A thousand neo-Nazis plan to bring their anti-Semitism and hatred to a small German town this weekend, all to celebrate the birthday of Adolf Hitler. However, Deutsche Welle's Elizabeth Schumacher reports, the people of Ostritz, Germany, plan to resist:
The "Shield and Sword" festival (or "SS Festival" for short) in set to open in the small eastern German town of Ostritz on Friday April 20, Adolf Hitler's birthday.
"This is certainly no coincidence," said local Michael Schlitt, head of the town's International Meeting Place of St. Marinenthal (IBZ), which is organizing its own event to counter the far-right music scene – the Ostritz Peace Festival.
The small town of only 2,300 residents right on the border with Poland is bracing itself for the arrival of about 1,000 right-wing and neo-Nazi sympathizers from all over Europe this weekend. The schedule for the SS-Festival includes rock bands known for their hateful and violent lyrics, a tattooing competition and boxing.
Schlitt stressed the importance of remaining vigilant in the face of extremism to the local Wochen Kurier: "Already once in Germany, in the 1920s and 30s, the influence of National Socialists and far-right extremists was underestimated. No one tried to put an end to their racist and anti-democratic dealings until it was too late."
Alongside the IBZ, local churches, community organizations, music groups, and foundations are participating in the Ostritz Peace Festival...