Dresden’s ‘Civil Courage’: A City Mobilizes Against Neo-Nazis

“A city mobilizes against Neo-Nazis,” as the article’s title suggests; more than 10,000 people came out to protest against right wing extremism on a day that brings remembrance of Germany’s Nazi past. On 13 February 1945, Britain and the US allied to deliver a slew of air bombs on Dresden in a successful attempt to disrupt Nazi activity. Every year since the attack extreme right-wing groups have been given permission to march the streets on the anniversary of the city’s dreadful day. However, their march is no peaceful march. One woman describes it this way, “Now, every year they come out to play war again. Every year.” Yet this year’s march took a different tone as Dresden’s citizens banned together to counter-protest – peacefully. This act of civil courage left the citizens of Dresden feeling empowered and unafraid to claim peace in a progressive way, while expressing their disapproval of Neo-Nazi activity.

Even though the citizens of Dresden stood up against Neo-Nazis this time one may wonder if this will translate into civil courage against other Neo-Nazi acts such as xenophobic and racist attacks. There seems to be hope, however, in this instance the sole reason for their protest was due to the affects that Neo-Nazis had on their own livelihoods within their own community and not without.

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