Angela Merkel’s 16-year stint as chancellor of Germany came to an end with the election of Social Democrat Olaf Scholz. On Wednesday, MPs formally approved the former minister of finance in Merkel’s last cabinet. In all, 395 people voted for the new chancellor. Scholz required 369 legislators – an overall majority – out of 736 Bundestag members to become the new chancellor. In Germany’s Lower House, his three-party governing coalition has about 416 MPs. After 16 years of continuous control by Merkel’s conservative coalition, which was allied with the Social Democrats or the Free Democrats throughout her four terms as chancellor, his victory signals a momentous shift in Germany’s political atmosphere.
On the tenth anniversary of the unmasking of the neo-Nazi terrorist organization National Socialist Underground (NSU), hundreds of anti-fascists and left-wing activists marched in Berlin on Thursday, November 4, to denounce the rise in right-wing attacks in the country and the German establishment’s complicity in such crimes. Several organizations, including DEMOB, ISD-Berlin, AZE, and the Berlin Committee of the Union of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime (VVN-BDA), issued a call to mobilize. The notorious NSU neo-Nazi underground network was discovered in November 2011 and was linked to a number of killings (approximately ten persons, usually from migrant origins), explosions, and robberies.
Almost 400 journalists, academics, and cultural luminaries have signed an open letter in support of Nemi El-Hassan, a prize-winning German journalist and TV personality accused of antisemitism for her participation in a contentious pro-Palestine protest in 2014. The signatories to the petition, titled “Solidarity with Nemi El-Hassan,” allude to a right-wing effort to deplatform El-Hassan, 28, that began when the right-wing tabloid Bild published a photo of her participating in Quds Day, a rally commonly seen as antisemitic by some Germans.