Call to Action
NAZI RAUS! We say NO to the neonazi festival!
On 20-21 April „Neißeblick” hotel in Ostritz (small Saxon town near the Polish border village Krzewina) is going to host a neonazi festival „Schild & Schwert” (Shield & Sword, SS for short) which is organized under the motto „Reconquista Europa”. A couple of thousands of neonazis from Germany and other European countries, mostly from Poland and Czechia, are expected to come. The date and the venue are not accidental – 20st April is Adolf Hitler’s date of birth and the choice of a small town means that no interference from the outside and no serious obstacles are to be faced. The aim is to cut off the town and fill it with thousands of neonazis, which will result in creating a temporary no-go area an at the same time – safe zone for Hitler’s fans. The organizers assume that large numbers of attendants will block or considerably limit any kind of protest or resistance. If this assumption proves correct, NPD, a neonazi extreme far-right German political party, is planning to regularly come back to Ostritz – Thorten Heise, the organizer of “Schild & Schwert”, has already registered another event in the town which is going to take place in October this year.
In order to draw in large numbers of guests, the SS festival offers not only concerts of bands such as Blood&Honour, Lunikoff Verschwörung, Amok, Sons of Odin, Kategorie C (a neonazi band which played at Orle Gniazdo festival in 2016) or Oidoxie (last year’s headliner of Polish neonazi festival “Night of Terror” held in Grodziszcze) but also other attractions – a martial arts tournament named “Ring der Nibelungen”, a tattoo convent, distros with press materials and clothes (shirts and other items with neonazi symbols are going to be sold by a well-known Polish company Ansgar Aryan) and hectolitres of beer.
Political declarations and rallies with speeches serve here as a fig leaf which guarantees that “Shield & Sword” is protected by the German constitution. According to the German law system, political speeches are necessary for a rally or an event to gain the status of a “political assembly”, and not to be just some private event. Legal protection provided for political assemblies is wide and offers numerous benefits for the organizers who use it to gain financial profits. Thus, the festival in Ostritz in not only an open celebration of Adolf Hitler and his ideas but also an event which thanks to the clear manipulation of the law serves as a fundraiser for international neonazi groups. All this under the umbrella of German law.
The date and place where the SS festival will be held point to one more important aspect of this event – Hitler’s birthday is celebrated just few kilometeres off the border of a country which enormously suffered under German occupation, i.e. Poland. The organizers glorify the ideology of national socialism yet denying or belittling all nazi crimes and atrocities brought on Poles and other Central-East European citizens. More interestingly, Ostritz lies on the border with Dolny Śląsk (Lower Silesia) region which in 1945 was rightfully returned to Poland. However, “Shield & Sword” organizers publicly claim that the region is “temporarily under Polish administration”. Sascha Elser from the Initiative “Rechts rockt nicht” notes: “It is obvious that they want this land back”. Apparently, it does not keep Polish neonazis from coming to the festival. Moreover, they resigned form organizing their own celebration of Hitler’s birthday called “Noc Tożsamości” (The Night of Identity) and officially invite to Ostritz. They do not seem to be bothered even by the fact that Michael Regener, the vocalist of the Lunikoff Verschwörung band who is going to play at SS and a notorious convict of spreading hatred in Germany, used to sing in other neonazi band called Landster which was famous for its song “Polacken Tango” and its lyrics:
“Polish louts scream white power! Oh how I hate this shit nation. Since when do Polacks belong to aryan race?”
Not a problem for Polish nationalists, it seems. Actually, on the contrary. They plan to come and help to organize the festival, also offer accommodation in the nearby area on the Polish side of the border. The official SS festival website says that it is recommended to come to Krzewina by train, do some cheap shopping in Polish shops and then travel on foot.
But it is not only Polish neonazis who support and help in organization of “Shield and Sword”. Both Polish and German police join forces in order to protect this “political assembly” and prevent possible riots. This basically means official state protection for the fascists so that nothing can spoil their party.
Sascha Elser presents the point of view of “Rechts rockt nicht”: “In our opinion the festival in Ostritz will be a chance for German neonazis to tighten their cooperation and develop and strengthen relations with similar groups in Poland and Czechia. Also, it will be a great opportunity to collect funds for their activities. All this with police protection from Polish and German joint forces. If this is really to happen, that you can gather and celebrate Hitler’s birthday without any problems or consequences, it is a clear sign that our law and society is sick”.
We will not stand and watch when neonazis from Germany and the rest of Europe come for a party to celebrate Fuhrer’s birthday. For us the dialogue ends where national socialism, homophobia, antisemitism, racism and misogyny start. We will support the residents of Ostritz.We will stand together and resist them!
We must all go to Ostritz/Krzewina on 21st April and demonstrate against neonazism.
Organize yourselves, organize transport, let’s be there together! Let’s throw a colourful fiesta on the border in support of tolerance, mutual respect and solidarity! With our friends from Germany and Czechia we are going to send a clear message: We stand here! We will not let neonazis celebrate! We will not let them “reconquer” Europe. They will not even conquer the small town of Ostritz. They are not welcome here and they will not spend happy time here.
Antifascists from Poland