»Die AfD kann ihre Meinungen problemlos verbreiten – anders als die Opfer ihrer Verbalattacken« | Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik


»Die AfD kann ihre Meinungen problemlos verbreiten – anders als die Opfer ihrer Verbalattacken«

Offener Brief gegen die Einladung des AfD MdB Marc Jongen ins Hannah Arendt Center, 23.10.2017 (engl. Originalfassung)

Dear Roger Berkowitz, Director of the Hannah Arendt Center, and Leon Botstein, President of Bard College:

We are writing to make clear our objections to the invited talk given by the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) politician Marc Jongen during the 2017 Annual Conference of the Hannah Arendt Center, "Crises of Democracy: Thinking in Dark Times" (October 12-13, 2017) (program) as well as your subsequent defense of that invitation. We believe that Jongen’s participation in the conference, regardless of the organizers’ intentions, enabled him to leverage Hannah Arendt’s legacy to legitimize and normalize the AfD’s far-right ideology. The leadership of the Hannah Arendt Center and of Bard College has so far disregarded pressing questions of personal and institutional responsibility arising from this legitimation and normalization. This disregard is particularly troubling given that Hannah Arendt was a German-Jewish refugee who fled National Socialism and wrote powerfully about the plight of the stateless and the special dangers posed by race-based ideologies.

Jongen, known as the AfD’s "party philosopher," rose to prominence only after joining the party in 2013. The AfD subscribes to a nationalist far-right agenda and is closely allied with the violent street movement "Pegida" ("Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West" ) that attacks refugees, immigrants, and Muslims. Jongen is devoted to providing intellectual legitimacy to the AfD’s extreme rhetoric and actions. His philosophical jargon seeks to justify the incitement and violence carried out by Pegida, including the physical blockade of refugee buses, as the expression of a laudable "thymos," or rage, that has been suppressed by liberalism and multiculturalism. During his talk at the Hannah Arendt Center, Jongen repeated the racist and xenophobic statements that make the AfD such a dangerous phenomenon in contemporary German politics.

We agree with Professor Berkowitz that there is a need to engage with a wide range of political views, including illiberal and even neofascist ones. We also believe, however, that organizers of highly publicized events have crucial responsibilities when the speaker makes statements that vilify already vulnerable groups. Given Jongen’s and the AfD’s well-known positions, it could not have come as a surprise to the conference organizers that Jongen’s talk would target refugees, immigrants, and Muslims, as illustrated by tweets sent by the Hannah Arendt Center quoting Jongen during the event: "We have experienced a tremendous loss of inner security & a new form of terrorism & a rise of crimes caused by immigrants." "Mass immigration was traumatic … & an act of violence in my opinion." "The Jews are leaving France, not because of populists, but because they are being attacked by Muslims." Jongen and the AfD have significant institutional representation in the Bundestag. They have no difficulty finding public outlets to express their opinions. But the underprivileged and terrorized groups whom Jongen and the AfD regularly attack have no such power or privilege.

Unterzeichnet u.a. von Seyla Benhabib, Wendy Brown, Judith Butler und Axel Honneth.

Den vollständigen Brief finden Sie hier.