Antifaschismus – zur Geschichte und Gehalt eines problematischen Kampfbegriffs

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Antifaschismus – zur Geschichte und Gehalt eines problematischen Kampfbegriffs

Ich bin durch Zufall auf diese Veranstaltung im Jahre 2013 gestoßen: Eine Gruppe namens „Platypus Affiliated Society“ lud naiv oder klug völlig unvereinbares zu einer Podiumsdiskussion zum Thema Antifaschismus ein: Einen Antifaschisten aus dem Spektrum „orthodoxer Kommunismus“ (DKP), einen Trotzkisten, einen Antideutschen und einen Autonomen.

 

In der Regel haben sie wenig miteinander zu tun. Ab und an sind sie sich spinnefeind, aus jeweils sehr guten bis harmlosen Gründen.

Genau das war das Reizende an dieser Veranstaltung und deshalb habe ich einer Teilnahme zugestimmt.

Und noch etwas machte diese Veranstaltung besonders. Sie fand am Vorabend des 1. Mai 2013 statt. Die Neonazis wollten in der Tradition der NSDAP den „Kampftag der Arbeiterklasse“ okkupieren und wollen am 1. Mai in Frankfurt aufmarschieren. Das rief verständlich und erwartbar ganz viele auf den Plan, die eigentlich kaum noch etwas gemeinsam haben – aber immerhin noch die Gegnerschaft zu Neonazis. Von der SPD, über VVN und der „Zivilgesellschaft“ (Das Römerbergbündnis), bis hin zu Antifas, mit klitzekleinen autonomen Anteilen.

Damit waren die Gemeinsamkeiten schon völlig ausgereizt. Denn wie man den Neonazismus bekämpft, da schieden sich die Geister. Das „Römerbergbündnis“ (mit gewollter Nähe zum Rathaus „Römer“ und zur Stadtregierung) wollte weitab vom Aufmarsch der Neonazis ein machtvolles Zeichen gegen den Neofaschismus setzen und jeder Konfrontation mit den Neonazis und den Antifas aus dem Weg gehen.

Antifaschistische Gruppen wollten hingegen dem Neonaziaufmarsch nicht nur gedanklich widersprechen, sonden ihn verhindern. Dazu waren Blockaden geplant, die es den Neonazis ummöglich machen sollten, zu marschieren. Zugleich waren militante Aktionen durchaus Teil des Konzeptes.

Das Römerbergbündnis hatte folglich, weitab vom Schuss, eine Kundegbung auf dem Römerberg geplant, und das Bündnis aus verschiedenen Antifa-Gruppierungen rief zu Blockaden rund um die genehmigte Route der Neonazis auf.

Eigentlich eine klassische Auf- und Einteilung, die man eher gelangweilt als aufgeregt zur Kenntnis nehmen könnte. Doch dann brachen „antideutsche“ Gruppen Zunder in die ganze Angelegenheit. Sie warfen den „Antifas“ vor, eine „Volksgemeinschaft“ mit „bürgerlichen“ Kräften zu bilden, um möglichst viele für das Blockadekonzept zu gewinnen.

Anstatt über diesen Vorwurf zu diskutieren, entschied sich die angesprochene Antifa Gruppe ganz pragmatisch, diesen Streit nicht auszutragen. So etwas würde demobilisieren und unnötge Spaltungen provozieren. Die Einladung, an dieser Podiumsdiskussion teilzunehmen, lehnte sie aus diesen Gründen ab.

 

Wenn man die Zeit und die speziellen Umstände wegließe, könnte man denken, wir wären mitten in Corona-Zeiten. Für die einen sind Querdenker*innen Nazis oder so gut wie Nazis, für die anderen sind die Antifas, die gegen die Querdenker demonstrieren, „Merkels Söldner“. Wer sich dazwischen stellt ist ein Weichei, ein Kompromissler und wird von beiden Seiten wenig gelitten und in der Regel stumm – und kaltgestellt.

Wer mit diesem Background die Diskussion aus dem Jahr 2013 verfolgt, wird festestellen müssen, dass sich in den letzten Jahren nicht viel getan hat.

Denn die Fragen, die damals angerissen und zum Teil aufgegriffen wurden, sind heute brandaktuell:

  • Was verstehen wir unter Faschismus? Welche Rolle spielen dabei Neonazis, welche die bürgerliche Mitte, welche die staatlichen Institutionen (allen voran die Polizei, die Justiz und die Geheimdienste)
  • Mit wem kann man (darf man) ein Bündnis eingehen, ohne die eigenen Positionen zu leugnen oder zu „verraten“?
  • Hat der Aufstieg der Neonazis auch etwas mit dem „historischen Tiefpunkt“ der Linken zu tun?
  • Wieviel/wie wenig Antikapitalismus steckt im Antifaschismus?

 

Zurück ins Jahr 2013 – ein Tag vor dem 1. Mai

Diese Podiumsdiskussion der Platypus Affiliated Society vom 30.4.2013 in Frankfurt wurde wie folgt angekündigt:

„Seit der Machtergreifung der Nationalsozialisten vor achtzig Jahren, gehört der Antifaschismus zu einem Kernelement linker Politik. Der Kampf gegen Faschisten und Nazis ist eine moralische Selbstverständlichkeit und so scheint auch das Konzept von Antifaschismus als Politik einen selbstevidenten Charakter zu haben.

Doch in den verschiedenen Phasen war der Kontext antifaschistischer Politik ein völlig anderer, ebenso wie die Vorstellung dessen, was Antifaschismus im Hinblick auf eine linke Politik beizutragen habe. Dennoch lässt sich über die ständige Referenz und dem antikapitalistischen Anspruch eine gewisse Kontinuität feststellen. Doch woher kommt diese? Was war der Antifaschismus und wie hat er sich geändert? Inwiefern hilft der Begriff bzw. das Konzept des Antifaschismus bei dem Verständnis der historischen und gegenwärtigen Realitäten? Was bedeutet eine antifaschistische Politik heute – in der Abwesenheit des Faschismus als politischer Massenbewegung? Die Podiumsdiskussion möchte die unterschiedlichen historisch-politischen Implikationen antifaschistischer Politik thematisieren um somit grundlegende Fragen und Probleme linker Politik in der Gegenwart aufzuwerfen.

Podiumsteilnehmer:

Jan Gerber (Buchautor bei Ca-Ira, Halle)
Manuel Kellner (ISL, Köln)
Henning Mächerle (VVN-BdA, Gießen)
Wolf Wetzel (ehem. autonome L.U.P.U.S.-Gruppe)

Die Beträge und anschließende Diskussion wurden aufgezeichnet und umfassen über zwei Stunden: https://platypus1917.org/category/event-speakers/wolf-wetzel/

Mein Podiumsbeitrag hat eine Länge von 14 Minuten und hier zu hören: https://wolfwetzel.de/nextcloud/index.php/s/kXKzDjsmA3GGkGzhttps://wolfwetzel.de/nextcloud/index.php/s/kXKzDjsmA3GGkGz

Interessant an dieser Debatte ist, dass bereits 2013 alle Probleme auf dem Tisch lagen, die heute noch verschärfter zum Tragen kommen: Die Schwierigkeit bis Unmöglicheit, verschiedene antifaschistische Position gemeinsam zu diskutieren. Damals war bereits das Klima gerade zwischen „antideutschen“ und linken Positionen zum Platzen. Für die „antideutsche“ Position stand Jan Gerber, für dessen Ausführungen man eine Engelsgeduld aufbringen musste. Aber es ist dokumentiert und wenn man verfolgt, was aus dem Antideutschen Jan Gerber geworden ist, dann bekommt man vielleicht auch ein Gespür dafür, was an seinen damaligen Ausführungen so scheinradikal war und ist.

Zum anderen fehlte bereits damals fast völlig eine Diskussion, eine Verständigung darüber, wie wir den Neonazismus einschätzen, was ihn von den 1930er Jahren unterscheidet und was dies für einen antifaschistischen Kampf bedeutet.

Aber immerhin: Damals, 2013, haben wir es trotz wirklich sehr gravierender und persönlich schwer auszuhaltender Differenzen geschafft, diese politischen Gegensätze halbwegs inhaltlich und nachvollziehbar darzustellen.

Hier ein verschriftlichter Auszug in Englisch (von Platypus Affiliated Society)

Wolf Wetzel: This discussion is itself an historical event. The Left is at present so fractured, that it is impossible, even forbidden, to have discussions with each other. We would normally never see a group like this on a platform together. Yet the problem of the Left is also one of anti-fascism. Many people from the “Antifa” [anti-fascist movement] here in Frankfurt have refused to attend this discussion, since on the evening before an anti-Nazi march, they can only meet to discuss plans of action. They cannot allow themselves to discuss anti-fascism itself because for them to do so on the day before an action would be demobilizing.  This is remarkable given that formerly such discussions of political substance were commonplace.

The other issue is the intense mutual criticism of the different positions represented on this platform. Who can speak with whom? When is it a betrayal? When is it bourgeois, even counterrevolutionary? The assemblage here—representing anti-German, Trotskyist, German Communist Party (DKP), and Autonomist positions—could meet nowhere else in the Federal Republic. Even though I oppose many of the views represented here, these meetings are valuable because they show where these political differences come from and what lessons can be drawn from them.

I want to raise the question of the role Nazism plays today and how to understand the Nazis. This is a big question, one that is too often avoided by anti-fascists themselves. But one must ask: How threatening are they? Are they dangerous materially, politically, or ideologically? Also the historical question must be raised: Who in the ruling apparatus and state institutions of the 1930s when the Nazi Party was on the rise had an interest in their program? If the system itself is in crisis and the political elite hit rock bottom, what prevents the Left from coming to power (something much more likely in the 1930s than it is today)? At that time, it was an existential crisis for the political and business class: Would the conflict arising in the capitalist crisis be answered in a rightwing, fascistic way, or in a socialist way? Might not the crisis conclude with the bursting apart and transcendence of the capitalist system itself?

When we demonstrate against the Nazis we should ask what significance they have, not how many of them there are—200 or 500. Such figures anyway sometimes get exaggerated in order to inflate the sense of the threat the Nazis pose.

We must discuss what role neo-fascist organizations, their parties, and their armed groups play. My view is that conditions today are massively different from the 1930s. The fascist movement then and today cannot be equated. The political class and the political system have become something quite different. It is absolutely necessary to ask where the true menace lies. I do not believe that the neo-Nazis are the driving protagonists of German racism and nationalism. Racism and nationalism are mainstream and have the support of the majority. These arrived a long time ago at the center of society. They are represented by political power. The National Democratic Party (NPD) and the other, less organized neo-Nazi groups only express consistently what is already established as mainstream.

(…)

Jan Gerber: Tomorrow, the first of May, the great dream of Georgi Dimitrov will come true here in Frankfurt: The Popular Front will prevent the takeover of fascism! If all goes well, “Single Unionists”, Trotskyists and Stalinists, anarchists as well as the Wolf Weltzel will, together with Mayor Feldmann, resolutely oppose the march of the NPD to Berlin.

The call of the “anti-fascist council Rhein-Main” alone is supported by more than a hundred groups and organizations. Yet, apart from the estimated 37 members of the NPD-District Association in Frankfurt this Nazi demonstration would seem to be of no significance to anyone. Frankfurt is an ordinary German city in 2013 and, indeed, apart from some of the mayors of eastern provinces there is hardly anyone in the Federal Republic who has any sympathy for pillaging and murderous Nazis. What was to be read in the nineties only in anti-fascist leaflets today is found in the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Anti-fascism has become statesmanlike. The New Germany has a craving for recognition of its anti-fascist sentiments. Indeed, the Federal Republic parades Germany’s pioneering role in overcoming the past. On this basis, it presents itself to the world as a great moral authority.

We must also address the question of whether the current anti-fascism might not be best understood as a psychological reaction formation, which was designated by a wise man many years ago as counter-phobic: In order to escape the attraction of fascism and a possible repetition compulsion, their attraction is displaced toward its apparent opposite. The trouble is that this opposition perpetuates what one seeks to avoid. Anyone who was in the Antifa knows what I mean. In these groups there is always someone obsessed by the “Landser” and the “Störkraft” [names of neo-Nazi bands]: He can sing along to any Nazi text, he reads little else other than Nazi pamphlets—of course, for “research reasons”—and he knows the uniforms of the different SS units better than Heinrich Himmler.

Historic anti-fascism has in this respect served as a model. Because, tragically, the men and women who returned from the concentration camps and from exile, have often done more for the bad continuity of German history than have the NPD, the Mutual Aid Association of Former Waffen-SS Members (HIAG), and the German refugee associations put together. In the labor movement, from which emerged most of the anti-fascist resistance fighters, the proles were indoctrinated long before 1933 in thought patterns that the Nazis had to discover for themselves in order to be successful. Love of country, cleanliness, order, and diligence was taught years before by the KPD and the SPD to workers who later defected to the Nazis. They learned these virtues from the Left, not only from the Storm Troopers or the German Labor Front. After 1945, though the former resisters could take these thought patterns and sustain or rehabilitate them, as resisters they were not discredited due to any collaboration with the Nazis.

The smarter anti-fascists who will go out tomorrow against a march by a party that gets 1.5% of the vote know all that, of course. If, however, they enlist in “the great Germany stays clean campaign” it is not clear that this is because they fear a fascist takeover. But they do so in order to satisfy their need for the immediate and concrete. Of course, this need for immediacy and concreteness, for “direct action”, is not a specialty of the Left, but it nevertheless exposes what these social relations do to people.

These left actions and campaigns have in the world of our parents, our colleagues and fellow students a counterpart, that of the do-it-yourselfer. Against the background of the adjusted practice—because a political practice, worthy of the name, currently is not possible—the actions of the Left remind one of hobbyists who sullenly withdraw after work into basement workshops where they proceed to make things that are available at the hardware store, the only difference being that the store-bought article is both of better quality and cheaper. In the case of both of the contemporary Antifa activist and the do-it-yourselfer, the bastions of immediacy must be saved in the hardened and consistently mediated society. In both cases, individuals who have long lost their subjectivity and spontaneity try to pretend that everything depends on them. This form of practice is an instrument to fend off reality. Since leftists, like all people, are often less stupid than the pronouncements of their respective organizations might lead one to believe, they are aware that nothing depends on their actions.

 

In the eighties Antifa was only a sideshow, where the radical left was active; the Nazis were so curtly dismissed out of hand by “Antiimps” [anti-imperialists], autonomists, etc. Back then one turned to what were believed to be more basic problems: nuclear power plants, the western runway [of the Frankfurt airport], hugging trees, etc. Since 1989, however, Antifa has become the main activity of the radical left. This development is not only due to the growth of the Nazi movement after reunification; Antifa groups arise not only in response to a threatening situation. (In Frankfurt, it is likely then that there will not be half-dozen neo-Nazi groups, maybe none.)

Antifa groups arise not least because from time to time we can still have in the anti-Nazi struggle a sense of achievement as Leftists. In this placeholder function that the current anti-fascism serves it resembles the older tradition. For even the historical anti-fascism always wanted to be more than a struggle against fascism and Nazism. Because of its understanding of fascism—the idea that behind the fascism was capital and in no case the proletariat—the anti-fascist could hold fast to the belief in a logical course of history and the historical mission of the working class.

By making fascism fit seamlessly into bourgeois rule, you could pretend to pull on the Red Thread of history, which had long since been ripped out by the Nazis. A weak sort of afterglow of these concepts, of the relation of Antifa to anti-capitalism, is found in the call of the Stürmische Zeiten [“Stormy Times”] alliance that issued the watchword for tomorrow in all seriousness: “Stop the Nazi march—fight for a liberated society.” The difference between this and historic anti-fascism, however, is that the old anti-fascists actually acted on their own account and had to defend themselves against the absolute majority of their countrymen. With their resistance they delivered an existential judgment on Nazism which despite all criticism, is worthy of the highest esteem. With today’s anti-fascists, however, everything which presents itself as rebellious has turned into conformity: The children of dentists play at Red Front Fighters till they have finished their studies, at which point they take over Dad’s practice or enter the advertising industry.

 

Wolf Wetzel: Jan Gerber, you accuse the victims of the Nazis, the anti-fascists of the Communist Party, for fighting for a “national community” [Volksgemeinschaft] only under an opposite sign. This is too much! It is unspeakable with regards to the anti-fascism of the 1930s, the German Communist Party, and all the organizations that responded to the fascists to say that they have shown only a disguised form of the “national community.” Similarly outrageous is the claim that the Antifa today actually think and act according to the logic and structure of the “national community.” One can criticize the Antifa for a great deal, but you are reaching the point where the possibility of a genuine political discussion wanes. “National community” implies a fascist ideology and a racist logic and a characteristic dictatorial style. To refer in this way to the resistance of the 1930s—or, for that matter, of the 70s and 80s—is intolerable. The problem of Antifa are not their rituals, but the difficulty of the work, which can be illustrated with reference to Dresden: Since 2010–11, there has been a great effort by many anti-fascist and left-wing organizations against the annual Nazi rally marking the anniversary of the Dresden bombing. This produces large contradictions within the Alliance, everything from the “chains of light” (processions of people marching with candles) of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to the SPD to militant blockages. Events have led to the political class responding and having to simulate protests. But their candlelight processions have nothing to do with the militant blockers. In order to get enough people on the street to prevent a march, of course you always have to make compromises. But these problems are far removed from your concerns. You do everything you can to make yourself ridiculous and cynical by pulling back into the guard tower of theory and pleading for “pure criticism” in order not to make yourself an accomplice.

More: https://platypus1917.org/2014/02/01/anti-fascism-a-panel-discussion-on-its-problematic-history-and-meaning/

 

Aufrufe: 195

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