Americans are too acquiescent in responding to the violent and racist acts perpetrated by Neo-Nazis such as the QAnon, the Proudboys and the Klan.
The Germans, who are well schooled in the evils of Nazism know how to stand up to these despicable deplorables.
Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 12.16.2020
Survivors of Germany’s Halle synagogue attack are now tracking white supremacist extremists worldwide. Terrorists use online platforms like Twitch, which police are failing to monitor, they say.
On August 3, 2019, a right-wing extremist shot dead 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. He had just posted a “manifesto” on the online forum 8chan in which he declared his hatred of immigrants and Hispanic people.
Proud Boys rally for Trump in Washington, DC 12.12.2020
When questioned in court, many of the police officers say it simply isn’t their job to investigate the background of the crime. After all, from a narrow legal point of view, this seemed reasonable. The case was clear: There was a confession and a video recording the act — why dig any deeper? “So often I heard them say: It’s not my job to understand the context,” said Talya Feldman, an art student from Colorado who was among the people in the Halle synagogue during the attack.
Feldman. said “Which leads me to ask, well then whose job is it?”
That’s an important question, given that both the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the German domestic intelligence agency, the Verfassungsschutz, agree that far-right extremism currently represents the biggest domestic terrorist threat in their respective countries. According to a Reuters report, a DHS memo from August this year even identified white supremacists and other lone offenders with “personalized ideologies” as posing the greatest threat of deadly violence in the US.
Stephan B.’s trial, which has lasted 25 court days, is due to reach a verdict on Monday.
On the same day, a young man in eastern Germany signed up to the online platform Twitch, a streaming service mainly used by gamers to watch each other play video games. Two months later, this young man, 27-year-old Stephan B.*, would use this service to live-stream footage from his helmet camera that showed his attempt to murder 52 Jewish people in a synagogue in the city of Halle.
Like the El Paso shooter, the young German also posted a “manifesto” on an online forum moments before the attack began. The synagogue attack failed, thwarted largely because the door to the courtyard outside the synagogue was locked — a necessary precaution for many Jewish communities in Germany and around the world. In frustration, Stephan B. killed two non-Jewish Germans.
International network of racism and misogyny
The two white supremacists didn’t know each other personally, and there is no evidence that they ever communicated directly. But they shared an ideology and frequented the same online forums and often unmoderated “imageboards,” where a globe-spanning network of young men regularly air racism and misogyny and feed each other’s anger and resentment about society.
The two men had also both publicly expressed their admiration for the mass-murderer of Christchurch, who had killed 51 people in a mosque a few months earlier, in March 2019, who himself had been directly inspired by Anders Breivik, the Norwegian neo-Nazi who killed 77 people during an attack in 2011.
The sheer frequency of these otherwise “unconnected” attacks mean they are often lost in the ocean of daily news: In the two months between the El Paso shooting and the Halle attack alone, there were two more attacks by young men in Dayton, Ohio, and Baerum, Norway, which together left 10 more people dead.
And in Germany, the death toll in Halle was superseded by another more recent racist atrocity: this February another man attacked a cafe and a hookah bar in Hanau, western Germany, killing 10 people of immigrant background.