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London book launch: Why Are They Back at Foyles
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. 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.
The English language publication of Why Are They Back? is an event of great importance. 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 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.
During the 1986-89 Historians Dispute (Historikerstreit), British academics including Richard Evans and Ian Kershaw, joined their German colleagues to publicly refute positions by right-wing historian Ernst Nolte that sought to minimise the crimes of the Nazis. But today’s more brazen fabrications are met with silence – a silence of the intellectuals.
Christoph Vandreier, the deputy-chair of the Socialist Equality Party (SGP) in Germany, has played a leading role in the struggle that began at Humboldt University.
David North, national chairperson of the SEP (US), will discuss the historical background to the return of the far-right, examining the nature of contemporary fascism and how to defeat it.
North will provide a critique of left populism, elaborating a Marxist response to the dangerous rise of far-right parties in Germany and across Europe.
London book launch: Why Are They Back at Foyles will be held on Sunday 17th of March 2019.
Culture | London book launch: Why Are They Back