Festung Europa: “A Higher Idea for Which it Pays to Fight”

Last Monday the organization Festung Europa entered a new stage with a rally in Dresden and an inspirational speech by Tatjana Festerling.

Rembrandt Clancy has translated and subtitled Frau Festerling’s speech. Below is the video of the speech, and also a video of the speech (already in English) given by Tania Groth of PEGIDA Denmark. The translator includes an introduction, a transcript of Tatjana Festerling’s speech, and a transcript of the embedded video message (in French) by Jean-Yves Le Gallou.

by Rembrandt Clancy

On Monday 16 May 2016 Germans observed Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag); in effect, a second celebration of Pentecost. While PEGIDA-Dresden paused for the public holiday, Tatjana Festering, one of the leaders at the forefront of PEGIDA, brought together around nine guest speakers from various countries and organisations opposing the EU and Islamisation. The rally was under the aegis of the European-wide Citizens’ Movement, Festung Europa (Fortress Europe), an alliance of initially 14 countries forged at a conference in Prague in January of 2016. That conference came to an end with the signing of the Prague Declaration, the text of which can be found on Gates of Vienna. Festung Europa’s rally last Monday was very much in the spirit of that Declaration.

The speeches were more cultural in nature than political. Based on the fact of Germany’s important position in the centre of Europe, the organisers focused on an understanding of the problems of German identity in relation to the rest of Europe. The immediate background to this theme was that PEGIDA “officially ended the German guilt complex” (Tatjana Festerling) at their rally of 9 November 2015, the “guilt” being a reference to the requirement that Germans continue to atone indefinitely for the twelve-year Hitler period ending in 1945, hence stifling the possibility of Germans establishing a positive identity. The positive goal of the rally was a “renaissance” of Germany’s values based on her cultural achievements.

The Festung Europa alliance carried out its first rallies on the Europe-wide day of action which took place on 6 February 2016. That too had been planned at the conference in Prague. This latest rally was held in Dresden’s Neustädter Markt, a square marked by the city’s most famous monument, the Goldener Reiter (Golden Rider). MDR-Saxony spoke of 2,000 participants.

Tatjana Festerling’s contribution is separated into two parts by the speeches of other participants. We edited the original video to combine these two parts into one. In her presentation she includes a video message by Jean-Yves Le Gallou of the Institut Illiade (cf. Gates of Vienna for information on the Institut). For the sake of improved quality, we used the video version of Mr. Gallou’s speech which is to be found on the Internet portal of the Institut Illiade.

The following video presents the contribution of Tania Groth of the Freedom Movement in Denmark. She put her signature to the Prague Declaration on behalf of PEGIDA-Denmark on 25 January in Dresden (Tania Groth). She points the German “guilt complex” as having broadened to a European “white guilt complex”.

Tania’s address is in English. We have edited the German translation in the video for economy of time.

Transcript of the Speech of Tatjana Festerling

Video selections taken from: Fortress Europe
Original source of speech by Jean-Yves Le Gallou: Institut Illiade

Good day Dresden,

Honoured Europeans, dear friends,

What is Fortress Europe? It is a European citizens’ movement, which fights for the preservation of Europe. For Europe can be preserved only without conditions and without the dictatorship of Brussels and without Muslim invasion. Fortress Europe can become the organisation which establishes the preliminary conditions for the politics of a Viktor Orbán, a Marine Le Pen and a Geert Wilders. Europe is in enormous danger. And we Europeans, all of us, are in the same boat — a boat on the point of capsizing. But in everything bad, there is always something good. Faced with the threat of the global migration of peoples and the migration of Muslims on a massive scale, Europeans are becoming increasingly self-aware. The chance is there, perhaps the last one for a long time, to at last develop a common European identity. A Fortress Europe will only work with the Germans, with healthy Germans. And that is where we come to the problem. Germans do not have confidence in themselves. Germans are not aware of who they are. We do not even know how important we are; that is how uncertain and intimidated we are as a people.

Never are we Germans good enough; never do we hear praise, something appreciative, or something which touches the heart. No. A bad conscience is our constant companion. We must not show love for our country, for then we are Nazis; we must not show pride in our culture, for then we are outmoded hyper-German chauvinists; we are not to say that we wish to preserve ourselves as a German cultural people, for then we are really wicked; we are racists. We must not be proud of our much sought-after automobiles, these marvels of the German art of engineering. There, too, the bad conscience rides along: polluter, climate change, gas guzzling and environmental pollution. And certainly we are not to declare ourselves a nation, much less a sovereign one. No. For even the term “German National Team” is replaced with the vacuous “the team”.

Our authorities and our media address us in the language of a dictator like Idi Amin. Never are we good enough; never are we to be proud of our accomplishments, not even of the outstanding accomplishments of our forefathers. We are made to feel guilty, being German is disparaged and our identity devalued to an empty phrase. Throughout all the years of collective re-education, we, the German people, have been robbed of our pride, and our dignity. Also there is no commendation for our people. German fathers and mothers go faithfully to work every day and pay their taxes. They make an effort, but they receive no credit. On the contrary, our politicians and media are trying ever more conspicuously to train us, to coerce us into an everlasting atonement and to humble us. Instead of encouraging a high culture through authentic and in-depth education, a welcoming culture is being forced upon us.

We are supposed to welcome people here who are not guests; we are supposed to welcome people here who are not guests, which is to say they stay. The entire arrangement works like a disgusting sale of indulgences, like the attempt to redeem oneself from the sins of the past through sacrifice and through self-abnegation. In addition, the ideologues drum self-annihilation into us as something morally good. The morality-terrorists do not even shrink from unleashing and financing extreme-left perpetrators of violence. And not even our European neighbours are spared. They too must gladly adopt, once again, the German approach. Does this behavioural pattern from our past not seem familiar to us? Whether we call it the Nazi obsession, collective Stockholm syndrome, self-hatred or the open-air psychiatric clinic of Germany, large segments of the German population are obsessively obsessed by the horrific twelve years of our past and by perpetual reparation guilt.

But we cannot lay half of Germany on the couch, not to mention that there are probably few therapists left, who have not been ideologised in the universities and presumably no longer recognise the problem. No. What will help us is the harkening back to our traditions, a renaissance in the apprehension of our values, a reawakening of our German identity.

For human rights also apply to us Germans. All peoples have rights, and it is just a fact of the case that our birthright and our right to live are in Europe and not in the Near East and Africa. We must once again enter into a state of self-awareness, for only then will free thought and responsible decisions be possible. Self-awareness strengthens vigilance, and a strong identity safeguards against the seductions of ideologues. A healthy German identity is important for Europe. We live in the centre of Europe. Without us Germans, a Fortress Europe will not work. And that is why we, the Germans, need support through appreciation from our European neighbours, from one people to another. That makes us immune to attacks and disparagement.

Our European neighbours and observers from other continents — today an Australian politician is with us — are deeply sympathetic with our fate. They understand the neurotic condition of the Germans, and they can — indeed they must help us to change our perception of ourselves in a positive way and bring liberation to fruition; for example, by their appreciation in relation to us Germans.

Note: At this point, nine successive speakers show their appreciation, after which Tatjana Festerling returns to the stage.

Yes, it is wonderful to experience the appreciation of our neighbours isn’t it? That they have a high opinion of us, and when quite diverse European mentalities appreciate us Germans, then goodness is in us.

There is still someone else who wishes to pass a message on to us. And he is a Frenchman. He is Jean-Yves Le Gallou. He is a distinguished, conservative-liberal intellectual, writer and politician. For many years he represented the Front National in the European Parliament. He has sent us a short video message especially for this occasion. Please run the film.

Jean-Yves Le Gallou

After the horror and ruins of the Second World War, the German people were found guilty. And the more time that passes separating us from this terrible war, the more the assignment of guilt increases and intensifies. The father must feel guilty, then the children, then the grandchildren. And today? It is the great-grandchildren. Until when? Until when?

Gradually this attribution of guilt to the Germans has spread to the other European peoples. They too have been pronounced guilty: guilty for not having waged sufficient resistance during the Second World War; guilty of colonisation; guilty of slavery; guilty, always guilty. This application of guilt applies even to Swiss population, who had remained neutral from 1939 to 1945, who never had colonies or practised slavery! It matters not, that this application of guilt no longer has anything to do with reason. This assignment of guilt is the consequence of a totalitarian re-education. It relies on the school system, to make young children hollow-headed, and it relies on the propaganda media — what you Germans call “Lügenpresse” — to domesticate the adults.

It is this imputation of guilt, which is forcing the European peoples to accept being more and more overrun, from the Ionian Islands to the North Cape, from Gibraltar to the Baltic States. It is this imputation of guilt, which is forcing Europeans to accept being Africanised and Islamised. This great exchange of our peoples and their civilisation must not lead to Europeans becoming antagonistic toward one another. They must now unite to defend their shared civilisation, the European civilisation, the civilisation of which they are proud.

I am a Frenchman, which means that I am a French-speaking European. I am proud of the history and culture of my country. On the other hand, I am also aware of everything I share with my European brothers. First of all, the Graeco-Roman, Celtic and Germanic heritage which have been shaping our ideals, our inventiveness and our enormous driving force until today.

I am proud of Paris, of Versailles and of the French spirit, but I also know what I owe as a European to the other nations. For example, what would European music be without the Bach family, the incomparable Beethoven and the genial Wagner, who fathered anew a European mythology? And what would philosophy be without Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche and Heidegger?

If I were a German, I would be proud to belong to a people who have given so much to our Europe.

People of Europe! Let us not oppose each other on account of material trivialities and bagatelles and because disputes over economics or currency. No, let us unite in order to defend our civilisation together. Let us unite in the face of the invasion which is threatening to overwhelm us, so as to remain true to ourselves.

Dear friends, in order for the Citizens’ movement, Fortress Europe, to gain strength, a phalanx of fervent patriots from all European nations is important. We will become powerful when understanding among peoples becomes friendship among peoples and we remain together in trust. Europeans from Warsaw to Madrid, from Stockholm to Sofia must now join together. We require, as in the army, in the police and in the fire department, the one unshakeable European esprit de corps and a higher idea for which it pays to fight. It is our Europe, the Europe of people, the Europe of sovereign national states, which are bound together in friendship and respect. It is the Europe who understands her various mentalities, diverse traditions and her intellectual accomplishments as cultural treasure. And it is also a Europe who is finally freeing herself from guilt and atonement, for Fortress Europe needs a strong and solid foundation. And this foundation can only be poured by free Germans. We made an initial step together on the ninth of November 2015, at PEGIDA. We officially ended the German guilt complex using rational and logically based arguments. But speaking and its content aim at the understanding. Especially in Germany, it is important for the soul also to be moved. And hence with this overdue liberation from the guilt feelings which have been forced on us, there is above all also the question of the liberation of the disparaged German soul. And we can only bestow this liberation on each other mutually. We have to clarify it among ourselves as Europeans.

Dear friends, here today on the sixteenth of May in Dresden let us begin with a symbolic act of reconciliation. Together let us bid farewell to our emotional, historical and political alienation; and also to all animosities, sensitivities and competitions. For the past need not determine current actions. We have to break through that, for it is the strongest psychological instrument of power of the ruling class. We shall immunise ourselves against the moral cudgels, which lay into us on a daily basis, thereby enfeebling them and depriving them of their power.

Today is to be the first step to recovery — to self-empowerment of the people, of the citizens. Please let us ask each other for forgiveness for all our failures and offences of the past and likewise forgive those of others. And we have to forgive each other in order to approach one another once more as people, and in order to prevent war. We have to forgive and pardon one another so as to find hope and not to lose faith in ourselves and in Europe.

In Poland, in Breslau there is a memorial to Cardinal Kominek*, who already in the 1960s endeavoured to bring about the reconciliation of the Poles with the Germans. His moving message is written in Polish and German on his memorial: “We forgive and we ask for forgiveness”.

Note: What follows is the “symbolic act of mutual pardon and forgiveness”. The various guest speakers from different countries recite the phrase from Cardinal Kominek’s memorial. The audience repeats it.

Now there is a very special guest. She is eighty years old. She is German. She is a resident of Dresden. She survived as a nine year old girl the bombing attacks on Dresden, which took 100,000 lives. She utters the sentence, acting on behalf of us Germans. Katerina, may I ask you to come on stage?

We forgive and we ask for forgiveness.

*   Images of the memorial to Cardinal Kominek bearing the inscription “We forgive and ask for forgiveness” (WIR VERGEBEN UND BITTEN UM VERGEBUNG), including the one at the top of this post, are available at Tatjana Festerling’s site.

13 thoughts on “Festung Europa: “A Higher Idea for Which it Pays to Fight”

  1. I very much agree that Germany must stop feeling guilt for World War II. Consider this — a 14 year old Volksturmer, veteran of the fall of Germany in 1945, would today be 85 years old. Were teenagers to blame for the atrocities of the Third Reich? No? Well, those would be the men aged 85-90 today. Anyone in their twenties during World War II would today be a nonagenarian. There are probably a very few German men who were actually of leadership age — for argument’s sake, 30 or more — in 1945. They would today be over a hundred years old.

    Must Germany now commit suicide for the sake of the dubious guilt of these few old men?

    I’m Jewish, and descended from a family most of which was wiped out in World War II. And I say that such a draconian punishment, imposed on the innocent Germans of today, would be horrifically absurd.

    Germany needs to wake up and start fighting for her life. And I, for one, will cheer her on in this fight.

    • it would be good if PEGIDA, Tatjana and distinguished speaker from France clearly statred their position on Jews and Israel.

      those who like to capitalize exlusively on “Graeco-Roman, Celtic and Germanic heritage” (plus Gothic by default for this guy as he’s French), – such chaps are suspicious.

      definitely there is also Jewish, as well as Slavic and Hungarian heritage.

      oh and by the way “national pride” sounds to me quite repulsive.
      as it reminds Putin’s “Russia raising from her knees” rethoric.

      “pride” is no substitute for wisdom, fairness, empathy, self-control, justice, – and horrible things happen when one tries to deliver it instead.
      and it is Biblical sin AFAIR.

      keep it sane.
      keep it clean.

    • That’s what I was going to say! Except for the Jewish part. I’m not Jewish.
      I’m descended from Germans who came to America in the 18th century. But the love of hard work, music and learning and excellence was passed on to our generation.
      I don’t blame the Germans of today. The guilty ones are long gone. But, the ones who are now trying to destroy Germany as a sovereign nation and a monoethnic state, they should have been tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail (at least) long before this. If this were the 18th century, they would have been. I wish there was some way I could tell the German people I’m proud of them for resisting this abomination that is happening to them.

  2. Liebe Liebe Deutsche Leute, Sie haben nichts Bose getan. Sie sind die Beste und die Liebste. Sie Sind ganz Tapfer auch. Das ist wahrheit. Bald wissen die ganze Welt das. Ich hoffe Alle Beste fur unsere liebe Volk.

    [Note from the Baron: please provide an English translation.

    Machine translation:

    Love love German people, you have done nothing Bose. They are the best and the dearest. If you are very brave also. That’s truth. Soon the whole world know that. I hope all best for our dear nation.]

  3. Does anyone know which Australian politician was there? She mentions it in the first part of her speech … Would love to know!

    • I am unable to find his name in written form. The German moderator introduces him as “Vaughn Raymond”, but I am especially uncertain of the spelling of the first name. You can listen to the German moderator introduce him at 49.30 in the original live stream : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvEM_fgQwWA.

      Other than that, he offers no identifying information, other than that he had been in Stuttgart with Robert Spencer.

      Of all the speakers, perhaps the Australian received the single largest reaction from the demonstrators. That he spoke German may well have contributed to that appreciation.

      When he says that Germany has a Communist as Federal Chancellor, who is squandering the treasure of three and a half post-war generations, the people respond with “Merkel muß weg” (Merkel must go); and again, when he refers to what he calls the unelected EU Communists “who wish to abolish us with our own money”, they reply with “Widerstand” (resistance).

      He tells the people they need more self-understanding and pride of nation. He calls upon them to stop allowing themselves to be abolished through badmounthing, asks that they do away with self-hatred and urges them to stop electing their enemies to government.

      “We in Australia, and the entire world, envy Germany.” Finally he calls upon them to be true to themselves: “Tolerance is the last virtue of a declining society”.

      • Thank you, Rembrandt. I appreciate your fine translations, which have opened events and thinking of the Germans and Europeans to us in a way we could not get elsewhere.

        I also appreciate your sentiments on the Germans losing their self-hatred. Allow me to add my two cents.

        Tatjana seems to be presenting a 12-step program for Germans and Germany: losing their guilt and move on.

        I’m not a huge fan of 12-step programs, but let’s carry it from that perspective.

        The first requirement of 12-steps is self-forgiveness. The Germans must forgive themselves, regardless of the sentiments of others. The Germans do, and ought to have, the power to forgive themselves, even if they wronged others at some time.

        Next is asking forgiveness. Asking forgiveness is a necessary step: however, it’s not necessary to wait around on the other person. They have been asked. So, it’s not really necessary that the other Europeans, or the Israelis, or the Jews, or the Hungarians, or the French, forgive the Germans. The progress of the Germans towards self-appreciation and self-identity does not depend on, nor should it have to wait on, the forgiveness or the approval of other peoples. Tatjana is just a bit too focused on the need for everybody to forgive everybody else, for my taste.

        Israel, even more than being a Jewish state, is a European state. The leftists hate it because it’s Jewish, but even more because it represents a proud outpost of European values in a formerly-Muslim territory. This drives the Muslims mad, to lose a bit of land, but also drives the leftists mad, to see a self-identified European power successfully function among the dysfunctional Muslim countries and the semi-functional authoritarian governments necessary to maintain a civil society with a Muslim population.

        The more the Europeans respect themselves, the more they will support Israel against the obvious ploys of BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) designed to destroy Israel as punishment for its assertion of its right to exist on its own terms.

  4. I agree, Jordan. Time to put that heavy package of guilt down and move on. and yes, fight back against the muslim horde — don’t know if you meant that or not.

    My family left Europe at the end of WWII and came to America (thank God). I consider myself American of Hungarian descent. I love my relatives in Hungary and have visited them, but I am American. Were I German I would say to Germany stand up, throw off that 70-year-old guilt and defend your country and culture. start deporting muslims who do not integrate or acculturate. The mayhem over there is just sickening, and all I know is what I see online. It must be worse in person.

  5. Tatjana’s speech stringly implies that national guilt from WWII _does_ have much to do with the supine (seemingly suicidal) German leadership today. After all these years! At least some explanation.

    I have wondered about this. Other European countries are about as masochistic, however. I guess evil deeds can linger and damage the national soul for decades….way beyond the generation that did them.

    Are historians aware of this phenomenon?

  6. That second video, by the American woman was a bit disappointing, and in an uncomfortable way. Not that I wish to condemn her. She’s clearly a good guy doing her best.

    But she did not squarely address the issue she raised. She said in one moment, you are no more to blame for what your antecedent did, than you would be for what your neighbor does. And then barely a minute later, launches into an exhortation for the audience to feel pride for the accomplishments of their antecedents, for which they are no more to be credited than for the accomplishments of their neighbor.

    Emotionally I understand what she was trying to get at. But unfortunately, nobody would walk away from hearing that with a firm sense of intellectual clarity and certainty. And for some people, that is a big deal. They are left mentally undefended.

    I’m tired and out of time so I’ll stop there. But I’ll leave with just the mention that clarity and certainty in these matters can indeed be achieved.

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