90 years ago, Hamburg students burned books in the name of National Socialism. Some students resisted National Socialism and were murdered because of it.

Today, students are taking a massive stand against right-wing extremism and commemorating the burning of books. Nevertheless, they continue to be threatened, both with bomb threats [1] and with death threats on campus [2] as well as on the Internet [3]. 

People are still being murdered today in the name of National Socialism. The National Socialist Underground (NSU) murdered ten people between 2000 and 2007, including eight men of Turkish origin and one of Greek origin, as well as a policewoman. These were not isolated cases.

There must be a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the NSU

The right-wing extremist network and the failure of the security authorities to clarify the acts make a full investigation necessary. Eight federal states and the Bundestag have set up parliamentary committees of inquiry (DE: Parlamentarischer Untersuchungsausschuss, PUA). Hamburg is the only federal state in which NSU murders took place that has not set up a PUA.

On April 13, the introduction of a parliamentary investigation committee on the NSU was rejected by the majority of Hamburg's parliament with votes from the SPD, Greens, CDU and AfD. An alternative "scientific study" is not sufficient to continue a complete reappraisal and to take effective action against right-wing extremism. Why the parties oppose a committee of inquiry is incomprehensible, raises questions and undermines confidence in investigative structures.

Marlene Wieder, chairwoman of the AStA of the University of Hamburg: "It is striking that in other federal states, such as Bavaria, the second investigation committees are already underway, while Hamburg is not only lagging behind in terms of clarification, but actively refuses. Especially in view of the upcoming anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, May 8, this and thus the lack of confrontation with today's National Socialism is all the more shameful."

Decisions of conscience must not be punished

That even the SPD and the Greens fail here is unfortunately not unexpected. However, the Greens now set another sign against anti-fascism: The Green MP Miriam Block voted against her faction for the PUA. As a consequence, she was deprived of all her parliamentary group positions on Monday evening[1] . More than ⅔ of the Green MPs voted for this, thus punishing a moral decision shared even by the Greens Hamburg [4].

Anna Miora Gerull, Chairwoman of the TUHH AStA: "Miriam Block has been spokeswoman for science and higher education for several years. During this time we have discussed a lot, argued and found understanding for each other. Through her work, we have come to know her as a competent and committed person who works effectively for the cooperation of all stakeholders of the universities. For her work, she has our deepest respect and full solidarity."

The fact that she has now had to give up this office is both a sign of the failure of Hamburg's Green Party and a loss for Hamburg's universities.

  • AStA University of Hamburg
  • AStA Hamburg University of Technology
  • AStA Hafencity University
  • AStA Hamburg University of Music and Theatre

Contact for press inquiries:
Katharina Müller
Public Relations and Press Officer
AStA of the University of Hamburg

[1] https://www.uni-hamburg.de/newsroom/im-fokus/2019/1024-bombendrohung.html
[2] https://www.welt.de/regionales/hamburg/article144836043/Morddrohung-wegen-Fluechtlingshilfe-gegen-Uni-AStA.html
[3] https://www.mopo.de/hamburg/absender-gibt-sich-als-soldat-aus-asta-vorsitzender-bekommt-morddrohung-auf-instagram-38416374/
[4] https://beschluss.gruene-hamburg.de/2021/05/30/antifaschismus-heisst-konsequente-aufklaerung-offenlegung-von-rechtsextremen-strukturen-und-strukturellem-rassismus/