The racist murders of Hanau are part of a chain of right-wing terror attacks and racism. They are not caused by the sick brains of the individual perpetrators, but by a capitalist society that produces racism and right-wing forces on a daily basis. And in a state that is not only blind in the right eye, but in which networks of racists, fascists and right-wing populists can operate.
Only last week, a fascist terror network was discovered, the so-called “Gruppe S”, which involved a police administrator. Right-wing networks exist in the Bundeswehr, the German army. Only last October, there was the anti-Semitic attack on a synagogue in Halle. The racist hunt in Chemnitz streets was only a year and a half ago. The network of Nazis and Verfassungsschutz (domestic security service) agents suspected to be behind at least 10 NSU murders between 2000 and 2007 has still not been fully uncovered. In the Federal Republic of Germany, the threat from fascists is growing daily, but the state authorities arrest people who fly a Kurdish flag and the FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a conservative paper) is worried about left-wing extremist activities in the left party DIE LINKE. After the recent events in the Thuringia state parliament, where for the first time the conservative CDU and liberal FDP elected a state prime minister together with the far-right populist AfD, one commentator after the other equated the left and right.
Initially, after the murders in Hanau, there was some media speculation about a conflict within the “Shisha-Bar-Milieu”, in other words amongst migrants. Now the thesis of a lone perpetrator is being unpacked. One thing is clear: regardless of whether Tobias R. committed this crime alone or as part of a group – his actions were prompted by the AfD and all those who incite against migrants. It is no coincidence that he chose two shisha bars places for his murders. For months there has been racist incitement against such places of migrant culture by the AfD and also in the media.
The fact that this atrocity took place in Hanau and thus in Hesse should not really be a surprise. Hesse was a focal point of the NSU murders and the scene of last year’s murder of Walter Lübcke. In Hanau, itself, there is an active Nazi scene which has attacked leftists and migrants in the past. Kerem Schamberger, a left academic, posted on facebook: “By the way, the district of Hanau has been a Nazi stronghold for decades. The day before we had our reading from “The Kurds” on 7 December 2018 in Metzgerstrasse Acht, Hanau, the comrades’ flat-share where we were to stay had been half-burned down by Nazis and was no longer habitable. On December 21, 2018, Metzgerstrasse Acht itself was attacked and an attempt made to set it on fire. The attacks were part of a series of attacks on left-wing houses, which the taz newspaper amongst others reported.”
Now there has to be a clear reaction. It is necessary to get organized: against the Nazi murderers and against those who have lit the fuse with their political actions. A central role must be played by the trade unions which, with six million members, are the largest multi-ethnic organisations and whose primary task should be to combat the social causes that give rise to racism. They would now have to distribute masses of information leaflets in all workplaces and invite people to workplace meetings. On this basis, they could organise a nationwide demonstration against right-wing terror and racism together with the #unteilbar-Bündnis (‘Indivisible – alliance’), DIE LINKE and migrants’ associations and combine the fight against the right-wing with trade union and social struggles. Or why not even stop working in protest against right-wing terror?
Fight social causes!
There is no capitalism without racism, said Malcolm X, the US civil rights activist. The capitalists need the racist divide in order to exploit the wage-earning class. “Divide and rule” is the old familiar motto. That is why there are special laws for migrants, and that is why not only the AfD agitates against non-Germans. But for years, we have seen campaigns by the BILD newspaper, other media and from the bourgeois parties against immigrants. Thus, the ladies and gentlemen who have capital and power can also distract attention from the fact that they and their system are the real causes of social problems.
It is these social problems that are the root cause of the rise of AfD and growing racism. This, in turn, strengthened the militant Nazis in their thinking and further radicalised them. The state promotes racism and usually lets the fascists do their thing. Whoever believes that a state, whose security service (Verfassungsschutz) is obviously connected to the series of NSU murders, and that pro-capitalist politicians, who have undermined the right of asylum and carry out daily deportations, will effectively do something against right-wing extremism, also believe in fairy tales. The investigation of the murders must not be left to the state, which – especially in Hesse – is itself knee-deep in the brown swamp. The Sol demands the formation of an independent committee of inquiry consisting of migrant associations, the local population and the trade unions, in order to clear up the background of the crime and to recognise possible further dangers. These must also have the right to inspect all police investigation findings.
Against the right
The left must not mean, however, to limit itself to moral indignation and expressions of sadness about the Hanau murders. The left must also not mean to refrain from naming the deeper causes of the right-wing terror and the arsonists in pinstripes and pantsuits. We now need joint mass mobilisations and actions of trade unions, DIE LINKE, and social movements to stop the right. But the left must now mean speaking the truth and getting to the root of the evil: mobilisation of trade unions, DIE LINKE (the Left party), tenants’ movements, ‘Fridays For Future’, social movements and migrant associations against right-wing terror, state racism and for social rights and a better life for all!
The best fight against racism, fascism and right-wing populism is the common fight of wage earners, young people and socially disadvantaged people for higher wages, better working conditions, lower rents, decent social benefits, against precarious working conditions and exploitation and for equal rights for all people living here! This cannot be conducted with the established parties responsible for Agenda 2010, raising the retirement age, horrendous rents etc.
Getting to the root of the evil also means questioning the capitalist system and discussing alternatives to capital power and concentration of wealth in a few hands. Sol says: as long as the banks and corporations are privately owned by a few and democracy ends at the factory gate, social problems and fears of the future will drive people into the arms of right-wing criminals. Only a socialist democracy in which the banks and corporations are in public ownership and democratically controlled and managed by the working population, can solve social problems, put an end to the capitalist crisis and end the destruction of the environment. We need a strong socialist workers’ party that does not play the game of the established parties and consistently represents the interests of the majority of the population, regardless of skin colour, religion, and nationality. For this, we are working in trade unions, the party DIE LINKE, and social movements.