Dortmund has been known for its Nazi-problem for years. The so-called "Nationale Antikriegstag" ("national anti-war day") has, like the fascist "commemoration" of the bombardement of Dresden, nationwide relevance for the Nazi-scene. Also Dortmund Nazi groupings like the "Nationale Widerstand Dortmund" / NWDO ("national resistance") and the "Skinhead Front Dortmund" have repeatedly attracted attention by offensive actions and armed assaults. In the Dortmund district of Dorstfeld Neo-Nazi structures have over the years been able to spread through shared flats and the "Nationale Zentrum" ("national center").
Fascist Networks – Murderous Politics
The NWDO originated from structures of "Kameradschaften" and is well-connected nationwide. This is indicated by considerable numbers of participants in the "Antikriegstag" from all over the country, as well as personal and infrastructural support of nationwide Nazi events. In recent years, the Dortmund Nazi scene has attracted a lot of attention because of its actionist appearance.
The "Skinhead –Front Dorstfeld" has repeatedly attacked people with different views or from a migrant background. A sad culmination of their violence was the murder of punk Thomas Schulz by Sven Kahlin in 2005. The Nazis celebrated that crime with their inhumanely contemptuous slogan "1 : 0". Kahlin, who was paroled in 2010, right away attacked the alternative pub Hirsch-Q together with other members of the Skinhead Front. Altogether the Hirsch-Q has been the target of Nazi attacks six times since 2006. On 26th November 2011 Sven Kahlin together with five other Nazis attacked two youths from a Turkish migrant background; consequently he was sent back to prison.
The murder of Dortmund retail merchant Mehmet Kubasik on 4th April 2006, which had a racist background, by the Nazi terrorist cell NSU/ "Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund" will yet have to be looked into with respect to involvement of Dortmund Nazis. A former agent of the secret service of the state of Northrhine Westfalia told the paper WAZ that around 2004 NPD members from Dortmund established contacts with extreme-right radicals in the state of Thüringen, among them some with the NSU. In addition three police officers were murdered by Dortmund Fascist weapons-fanatic Michael Berger in 2000.
Denial, Support, or Counter-Action?
The City of Dortmund has for years contributed to a favourable political climate and the establishment and growth of its Nazi scene: The existence of the scene was denied, Nazi activities were directly or indirectly furthered. For example, as early as 2002 the police exerted pressure on the owner of a concert place so that he did not cancel a Blood & Honour concert with 1200 people. Anti-Fascist activities on the other hand were obstructed and criminalized. In recent years numerous physical attacks by Nazis hardly had any legal consequences, which even some Nazis gleefully commented on in a TV interview. Also, the previous police commissioner several times ordered police measures which were criticized nationwide, among those a highly criticised round-up in 2000, in which mostly teenage activists were held for several hours. Before last year's National Anti-War Day a minivan full of armed Nazis who had attacked a group of Anti-Fascists was not stopped; instead of that the victims were reported for posting bills.
Now that it has almost become politically impossible to keep on ignoring Neo-Nazi violence, policies in the city are gradually changing. The new police commissioner announced a change of policies from the side of the police and even expressed appreciation of blockades against Nazi demonstrations. The building which houses the "National Center" was bought by the city and the tenancy-agreement was cancelled. A day after some Nazis had been stopped posting bills against that cancellation, the "National Center" was searched and the identities of more than 50 Nazis from Dortmund and Unna were checked. "Back Up!"- "Counselling Initiative for Victims of Rightist Violence" was set up, a special "Task Force" was installed by the mayor and a "Round Table against Rightists" was installed a few weeks ago. It remains to be seen, though, how consequent and persistent this new Anti-Fascist eagerness will be. Experience over past years has shown that scepticsm is justified and manifold Anti-Fascist activities are necessary now and will be so in the future.
Our Perspective …
We would like to emphasize that Antisemitism and racist discrimination far exceed the aggression of (government-financed as well as unfunded) Nazi structures. Antifascist resistance must therefore deal with every-day racism in government authorities, e.g. in refugee politics, as these conditions exist only because of the deep roots of racism in society. A starting point for criticism can be found in cooperation with migrants' initiatives, e.g. in the Dortmund Nordstadt, where after repeated anti-Gypsy media coverage the situation of sex-workers, which was precarious enough before, has been further aggravated. In their public protests, they denounced that media coverage above all to be the cause of the lack of protection against violent-prone customers, blackmailing by pimps, and the loss of their independence.
We would be glad if it was sufficient to say: "Ban Sexism". But we want to go against gender-related role-clichés not only "out there " but among ourselves, too, and that does not stop at the criticism of obvious oppression. If we try to overcome the differences between men and women in society, that means to become aware also of the "invisible", apparently undisputed hierarchies and privileges. By also treating the (social) questions of impoverishment and discrimination offensively, we want to regain public ground in order not to leave the field to those (un-) social Nazi protests against lousy working conditions and "Hartz IV".
In addition we call on everyone to join us in our fight to stand up against the public notion of 1st September as Anti-War-Day in the Fascist context but instead to establish it as a day of anti-militarist commemoration. If we take the Oath of Buchenwald seriously, Anti-Militarism and Anti-Fascism must be seen together. We will only weaken our cause and not be able to change society fundamentally if we remain segregated in movements with a too narrow focus.
… an Ambitious Project
… which must be based on well-reflected concepts in many fields. Adapting these to the situation in Dortmund will be in the focus of our preparatory work.
The camp is designed as a signal of an Anti-fascist surge against the Dortmund status quo.
We move forward with nationwide support in radical but widespread actions to confront the Nazis in their core preparation-period for their "National Anti-War Day" and will spoil their demonstration for them.
We will welcome anyone to join us who cares for an undogmatic radical Anti-Fascist resistance.
Come to Dortmund from 24th August to 2nd September!
Join us to make the Nazi demonstration on 1st September impossible!
Find more information under: www.antifacamp.org
* autonomous and anti-fascist groups from North Rhine-Westphalia