The English edition of Why Are They Back? Historical falsification, political conspiracy and the return of fascism in Germany will be launched by Mehring Books in London on Sunday March 17 (tickets are available here). The book’s author Christoph Vandreier will speak at the event and will be joined by World Socialist Web Site International Editorial Board Chairperson David North, who is also the national chairperson of the Socialist Equality Party (US).
The appointment of Adolf Hitler in January 1933 as chancellor of Germany was the outcome not of an election, but of a political conspiracy involving a small number of senior military and government officials headed by General Paul von Hindenburg. Its consequences were World War II, the Holocaust and the destruction of tens of millions of lives.
Nearly 75 years after the fall of the Third Reich, the neo-Nazi right is a major political force in Germany. Why Are They Back? analyses the interaction of high-level political conspirators, media propagandists and right-wing academics at Berlin’s Humboldt University in the present-day resurgence of Nazism and German militarism.
Vandreier’s book focuses on questions of history. This is because the rise of Germany’s far-right is being abetted by a campaign of historical falsification. In Berlin, prominent academics such as Professor Jörg Baberowski have engaged in pro-Nazi apologetics, relativising the crimes of fascism, downplaying the Holocaust and rehabilitating Adolf Hitler with claims that the Nazi dictator “was not vicious.” This falsification of the past is spearheading preparations by the German state to remilitarise and suppress working class opposition to war and social inequality.
In the 1986-89 “Historians’ Dispute” (Historikerstreit), British academics, including Richard Evans and Ian Kershaw, joined their German colleagues in publicly refuting positions of historian Ernst Nolte seeking to minimise the crimes of the Nazis. But today’s more brazen fabrications are met with silence.
Christoph Vandreier, the deputy-chair of the Socialist Equality Party (Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei–SGP) in Germany, has played a leading role in the struggle that began at Humboldt University. David North will discuss the historical background to the return of the far-right, examining the nature of contemporary fascism and how to defeat it. He will provide a critique of left populism, elaborating a Marxist response to the dangerous rise of far-right parties in Germany and across Europe.
Sunday, March 17, 2 p.m.
Foyles bookshop, Level 6
107 Charing Cross Road
London, WC2H 0DT
Tickets available at eventbrite £5.00 full price—£2 concession
Transport: Foyles bookshop is within walking distance of the Tottenham Court Road, Leicester Square, Holborn, Covent Garden and Oxford Circus stations. Accessibility: The building is fully wheelchair accessible.