As Small German Towns Become Neo-Nazi Stomping Grounds, Some Are Fighting Back


    BERLIN—Martina Angermann was a popular mayor in Arnsdorf, a picturesque little town of about 5,000 people east of Dresden. She’d been in office since 2001.  But when a conservative carpenter named Detlef Oelsner, whom she’d bested in past elections, and a businessman who blamed her for sabotaging his real estate development plans launched a hate-filled campaign to take her down, no one in her town stood up to defend her.It’s a pattern that’s being repeated in other parts of Germany, but mostly in the east, as neo-Nazis, their sympathizers among the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party, and cynical fellow travelers have built their bases of support and political influence. No longer are they content with their not-so-quiet campaigns of fear and intimidation along racial and other discriminatory lines. (Since 1990, the murders of 208 people have been attributed to right-wing extremist or racist motives. Last month, a man shot and killed nine people of foreign heritage at two shisha bars near Frankfurt.) Now they are targeting local politicians like Angermann (pictured above), a woman who spent 18 years building roads and renovating spaces for an indebted community, but who dared to speak out against the right-wing extremists. Read more at The Daily Beast.


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