by Gary Fouse
Most Americans have never heard of Hanau, Germany, a small town located near Frankfurt. Those, like myself, who have served in the US Army in Germany, have -even if we have never been there. When I was serving my tour of duty in Germany in the Nuremberg area during the 1960s as a military policeman, I was well aware of Hanau because it had a reputation as one of the toughest places in terms of American soldiers. It seemed every week, the Overseas Weekly, a popular English-language newspaper published in Frankfurt and devoted to GI news, had stories of crimes and various violent incidents involving Americans in Hanau. If you were an MP, there was a lot of work.
Though the problems with GI bars may have gone away (the base closed in 2008), Hanau has now made international news. On Wednesday night, a German man, identified as Tobias Rathjen, drove to two hookah bars and shot numerous people to death. By the time the dust had settled, Rathjen was dead as well as his mother. The death toll currently stands at 11, including the shooter. The investigation is continuing, but as yet, no other suspect has been identified or charged. It must be noted that Rathjen has been identified by German police as a “right-wing racist extremist. Five of the dead are identified as Turks and presumably Muslims. This now puts the case in the same category as the Christchurch, New Zealand mass shooting that resulted in the deaths of 50 Muslims at two separate mosques in 2019.
No matter how one feels about the migration issue in Europe, crime, terrorism, Islamization, radical Islam etc., this incident must be condemned. The solution is not to go out and commit murder against innocent Muslims. This must be remembered especially by those, like myself, who write openly and critically about these issues. Incurring the wrath of some violent Muslim(s) is a risk I accepted years ago. What I don’t want to do, however, is incite others to commit violence or vandalism against innocent Muslims.
That said, I move on to the larger issue, one that concerns not just Germany, but all of Europe in this time of mass Muslim migration and the resultant social and criminal problems it has created. Europeans are getting fed up because their governments are taking little to no action to deal with this problem, let alone protect their citizens. The result is a growth on the right of Nazi-type extremists who are ready to meet the violence with their own brand of violence. This is to be condemned, but it should be discussed and understood – especially in a Europe that limits freedom of speech. The problem is especially severe in Germany, and Chancellor Angela Merkel, more than any other politician, bears much of the blame for spearheading the wave of Muslim migration into Europe.
Many – even in Europe – are saying that Europe is already lost. They say it is too late to reverse the trend, and that Europe will be majority Islam within a generation or two. I hope not. I may be naive, but seeing the rise of conservative parties in Western Europe and the resistance coming from Eastern Europe to Muslim migration, I hold out hope that the problem can be solved using democratic and humane methods, such as closing the border, stopping the wave, and deporting the bad apples. That, however, must come soon, and demands the election of conservative leaders like Matteo Salvini in Italy, Santiago Abascal in Spain, Marine LePen in France, Thierry Baudet and/or Geert Wilders in the Netherlands and Jimmie Åkesson in Sweden. In Germany, the sooner Merkel is gone, the better. It seems that the new conservative party, Alternatif fuer Deutschland, has the best chance of restoring sanity. Of course, the above figures and their parties are accused of racism by their opponents. The charge is unfair, and they have nothing to do with those who would commit mayhem against Muslims or other minorities.
But if things continue, I see one of two things happening. Either the Europeans will meekly surrender to the Islamization of their countries, give up their freedoms, and spend the rest of their lives living in fear behind closed doors, or they will resort to violence since their governments and police cannot or will not protect them. What happened in Hanau was an omen of more to come, I am afraid.
Germans certainly have a hard time forgetting their history, but they would do well to remember the years just before Hitler took power in 1933. After World War I and the Versailles Treaty, the country was left prostrate, powerless, and bankrupt. The worldwide financial crisis hit the country very hard. The country was limited to having only 100,000 troops and many who survived the war were left with no prospects. Communism was on the march. Basically, a civil war broke out in Germany after the war involving paramilitary groups representing various political ideologies. Politicians were assassinated in Berlin and Munich, there was the Kapp Putsch, a massacre in Munich against a leftist government, and to cap it all off, the Nazi Party came into being. In 1923, there was the aborted Putsch in Munich. In the end, Hitler gained power in 1933. He promised to restore order, and in a sense, he did. Dissent was crushed. We all know how it ended for Germany in 1945.
The lesson is this: If an entire country is put into a crisis – a real crisis – in this case, where safety in one’s own home is threatened, where crime and terrorism are a constant threat, and where the government has no response except to continue the policies that brought on the threat while silencing those who speak out, what do you think the result will be? It will be radicalization, and it will be violence. It happened in Germany after World War I, and it can happen again. Nobody wants to see neo-Nazi groups arise again-especially in Germany. Nobody wants to see another Hitler come to power to restore order and safety. But history teaches us that if a government refuses to protect its citizens, the citizens will decide to protect themselves, and they will resort to extreme measures to do so. One wonders how many wake-up calls Germany and Europe need.