, in all classes, all regions and all generations“, Ebling said: „That is the bitter truth.“ Which should teach us that democracy had to be learned ever and always anew, is not taken to be granted, not naturally given.

„We have to accept that even after decades of democracy, we can be at a complete loss and have to find ever anew answers and solutions to uncertainty and precariousnes“, Ebling kept on. Tolerance, respect and moral courage are nothing which can be „ordered from above“: „We have to live these values, be examples for them, because they constitute the foundation of our democratic society. They are also our ammunition to intervene when others do evil“, the Mayor encouraged: „We cannot leave our mutual democratic basis, which we built with great pains after the years of dictatorship, we cannot leave that to those who simply roar the loudest! That we owe to the victims of November 9th, 1938.“

Through the whole country, politicans of all parties were mutally shocked by the outcome of the US-Elections. „This is a deep disappointment, I would have preferred a different result“, Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) of Rhenanie-Palatinate said. With his campaign, Trump had left a whole lot of people shaken and distressed, „we can only hope that as a president, he will refer to our mutual fundamental values“, she said. The outcome of the presidential elections in the US is especially important for Rhenanie-Palatinate since the south of the country hosts the biggest American military base outside the US with the greatest community of US-Americans.

Schweigendes Gedenken im Schatten des Doms beim Schweigemarsch
Hundreds came in 2015 to remind the world of those refugees who have died in the Mediterranean sea in search of freedom and democracy – Picture by gik

Even Dreyers conservative opponent, Julia Klöckner, chief of the Christdemocrats in the state, showed herself to be deeply troubled by the outcome: „It feels like a tenfold Brexit“, she said on German TV SWR. Trump hadn’t been conspicuous of fact-knowldge throughout his campaign and he had massively contributed to a brutalization of standards. „That was no advertisement for democracy“, Klöckner said in a written statement: „We saw a society deeply divided, even ripped by distrust, hate against the statal institutions, we saw media in parts not able to cope, and we saw a campaign which for the first time was steered by bots on the internet.“ The relationship between Germany, Europe and the US had to be defined anew, Klöckner said.

In troubled words, even the Chamber of Commerce reacted: Trump had used protectionist ideas to heat up his campaign, now there were widespread uncertainty among economy leaders, a statement from Mainz read. The US are the second most important export market for German economy, companies from Rhenanie-Palatinate alone export goods worth about five billion Euros per year to the US. If Trump really intended to set „America first“, as he announced again on Wednesday shortly after his election, his protectionism will have severe impacts on exportnation Germany.

It was only the right wing-party „Alternative für Deutschland“ (AfD) who rejoiced about Trumps triumph, calling it „a great victory for democracy, an upcurrent for all realists in Europe and a sign of a willful turn from globalism and multi-culturalism.“ This election confirmed a movement throughout the world that „people turn their back on the ruling establishment“, Uwe Junge, head of the AfD in Rhenanie-Palatinate said. They disapproved of a „ruling elite“ which had unhitched themselves from their citizen’s concerns and had pledged themselves to the needs of international banks and enterprises. In Germany however, it was explicitly the great banks and big enterprises who rejoiced about Trump’s election.

Information& on Mainz&: How apt, that exactly on this November 9th, invitation came to a new march „Mainz in the Sea of Lights“. On November 30th, the initiative „Parachute Humans“ calls everybody to come to the Staatsheater in the heart of Mainz for a silent remembrance for all those refugees who died in the Mediterranean sea in the course of 2016. „In mourning and warning we want to draw attention to the dying on the borders of Europe and to the unsolved conflicts which are the reason for it“, the initiative said. At the „Mainz in the Sea of Light“-Rallye in 2015, about 800 people sent a signal of tolerance, peace and humanity.




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