Open Letter to Chairman Stephan Siegler

Memorial wreaths of the VVN-BdA and the fraction DIE LINKE at the memorial for the victims of Nazi terror

The Chairman of the City Council of Frankfurt, Stephan Siegler, vigorously attacked the Association of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime/Federation of Antifascists (VVN-BdA) in an open letter to Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann. The VVN-BdA strongly objected the insinuations.

Dear Chairman Siegler,

we were very disconcerted to read your reaction to the Liberation Day celebration on May 8th. We find it unbearable that you, as the head of the city council, defame the VVN-BdA, which was founded in 1947 by fighters in the resistance and liberated survivors of the Nazi persecution, on the very day of the liberation of all who suffered from the Nazis.

The VVN-BdA appears only once in the Hessian intelligence service report, in a brief commentary on the DKP [communist party]. There is nothing in it about the solidarity that you have claimed – without citing the source – with “violent autonomous people” or a declaration that “they want to overcome the Federal Republic of Germany’s system”. No, the VVN-BdA wants to overcome something completely different according to the Buchenwald Oath:

„We will take up the fight until the last culprit stands before the judges of the people. Our watchword is the destruction of Nazism from its roots. Our goal is to build a new world of peace and freedom. This is our responsibility to our murdered friends and their relatives.“

The Auschwitz survivor and honorary chairwoman of the VVN-BdA, Esther Bejarano, is the recipient of the Federal Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Cross of Merit 1st Class, and the Grand Cross of Merit, honorary citizen of Saarlouis, and numerous other honors.

You portray Mrs. Bejarano and her fellow campaigners in the VVN-BdA as „enemies of the constitution“ and, with the addition of „regardless of political color“, again equate right-wing terrorism with those upright people who act and rally precisely against these inhuman acts and their arsonists like AfD and NPD.

This equation regularly leads to the trivialization of right-wing terrorism and the criminalization of anti-fascists. The Hessian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the same that employed Andreas Temme and wanted to recruit the extreme right-wing alleged helper in the murder of Walter Lübcke, apparently has a problem to combat the danger of the extreme right effectively. Instead, they are obsessed with left-wing counter-demonstrators. The Hessian police also has a problem not with left-wing radicals, but with neo-Nazis among their ranks, although it is difficult to believe in “isolated cases” that appear so frequently that they are obviously inherent in the system.

As a police officer, you should know that the mothers and fathers of the constitution of the State of Hesse had a common origin of anti-fascism. The CDU’s strong socialist wing in particular has perpetuated this in the 1945 Frankfurt Principles.

In this sense, we as city councilors should bow to the fighters in the resistance, the persecuted and murdered, and not defame their association on the day of the liberation. With this single-handedness you do not represent the majority of the city councilors.

Awaiting an opinion
Dominike Pauli and Martin Kliehm, parliamentary group leaders

P.S.: Since you repeatedly showed a right-left weakness in the city parliament, we allow ourselves to hand over the book “Extremely unusable – on equating left and right” by the Anne Frank educational center, which we all appreciate. Incidentally, the educational center, like the DGB and numerous other associations of society, is a member of the “Alliance May 8th”, which organized the event you denounced.

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