- Title: Germans criticise Trump's remarks after Charlottesville clashes
- Date: 18th August 2017
- Summary: MUNICH, GERMANY (AUGUST 17, 2017) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WATCHING PIANO PLAYER PERFORMING IN CITY CENTRE VARIOUS OF PIANO PLAYER PERFORMING
- Embargoed: 1st September 2017 16:45
- Keywords: Trump Charlottesville right-wing extremism Germans reaction
- Location: BERLIN / MUNICH, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN / MUNICH, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0026UOLOP3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: In few countries was public opinion so shocked by last weekend's events in Charlottesville, Virginia as in Germany, where the sight of skinheads marching by torchlight and chanting anti-Jewish slogans seemed familiar from the history books.
And when U.S. Donald Trump declined in a news conference to distance himself from white supremacists chanting "Jews will not replace us", even the officially impartial public media struggled to conceal its shock.
"There is a new reason to be worried about the condition of the U.S.," said news anchor Claus Kleber in a Tuesday evening broadcast. "We thought America had overcome its original sin of slavery and racism. Is this a relapse?"
After the fall of the murderous Nazi regime, which sent some six million Jews to their deaths in concentration camps and gas chambers, atoning for crimes like the Holocaust of Europe's Jews was central to post-war West Germany's ambitions to regain its place in the community of nations.
In the aftermath of the clashes in Charlottesville, in which one young woman was killed as far-right activists marched under the sign of the Nazi Party's swastika symbol, Trump's failure to draw a distinction between neo-Nazis and their opponents shocked.
"I think this is very bad that a president who was elected by the people doesn't speak out clearly. And he has to speak out about it, because otherwise violent excesses are going to be worse in the U.S. and worldwide," said Konrad Etteler as he walked by the U.S. embassy in Berlin on Thursday (August 17).
"This man is unbearable, he doesn't know what he wants. He is a business man, but not capable of doing politics. And therefore he can't survive for very long, I am sure that he has to run away at some point", said tourist Hans-Juergen Dreier, who visited Berlin's Holocaust memorial with its vast field of concrete pillars.
However, many Germans still hope that American people and politicians will continue their protest against Trump's remarks on the Virginia violence and his policies, but also note that Germans should deal with their own issues in this regard.
The far-right Alternative for Germany (AFD) for example is set to enter parliament for the first time in the Sept. 24 elections.
Bjorn Hoecke, one of its most prominent politicians, caused uproar a while ago by describing the Holocaust memorial a "monument of shame".
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