Home inContext A Neo-Nazi Take-Over?

A Neo-Nazi Take-Over?

Samara Greenberg

Neo-Nazis have taken over the entire village of Jamel in northeastern Germany and authorities appear to have given up efforts to combat the problem, German newspaper Der Spiegel reported this week.

Inside Jamel, there are young men with shaved heads and army trousers, Nazi rock music is played, and shooting practices are held. Children raise their hands in the Nazi salute. A plaque at the entrance to the village reads, “free, social, national.” Signs next to it point the way to Hitler’s birthplace and to the formerly German cities of Breslau – now Wroclaw in Poland – and Königsberg – now Kaliningrad, Russia.

A plaque at the entrance to Jamel reads “free, social, national.”

Jamel is part of a larger region of Germany that has been plagued with neo-Nazism for years. The National Democratic Party (NPD) of Germany, which glorifies the Third Reich, has held seats in the state parliament since 2006 and neo-Nazi crimes are part of daily life. Recent months have witnessed a spate of attacks against politicians and offices of the democratic parties.

“The police, the authorities, no one dares to intervene,” Mayor Uwe Wandel said of Jamel. “The Nazis are laughing in our faces….I’m afraid of a second, third, fourth Jamel.”

In Germany, inciting hatred against segments of the population and Nazi symbols such as the swastika and Hitler salute are illegal. Moreover, anyone who publicly endorses, denies, or plays down the Holocaust faces jail time. Perhaps it’s time Berlin intervenes and takes a closer look at Jamel to determine if it needs to enforce its own post-WWII laws for the benefit of those they were put in place to protect.