Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Unity and ambiguity

The Beetle and the Trabbi are as fitting icons as any to symbolize The Day of German Unity on 3 October, a German national holiday since 1990 when the reunification was formally completed. There is no doubt that the Google doodle has an insouciant charm.

And yet it is a strange ambiguity that niggles and gives cause for concern. 

For it was in the land of the Trabbi that in the recent elections the populist right-wing AfD party achieved over twenty-percent of the vote. Although already plagued by a degree of internecine disarray, they will be a disruptive presence in the new German parliament. There are reasons for this, just as there were reasons for the flourishing of the toxic Pegida movement in the eastern states of the federal republic. Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West, they called themselves, and cared not if their supporters included strong neo-fascist elements. 

Twenty-seven years on I feel that ambiguity still trumps unity. And both the Beetle and the Trabbi are guilty of noxious emissions. 

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