Chancellor Olaf Scholz condemned far-left activists clad in Antifa-style black block gear for trying to break up a talk in Stuttgart, Germany at which he was invited to attend as a speaker.
Scholz described the protest as “theatrically practiced,” saying per DW: “I have to say honestly, these antics, staged at various events but always by the same black-clad people, remind me of an era that is, thank God, long past.”
The chancellor added that the protesters should participate in the discussion rather than attempting to “manipulate an event to serve one’s own purposes.”
While the leftist German leader did not specify which historical organisation he was comparing the eco-warriors to, over the weekend, climate activist Luisa Neubauer posted footage of the incident and accused Scholz of comparing them to the Nazis.
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“He stylizes climate protection as an ideology with parallels to the Nazi regime. In 2022. Jesus. This is such a scandal,” she added.
On Monday, Neubauer launched a petition calling on Scholz to spell out exactly what his vague comments meant.
So far, Berlin has not given a further explanation as to whom Scholz was comparing the climate activists to. Government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann said that it was “absurd” to suggest that he was comparing climate activists to Nazis and that “the words speak for themselves”.
As his words have been left open for interpretation, some have suggested that the German leader could have been referring to violent student uprisings in the 1960s and 70s, which as a young socialist at the time, he would have been keenly aware of.
The black bloc gear used by the climate radicals also evokes comparisons to the far-left Antifa movement, which had its origins in Weimar Germany in the 1930s, first appearing as Antifaschistische Aktion — a paramilitary wing of the pro-Soviet German Communist Party (KPD) — and which has been accused of creating the environment in which the far-right was able to thrive, giving rise to Hitler and the Nazi Party through its violent tactics.
Indeed, the relationship between Nazi theories on the land, environment, and power has been identified as a forerunner of the green movement, with Hitler — an ardent vegetarian — stressing the need for renewable energy sources such as wind power under the assumption of running out of coal power.
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