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FROM THE POPULIST RIGHT TO NAZI TERRORISM: THE CASE OF THE NSU AND STRUCTURAL RACISM IN THE US AND GERMANY
March 6, 2018 - New York

Flickr/strassenstriche.net

Photos from this event here

With their recent electoral successes across Europe and the United States, far-right parties seem to have become an “acceptable” political force in politics. The far right, however, is not confined to the populist “brand” of Marine Le Pen, Victor Orbán, or Donald Trump but contains all kinds of organizations and individuals—from populist to radical to outright terrorist.

A prominent example of the latter is Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168 people when he detonated a bomb in a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Another, more recent case in point is the far-right terrorist group known as the National Socialist Underground (NSU) in Germany. Between 2000 and 2007, the NSU murdered ten people and carried out three bombings as well as several bank robberies. The group was embedded in a well-known and widely spun network of right-wing organizations, many of which, like the white supremacist Blood & Honour, operate internationally.

At this event, we want to go full circle on the far right. During the first part of the event, Chip Berlet will speak about ethno-nationalist and neo-Fascist groups, drawing out similarities and differences between the US and Europe. The second part is going to focus on how the German NSU could remain active for seven years despite the fact that 160 police officers had been tasked nationwide with the investigation of the murders. Doris Liebscher will explain how the failures of the German security authorities in the NSU case point toward collusion and structural racism.

Chip Berlet is a scholar, journalist, and activist who has been writing about right-wing social and political  movements for over 30 years. He co-authored the award-winning book Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort (Guilford 2000).

Doris Liebscher is a legal scholar, who works with the Humboldt Law Clinic Grund- und Menschenrechte at Humboldt University Berlin. She is co-editor of the book Den NSU-Komplex analysieren (transcript 2017), and co-founder and chair of the anti-discrimination office Saxony.

The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place on Tuesday, March 6, at 7:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm) at the Goethe-Institut New York (30 Irving Pl., New York, NY 10003). It is organized by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office and Avi Feldman, curator of the exhibition on the NSU Tribunal which is currently on display at MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38. The event will be followed by a reception.

Download the flyer here.

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Photo: Matthias Lambrecht/Flickr

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