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some parallels in West Germany post 1945

Reader comment on item: Islam vs. Islamism (article)
in response to reader comment: Why not to make some parallels

Submitted by myth (Germany), May 16, 2013 at 05:26

Roman,

actually this was done in West-Germany.

The Western allies for the most part left the civil service intact, keeping low level Nazi-party functionaries in office. It was this civil service that helped executing the Holocaust in Germany earlier. The Wehrmacht who executed the Holocaust in occupied Europe however had to go. The West-German military was resurrected ten years after 1945 only as part of NATO.

The parties intentionally tried to embrace a larger electorate. The Christian Democratic party had the explicit mission to collect the center to extreme right electorate and pull it to the center. Actually the Christian Democratic party at the time had quite left-wing slogans compared to today's policies.

In a similar fashion the Social Democrat party pulled the far left communist spectrum to the center. The communist movement in the 30s was as strong as the Nazis. Both parties pursued the Volkspartei-doctrine. That is to appeal to a 40%+ electorate focusing on political-center positions. This prescribed moderation may work within an islamic context as well.

Another common denominator was the social-market-economy, meaning prosperity for everyone secured by social benefits. Those were the "Wirtschaftswunder" days.

The Western allies did control this process. In order to do this, they countered propaganda. Radio stations in the beginning had to be licensed, were subject to control by the Allied Powers.

The top politicians at the time were people from outside the 1930-40s establishment. Either very old like fist chancellor Konrad Adenauer (Christian Democrat). Or returning untainted emigrants like Willy Brandt (Social Democrat).

The law declared the use of Nazi symbols, the denial of the Holocaust, a criminal offense. Political parties would be subjected to prosecution were they to work against democracy.

Another technical coup was to abandon Berlin as the old capital in favor of Bonn in the far West. Other federal institutions such as the Supreme Court were deliberately spread across the country. In short, the power structure was reordered in geographical terms as well.

Looking back, it seems this package of measures has worked. A comparison with East-Germany highlights the success. Today most Neo-Nazis come from former East-Germany. That was a system which denied the existence of Neo-Nazis, promoted a more-or-less- single party communist system to counter the extreme right. It used propaganda itself. It made no efforts to pull the extreme right back to center. It offered few economical benefits. It offered no free debate. It portrayed the moderate West-Germany as fascist.

Submitting....

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