You probably have read recently about neo-nazism in Germany, about the dangerous revival of fascist ideas in Germany. I want to say a word today about what German students think and do about it. The director of what probably was the most anti-Semitic movie ever made under the Nazi regime, Veit Harlan was acquitted some years ago in a denazification court. This threw the way open to him to go back into the celluloid industry. But in spite of the legal acquittal, Germans did not think that the question was settled.
In January of this year the first performance of the new film by Veit Harlan were to be given in several West German cities. Students in those cities worked out resolutions in protest against the performance of the film (its name is "Hanna Amon"). This resolution is endorsed by the University of Freiburg by all major student groups: the student council, the Christian-Democrat, the Social-Democrat student associations and by the international organization ISSF (German section of ISMUN).
Students also go to the performances of the film, and protest during its showing. They are insulted by other members of the audience, and finally arrested by the police. On January 14 the student council called a plenary meeting of the entire student body for January 16. In the evening of that day the discussion in the over-crowded auditorium maximum is still proceeding, when the first wounded are brought back by their friends. They had moved to the cinema, and while demonstrating there, criminal police in civilian cloth began using billy-sticks. The students, unaware that they were confronting members of the police, began to defend themselves, at which moment the uniformed police began to interfere, too. The son of the town mayor is knocked down with the shout: "You socialist swines."
Acts of brutality and ruthless force against students--boys and girls alike--finally called the president of the State of Baden to the place. He prohibited any further performance of the film.
During the plenary session the vice-president of the University. Professor Oehikers had declared: "We don't have the intention of abandoning our students. Now they show the spirit we tried to rise in them since 1945. . . ." On the same evening, the President of the University, who was not in the city on that day, declared over the broadcasting system that he was proud of his students. If necessary, he would have marched and demonstrated together with them. Is that the neo-nazism the German younger generation is accused of? Wolfram Rohde Liebenau