Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for determined resistance against rising right-wing extremism in Germany ahead of the 75th anniversary of an assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler.
July 20 should serve as a day of remembrance for all those, who stood up to the rule of the Nazi regime, Merkel said in her weekly video message on Saturday.
“We, too, have a duty today to stand up against all those tendencies that want to destroy democracy,” Merkel said.
It was on July 20, 1944 that Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg orchestrated a bomb attack in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. The plot failed and Hitler survived with mild injuries. Stauffenberg and some 200 co-conspirators were executed by the Nazis.
Merkel said she considered the organisers of the July 20 plot to be role models. “They showed that they followed their conscience and thereby shaped a part of Germany’s history that otherwise would have been solely defined by the darkness of National Socialism.”
Merkel said the country owes them a debt of gratitude, as Germany’s post-war constitution may not have come into existence without such actions. “We can build on the courage of these people today and be grateful that this part of our history exists,” she said.
Merkel pointed to the rising number of right-wing extremists in Germany today. The recent murder of local politician Walter Luebcke showed how important it is to support those who take political responsibility, she said.
“This requires a clear sign from everyone,” Merkel said. All Germans were invited “to do their part in our society to ensure that democracy is strong, that civil society is strong and that right-wing extremism has no chance.”