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The case of Jörg Baberowski:
Oppose right-wing and militarist ideology at Germany’s universities
Wednesday, July 5, 2017, 6:30pm
TU Berlin, main building, Room H2013
A meeting under the heading “The case of Jörg Baberowski: Oppose right-wing and militarist ideology at Germany’s universities” will take place this evening at the Technical University of Berlin (TU). The meeting has been jointly organised by the student associations (Astas) of the TU and the University of Bremen and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE).
Representatives of all three organisations will discuss the importance of the case of Jörg Baberowski for the struggle against right-wing and militarist ideology at German universities.
In a joint statement for the meeting, the participating organisations make clear that what is at stake is not a personal dispute, but rather fundamental political questions. “The return of German militarism and growing social inequality have been accompanied by a sharp turn to the right amongst certain academic layers,” the statement reads.
A central figure in this development is Humboldt University (HU) Professor Jörg Baberowski, who agitates against refugees, drums up support for imperialist wars and plays down the crimes of the Nazis. “This right-wing extremist talk show professor has been supported for years by broad sections of the media, other professors and academic institutions,” the statement explains.
In many respects, Baberowski formulates a highly conscious program for massive state re-armament, extreme nationalism and brutal warfare. In February 2014, when he defended the Nazi apologist Ernst Nolte in Der Spiegel and declared that Hitler was “not vicious,” not a single professor or major newspaper stood up to oppose him.
“It was students from the IYSSE and the Bremen Asta who took up the fight against this defence of right-wing and militaristic positions,” the statement continues. “While they received tremendous support from students, the university administration at Humboldt University responded aggressively. It backed Baberowski and declared criticism of him by students to be ‘unacceptable.’”
Despite the failure of Baberowski’s attempt to impose a ban on the Bremen Asta— a court in Cologne concluded that the students in Bremen correctly cited him and therefore could justifiably describe him as a “right-wing extremist,” a “racist,” and someone who “glorifies violence”—the presidium of Humboldt University maintained its threat against critical students. It went so far as to mobilise a security team to prevent student parliamentary deputies from informing their fellow students about the case.
“We call upon all students to demand the withdrawal of the statement by the HU presidium and to support the struggle against right-wing ideology,” the organizers declare. The meeting will not only throw light on the background to the case, it will also discuss the conclusions to be drawn and perspectives for the struggle against far-right and militarist ideology at the universities.