“Although the politicians and the Evangelical Church of Germany do everything to play down the arson and hush it up…, the Germans in Garbsen, whether Christian or not, understand the handwriting on the wall.”
Last week we posted translated German newspaper reports concerning the burning of the Willehadi-Kirche in Garbsen. Our Canadian correspondent Rembrandt Clancy has translated an essay from Politically Incorrect about the incident, with an introduction based on German newspaper reports published today (August 9).
Introductory Note from Rembrandt Clancy
The essay that follows, Crystal Night of the Multicoloured Republic? by C. Jahn, was originally posted at Politically Incorrect on 7 August 2013. The essay analyses, in the light of recent history, the first arson perpetrated on a church in Germany and the political consequences that can be expected from it.
Gates of Vienna has already reported on the event itself. The evangelical Willehadi-Church (Church of St. Willehad) was burned to the ground along with the adjacent parish hall, with damage estimated in the millions. It happened on the night of 30 July 2013 in the town of Garbsen in Lower Saxony, about 11 km northwest of Hanover. The Willehadi-Kirche is situated in the most populated district of Garbsen known as Auf der Horst.
The following excerpts from the Hannoversche Allgemeine, reportedly a Left-leaning newspaper, provide Gates of Vienna readers with a background similar to that which German readers have before reading C. Jahn’s essay. It is generally agreed that the alleged perpetrators, who have not yet been apprehended, hail from a culturally enriched section of the Garbsen. The reaction of the Lutheran spokesman to the event is also an interesting case study in itself, and gives substance to C. Jahn’s statement that not only state support has been withdrawn from the German people, but also ecclesiastical support.
According to the Hannoversche Allgemeine (9 Aug. 2013):
“It is not the first time that arsonists in the Auf der Horst part of the city have been playing with fire. In this year alone the police recorded 31 intentionally set fires. As a rule it is paper recycling bins which go up in flames. A week ago there was also an attempt to set fire to the same parish hall which is now burned to the ground. In most cases the police have no clue as to the perpetrators. But the residents of the quarter express their suspicion bluntly: ‘We have been terrorised by youths for years. They swear at us, deal drugs openly, and no one does anything,’ says Klaus-Dieter Gorges. Most of the young men have partly consolidated themselves into youth-gangs and name themselves AIG (Foreigners in Garbsen) or Gtown Gangsta, whereby the ‘G’ stands for Garbsen.”
In another article of the same date the Hannoversche Allgemeine reports that among the gangs in the quarter, one is Turkish and the other Kurdish:
The AIG is not the only group which is demanding control and respect. Also the [Turkish] ADHP gang (“Auf Der Horst Power”) are involved, and the members of the gang known as the KBB (“Kurdish Blood Brothers”) are on the move in the Garbsen Kronsberg-Quarter. A regional criminological analysis which the city of Garbsen commissioned in 2007 reported that these youth groups cause great uncertainty among the inhabitants. ‘That affects primarily older people and women’, says Constable Günter Hirche, the police liaison officer in Garbsen.”
Ingrid Spieckermann is a Lutheran theologian with the title of State Superintendent in the region. In a homily at the first church service after the fire she is quoted in yet a third article by the Hannoversche Allgemeine as follows (9 August 2013): “There are many small steps to a peaceful co-existence but there is no alternative.” The paper further reports that “she calls for the permanent improvement of the social structure in the housing area and that research into the causes is indispensable.” Here Spieckermann shows how the so-called “social justice” of the churches works; that is, how Christian charity, having become divorced from its roots, loses its native interiority and its inherent spirit of self-examination, becomes collectivised and metamorphoses into the ‘critical theory’ or cultural nihilism of Marxism. The causes of the arson are not to be found in the endogenous characteristics of the dominant ‘culture’ from which the immigrants come, but are due instead to external structural obstacles that German society is placing in their way, hence causing their anti-social behaviour. German society is the cause of the violence and the immigrant ‘youths’ are the victims.
Then, as if she were projecting her own cultural self-loathing, Spieckermann presents her theory about the motive and victim status of the arsonists:
“How could it come to pass that people lose respect? Such acts stem from a deep self-hatred. In this way the perpetrators do something to themselves.”
The Hannoversche Allgemeine does not report whether or not Ingrid Spieckermann had a plan as to how the German residents of the area ought to be protected.
The translated article is below.
Garbsen: Crystal Night of the Multicoloured Republic?
On 30 July 2013, for the first time in Germany, a Christian church was burned to the ground in Garbsen, accompanied by raucous bawling and caterwauling of the arsonists and their sympathisers. This scenario automatically calls to mind 9 November 1938 when synagogues were burned down. At that time too, blatant malice and schadenfreude prevailed in the presence of the flames. Does Garbsen stand as symbolic of the first Crystal Night of the Multicoloured Republic [Bunten Republik]?
(By C. Jahn)
To be clear at the outset, although the scenario in the early hours of 30 July in Garbsen evokes memories of 9 November 1938, both events permit comparisons only partially. They differ from each other quite considerably in respect to planning, organisation and scale. Similarities, however, exist in the political message which the arson contains and also in the expected political outcome.
The differences between Garbsen and the Reichskristallnacht of 1938 are apparent: in 1938 the state itself was the most important actor behind the scenes; in the vast majority of cases, the perpetrators were in the pay of the state; the fires were prepared with military precision and they were centrally co-ordinated. In 1938, it was not just one synagogue which burned, but a conflagration was conceived and implemented; and it was accompanied by a systematic terror in the streets against Jewish businesses and private homes, costing the lives of over 100 people.
Fortunately in 2013, in the Multicoloured Republic, we have not yet reached the point of the year 1938. In Garbsen it was not several churches that were burned to the ground, but only a single church. Private homes and businesses remained unmolested, at least on the night of the 29th to the 30th of June (not in the previous week [see introduction]), and no one was killed. Also absent was any sign of state, semi-governmental or parallel-governmental planning and direction. By all accounts received to date the arson was planned and carried out in an informally organised milieu. That the comparison with 1938 obtrudes itself of its own accord, however, is due to the scenario itself: the burning of a religious edifice of another ethnic group, the blatant joy of the onlookers belonging to the ethnic group of the alleged perpetrators, their “party mood”, their outright sympathy with the arsonists and their malice toward those affected by the fire — all that is readily familiar to us in Germany, since history is repeating itself anew, even if thus far it remains on a much smaller scale.
Setting a house of worship on fire always contains a political statement — precisely in the same way as setting fire to a town hall, department store or a bank is always political. All these buildings carry symbolic significance. Every violent act against these symbol-carriers is always a political act meant to convey a particular message: a message to the followers as well as the opponents. A burning department store in the years of the ’68-revolution was a political message to its own communist base and simultaneously a threat to the market-based state: violence signifies power. The burning synagogues of 1938 conveyed the same message: the unfettered use of violence against the synagogues, as Jewish ethno-religious symbol-edifices, signalled the unlimited power monopoly of the Nazi party to its followers, whilst the acts of arson functioned to intimidate the affected Jews, and, as a side effect, the domestic German opposition.
Also the burning down of the Willehadi-Kirche in Garbsen (most likely the perpetrators came from the violent eastern districts) fulfils this communicative function: it conveys a message to both followers and adversaries. Similar to Crystal Night in 1938 this message states: we have the power to use violence against the symbol-edifice of another ethnic group, wherever, however and whenever we want; hence we also have the power to use violence against this ethnic group itself, wherever, however and whenever we want. No one can deter us from the practice of violence, for we are in possession of power. And no one will punish us for it, because we also have the power at our disposal to escape prosecution. This message is not only understood with exactitude by the followers, the most radicalised Turkish and Arabian nationalists, Islamists and quasi-political criminals of the immigrant milieu, but it is also understood in many completely normal Turkish and Arab families who follow the political events very vigilantly, and while not actively approving such acts of arson to be sure, nevertheless by being silent they tolerate them, and are thoroughly impressed by the implied national and religious demonstration of power. But the ethnic “other”, declared as adversary by the perpetrators, also understands this message: from the religiously predisposed standpoint of the perpetrator, the Christian church is the most important symbol for the Germans. And although the politicians and the Evangelical Church of Germany do everything to play down the arson and hush it up (with the assistance of the press), the Germans in Garbsen, whether Christian or not, understand the handwriting on the wall.
The political consequence therefore points to parallels between 1938 and 2013. The first consequence is the intimidation of an identifiable ethnic group branded by the arsonists as the enemy: in the case of Garbsen, these are the Germans. Among the Germans in Garbsen, the burning church, as symbol of their ethno-religious identity, generates the feeling of a collective physical threat — it is the same feeling which the Jews of 1938 experienced in the presence of their burning synagogues, even if they were not personally religious at all. And the Germans of 2013 will react to this feeling in exactly the same way as the Jews of 1938, because in the face of the political constellation as a whole, they have no other choice whatsoever: they will withdraw, cringe away, keep their mouths shut and hope that everything will somehow turn out well — which, however, will not happen. And the Germans will leave Garbsen. They will leave Garbsen in exactly the same way the Jews left Garbsen in former times: out of anxiety and fear for their own lives and out of the knowledge that in an emergency no one will protect them.
The second consequence is the unmistakable increase in the power of the arsonists. For the suspected perpetrators and the political circles ideologically allied with them, Garbsen is, given the current state of affairs, a successful test case which gives a clear answer to the question which has remained open until now: — when their own churches begin to burn down, what will be the deportment of the official church which is currently the important ally within the framework of Turkish-Arabian colonisation [Landnahme])? The block parties are already on side for they are extensively infiltrated. But because of the religious barrier, the two official churches are difficult to infiltrate; and in consequence of their potential for opposition, at least in theory, they are still considered suspect as the traditional agency of the Christian Germans. This political uncertainty concerning the conduct of the churches in what is discernibly the upcoming and violent subsequent phase of the colonisation, now appears to be clarified after Garbsen: The Evangelical Church of Germany, by its completely conscious playing-down of the harm of the arson and its implicit partisan support of the alleged circle of the perpetrators [see introduction], has unmistakably signalled, that even in the case of a burning down of their own churches, they stand firmly on the side of the perpetrators of violence — an important political licence for them.
Therefore is Garbsen in 2013 the Crystal Night of the Multicoloured Republic? Yes and no. The ‘no’ is apparent in that there is too much of a discrepancy between the two events in organisation and scope. The ‘yes’, however, follows as much from the shocking external comparability of the two events as from their foreseeable political consequence: on the one hand there is the political strengthening of the arsonists, on the other hand there is the further revocation of political protection for the ethno-religious victims — the revocation of state support in any event — but now also ecclesiastical support. And just as 1938 did not mark the end of the progression, but was only an intermediate stage toward greater, and far graver dimensions, so too Garbsen will certainly not remain an isolated case. In the face of the complete ethno-political development in the Multicoloured Republic and the European neighbouring countries, where burning cities have long become the trademark of the multicoloured era, Garbsen too forms only a preliminary stage of that hellish inferno that awaits us in the coming years, a kind of test-arson. The burning church in Garbsen in all probability does not symbolically represent the end of a dangerous development for all of us; on the contrary, it stands only for its beginning.