From the Populist Right to Nazi Terrorism: The Case of the NSU and Structural Racism in the US and Germany

An Evening with Doris Liebscher and Chip Berlet

March 6, 2018

7pm

Goethe-Institut
30 Irving Place

With their recent electoral success across Europe and the United States, far-right parties seem to have become an “acceptable” force in politics. The far right, however, is not confined to the populist “brand” of Marine Le Pen, Victor Orbán, or Donald Trump but contains all kinds of organizations and individuals—from populist to radical to outright terrorist.

Following the exhibition We Indict! (on view through March 18 at Ludlow 38), a recent case in point is the far-right terrorist group known as the National Socialist Underground (NSU) in Germany. Between 2000 and 2007, the NSU murdered ten people and carried out bomb attacks as well as several bank robberies. The group was embedded in a well-known and widely spun network of right-wing organizations, many of which, like the white supremacist Blood & Honour, operate internationally.

During the first part of the event, Chip Berlet will speak about ethno-nationalist and neo-Fascist groups, drawing out similarities and differences between the US and Europe. The second part is going to focus on how the German NSU could remain active for seven years despite the fact that 160 police officers had been tasked nationwide with the investigation of the murders. Doris Liebscher will explain how the failures of the German authorities in the NSU case point toward collusion and structural racism.

Chip Berlet is a scholar, journalist, and activist who has been writing about right-wing social and political movements for over 30 years. He co-authored the award-winning book Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort (Guilford 2000).

Doris Liebscher is a legal scholar, who works with the Humboldt Law Clinic “Grund- und Menschenrechte” at Humboldt University Berlin. She is co-editor of the book Den NSU-Komplex analysieren (transcript 2017), and co-founder and chair of Saxony’s anti-discrimination office.

This event is organized by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office and The Agency for Legal Imagination operating throughout 2018 at MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38.

With the support of Friends of the Goethe-Institut