Devastating: Merkel Backs Down and Agrees to Refugee Camps at Border

[Content Note: Nativism; genocide.]

In a bid to preserve her precarious governing coalition, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reversed course and agreed to refugee camps on Germany's border with Austria.

Katrin Bennhold and Melissa Eddy at the New York Times report:
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who staked her legacy on welcoming hundreds of thousands of migrants into Germany, agreed on Monday to build border camps for asylum seekers and to tighten the border with Austria in a political deal to save her government.

It was a spectacular turnabout for a leader who has been seen as the standard-bearer of the liberal European order but who has come under intense pressure at home from the far right and from conservatives in her governing coalition over her migration policy.

...The nationalism and anti-migrant sentiment that has challenged multilateralism elsewhere in Europe is taking root — fast — in mainstream German politics.
As I have noted many times previously, what we're experiencing in the United States is part of a global trend. Which will make it even more difficult to get out from under, as nativist forces shore up extremism around the world.

The new policy, which is still "subject to the approval of the Social Democrats, the third party in Ms. Merkel's coalition," would "establish camps, called 'transit centers,' at points along the border."

"Transit centers" is a particularly ugly euphemism — and a familiar one: "Jews in Nazi-occupied lands often were first deported to transit camps such as Westerbork in the Netherlands, or Drancy in France, en route to the killing centers in occupied Poland. The transit camps were usually the last stop before deportation to a killing center."

And let us be clear: The "migrant crisis" in Germany underwriting this vile policy is ginned-up nonsense just like it is in the United States. Just like in the United States, migration to Germany is down and overall crime is down, despite right-wing lies to the contrary.

Merkel is capitulating to mendacious fearmongering — and of course the argument is that capitulation to this evil is necessary to avoid an even worse one.

But capitulating to right-wing extremism doesn't stall it. We have seen that again and again and again. Capitulation empowers these nationalistic, nativist, white supremacist extremists.

If defenders of democracy believe that the only way to contain them is to give them more power, we are well and truly doomed.

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