The IYSSE has issued the following statement announcing its candidacy for this year’s student parliament elections at Humboldt University on June 29. The two election events detailed below will be live streamed here and are open to everyone. We also provide information about the options for postal voting and the location of polling stations at the end of the statement.
Against right-wing and militarist ideology at the university!
The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) is standing in the student parliament elections to build a socialist movement against militarism and war, social inequality and the rise of the far right. We want to prevent the universities from becoming state-led drill schools for right wing and militarist ideology, as they were prior to the last century’s two world wars.
As in the first half of the 20th century, the ruling class is responding to the deep crisis of capitalism by resorting to fascism and war. The attempted coup by Donald Trump on January 6 was a serious warning. In Germany, all parties are pressing ahead with militarism and are implementing in practice the programme of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). The army, police and intelligence agencies are riddled with right-wing extremist terrorist networks.
€1,000 coronavirus assistance per student per month
The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically intensified all of these tendencies. After the banks and major corporations were handed hundreds of billions of euros with no strings attached, workers are being forced into unsafe workplaces under dangerous conditions. The opening of schools is accelerating the spread of the virus. The ruling elite is literally trampling corpses under foot to safeguard its profits. The 10 richest Germans have increased their wealth during the pandemic by 35 percent to $242 billion.
At the same time, the largest numbers of layoffs in decades are being imposed. One million students have lost their jobs during the pandemic and are not, unlike the superrich, receiving meaningful state support. We oppose this.
Scholarship instead of war propaganda!
Over recent years, the IYSSE has demonstrated the central role played by the universities in the lurch to the right. Here at Humboldt University (HU), Professor Herfried Münkler demanded that Germany must once again become the “disciplinarian” of Europe. The right-wing extremist Professor Jörg Baberowski is well known for his trivialization of the Nazis’ crimes and has even started physically assaulting left-wing students.
The right wing is only able to behave so arrogantly because it enjoys the support of the political establishment. HU management has repeatedly backed the right-wing professors and even defended Baberowski’s violent outbursts as “understandable in a human sense.”
For a socialist perspective
The vast majority of students reject the actions of the university administration and the shift to the right within the establishment. But the question of political perspective is decisive. Only an international socialist movement against capitalism can stop the rise of right-wing extremist forces and a relapse into barbarism. As the youth movement of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), we fight for this programme not only in Germany but throughout the world.
Online event: Monday, June 14 , 6:30 p.m. (CEST)
“80 Years After the Onslaught on the Soviet Union: How HU Professors Trivialize the Nazis’ Crimes”
Eighty years ago, on June 22, 1941, the Nazis’ planned war of annihilation began with the attack on the Soviet Union. In the course of the conflict, 27 million Soviet citizens were murdered in the most bestial manner, and 6 million European Jews were industrially exterminated in what was undoubtedly the most horrific crime in human history.
At Humboldt University, this crime is falsified and trivialized. Jörg Baberowski, chair of Eastern European History department, teaches that the war of annihilation was the product of the warfare waged by the Red Army (1) and that the Soviet Union wanted the war. (2) He downplayed the Holocaust as “essentially the same thing” as shootings during the Russian Civil War in 1918. (3) According to Baberowski, Hitler was “not vicious” and “didn’t want to know anything about Auschwitz.” (4)
This falsification of history is aimed at justifying new criminal wars. Germany is engaged in a massive rearmament programme. Baberowski was defended by his institute, university management, and all parties in parliament against criticism from the IYSSE and other students. At the event, we intend to expose the extent of the historical falsifications and discuss how the return of militarism can be prevented.
The event will be live streamed at iyyse.de/events. Visit the Facebook event page.
Online event: Monday, June 28, 6:30 p.m. (CEST)
“Coronavirus and Capitalism: Why a Socialist Perspective is Necessary”
The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated in a powerful manner the bankruptcy of capitalism around the world. Although decisive measures could have stopped the virus, more than 3.5 million people have died, and over 150 million have been infected. They are the victims of a policy that sacrifices the lives of working people for the profits of the financial oligarchy.
The pandemic is not the cause of this crisis; it has merely intensified it. Wages, pensions and social spending have been reduced for years, and health care and education budgets cut to the bone, while a tiny minority has enriched itself with abandon and billions have been wasted on rearmament and war. These policies are put into practice by all parties in parliament.
At the event, we will draw a balance sheet of the coronavirus pandemic and discuss why an international socialist perspective is required to put an end to capitalist barbarism. No social problem can be resolved without expropriating the banks and major corporations and placing them under the democratic control of the working class.
The event will be live streamed at iysse.de/events. Visit the Facebook event page.
Apply now for a postal vote to vote for the IYSSE’s candidates
Every HU student can apply for a postal vote by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 15 at 3:00 p.m. Polling stations will also be open on June 29. The list of polling stations can be accessed at www.iysse.de as soon as it is confirmed.
The email must include the following information:
Course(s) of study
Address to which the documents should be sent
(1) Jörg Baberowski, „Kriege in staatsfernen Räumen. Russland und die Sowjetunion 1905–1950“, in: D. Beyrau, M. Hochgeschwender, D. Langewiesche (Hrsg.), Formen des Krieges. Von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, Paderborn 2007, P305
(2) Jörg Baberowski, Verbrannte Erde. Stalins Herrschaft der Gewalt, München 2012, P396
(3) Spiegel, „Der Wandel der Vergangenheit“, 9.2.2014, accessed on 20.5.2021
(4) FAZ, „Traute Einigkeit“, 17.1.2020, accessed on 20.5.21