By COLlive reporter
City Council members in the German city of Dresden have declared a “Nazi emergency” in response to the activities and political gains of the “right-wing extremist, racist” party.
Councilor Max Aschenbach told CNN the move was symbolic and would have no legal consequences, but that it served to highlight the threat posed by the local far-right.
Dresden is where the PEGIDA movement (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) first emerged in 2013, and regular rallies are still held in the city, CNN said.
“The rise of the extreme right in the country has been felt recently, but the situation in Dresden is way worse,” said Rabbi Shneor Havlin, Director of Chabad Lubavitch Saxony in Dresden. “In the past elections in September, the PEGIDA received 28% of the vote and is now the second-largest party.”
“They are telling us ‘your place is in Auschwitz’,” Rabbi Havlin told Israeli TV. “The worst feeling of this is to go out on the street and see the signs of the party. It has been years that there are weekly protests against foreigners.”
Rabbi Havlin, who himself has been a victim of anti-Semitism when his son was attacked while walking into a local store, praised German authorities for their commitment to protecting local Jews.
“I have to note that we have a good relationship with the police,” he said. “We report every incident, they are attentive and everything is handled immediately. The police and security forces are strengthening the security in the Jewish communities and especially the Chabad center.
“The Jewish residents of Dresden are not fearful. We are continuing proudly, without concern and fear. That’s how we were raised and that’s how we will continue.”