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Speech by André Lang at the large demonstration “We are the firewallDresden”, Dresden, 3 Feb 2024

Dear participants in today's large demonstration,

On behalf of the Jewish communities of Dresden, I wish you a warm Shabbat Shalom.

With me today are Rabbi Akiva Weingarten from the Jewish Community and Wolfram Nagel from the Jewish Community of Dresden.

We, the Jews who live in this city, are very worried. Anti-Semitism, right-wing extremism and racism have been growing in Saxony for many years. Since Hamas' barbaric attack in Israel on innocent women, children and the elderly, we are experiencing a new wave of anti-Semitism. Let me briefly remind you of what happened in Dresden 90 years ago:

In the Dresden-Bautzen constituency, 43.6% of Saxons voted for the NSDAP in the 1933 Reichstag election.

And today?

In the last federal election, the AfD achieved a share of the vote of 24.6% in Saxony. For this year's state elections, voter surveys already see the AfD as the strongest party with 35%, ahead of the CDU.

PEGIDA has been marching through Dresden for the 9th year with the support of the AfD, the FREE Saxony, the Reich citizens and so-called lateral thinkers.

At the end of last year, the neo-Nazi Höcke, who was classified as a right-wing extremist, was able to spread his incitement on Dresden's Schloßplatz.

Fotos of the event
Rabbiner Akiva Weingarten with the catholic bishop and the lutheran bishop, © JKD (2024)

It was only 3 months ago that a banner was carried through Dresden, under the eyes of the police and the Dresden assembly authorities, calling for a mob against democratically elected politicians. Photos of politicians in convict clothing were shown under the slogan “Guilty of treason to the people and fatherland!” Including those of the Saxon Prime Minister Kretschmer and his ministers Köpping and Schuster. There were demonstrations with anti-Semitic shouts - including in Dresden - after the Hamas attack on October 7th.

Yes, where do we live? What does all this have to do with democracy and freedom of expression?

We know that not everyone who votes for AfD is a Nazi. But anyone who follows these brown pied pipers and gives their vote will make right-wing extremism, racism and anti-Semitism “socially acceptable” again.

We must stand together firmly and resolutely against these right-wing extremists, who have already declared Dresden to be their capital of the movement.

For this reason and so that the atrocities committed against the victims of National Socialism are never forgotten and never repeated, we need a strong civil society, a broad movement “Together against the right”.

As members of the second generation, as Jews who survived the Holocaust, we want the fate of the millions of politically and racially persecuted and murdered people, including our families, never to be repeated.

Never again is now!


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