The New Hambach Festival 2018

by Klaudia and Tankred Schaer

When driving behind Karlsruhe on the A 65 motorway towards the German Palatinate region, from far away we can already see the Hambach Castle near the city of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse. A particular characteristic is the large black-red-gold flag, visible from afar and showing that Hambach Castle is a landmark of German national history: From 27 to 30 May 1832, 30,000 participants demonstrated at the Hambach Festival for national and democratic goals carrying a black-red-gold flag for the first time. There is hardly a history book without a picture of the Hambach Festival.

View of the castle of Hambach. On 5 Mai 2018 about 1200 visitors from all over Germany met there for a “New Hambach Festival”. All speeches of this event and further informations are available on https://neues-hambacher-fest.de. (picture tas)

After the Congress of Vienna (1814 –1815), anti-republican restoration reigned in Europe and in Germany too. Any civil freedom movement was suppressed. State power exercised by the nobility was to be secured, a nation state constitution was rejected. In 1832 the assembly in the castle was banned by the then competent Bavarian government, and by a decree the access to the surrounding villages was limited. The police were granted special rights to close inns. An action was brought against this regulation and it had to be withdrawn. Finally, from Neustadt a mere 4 kilometres away, people from all parts of Germany started the march to the castle on 27 May 1832. At 11 am 20,000 to 30,000 people were on the grounds of the castle ruin. Some of the speeches were given several times so that as many participants as possible could hear them.

Meeting in a symbolic place

At this symbolic location, Dr Max Otte, professor of economics and management consultant, had now invited to the “New Hambach Festival 2018” on 5 May  2018. Otte is a professor of general and international business administration. He is a Managing Director of the “Institut für Vermögensentwicklung” [a privately owned institute for asset management], which he founded in 2003. As further speakers he had invited: Thilo Sarrazin, Imad Karim, Dr Markus Krall, Vera Lengsfeld, Professor Meuthen, Professor Joachim Starbatty and Willy Wimmer. Shortly after the publication of the event, 1200 registrations had been received and the advance sale had to be stopped – since Otte had not obtained authorisation for more participants from the authorities and the castle administration.
With his invitation, Professor Max Otte consciously continued the tradition of 1832. As Otte pointed out, the Germans today are as concerned about their homeland and about freedom of expression as they were then. Speakers and participants agreed that they wanted to give a common signal for a patriotic radical change and for the preservation of the nation state and the free democratic legal system.

Topic immigration

The conference discussed the fact that illegal mass immigration is shaking the foundations of the state. This is how Thilo Sarrazin, member of the board of the Deutsche Bundesbank until 2010 and author of the bestseller “Deutschland schafft sich ab” (Germany is getting away} described the fact that there is no open debate in Germany on the issue of immigration. He had co-signed the “Joint Declaration 2018” (see box). This explanation is not very explosive in terms of tone and content, he said. It would be reasonable to expect that one takes note of it and evaluates it as a contribution to the formation of socio-political opinion. In the poisoned political discussion in Germany today, in response to such demands from the dominant media, a challenge was made to the signatories, which in the case of Sarrazin culminated in the assumption that he was the spiritual forerunner of the Nazis of today.

Vera Lengsfeld –
 lack of political culture of discussion

Vera Lengsfeld, civil rights activist and member of the first freely elected people’s chamber of the GDR, also described that there are repeated calls for “no podium, no room to rent, no shelter, no food and no beer to serve”.  Landlords who refused to comply with these demands have already been “ruined in our midst in Germany”. Vera Lengsfeld does not see anti-democratic forces in the signatories of the joint declaration. In Germany, however, the balance between the democratic left and the democratic right is suspended. Today the “roaring, beating, stone-throwing Antifa” is a welcome member of the “Alliance against the far right”.
The lack of a culture of political discussion leads to a division of the people. An unbiased dialogue is the basis of democracy. If voices critical of the government are suppressed in such a way, this is not only a violation of the Basic Law, but threatens the entire state in its existence. It is particularly worrying that the government is supporting forces that are supposed to intimidate the political opposition in the country.

Imad Karim, television journalist, film author and director described his view on Germany as an immigrant from Lebanon to Germany in 1977. He has always experienced the Germans as open and friendly. Germany defines itself as a country with a free, democratic and open society. To great applause he declared: “Germany is the home of my values.” However, these values are threatened by uncontrolled Muslim mass immigration. Visibly moved, he described that 39 years ago he had already been to Hambach Castle when, enthusiastic about German history, he set off on a search for traces of the beginnings of Germany. Karim called for joint efforts to preserve the community of values in Germany.

For the preservation of the national state

Vera Lengsfeld, Professor Jörg Meuthen and Thilo Sarrazin also expanded on the backgrounds of illegal mass immigration. Professor Meuthen has been one of two party leaders of the AfD since 2015. He was the top candidate for the AfD in Baden-Wuerttemberg and has been a member of the European Parliament since the end of 2017. He is a professor of economics and public finance. Vera Lengsfeld raised the question whether the migration policy, which began with the opening of the German border by Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel in 2015, had followed a certain political strategy aimed at overcoming the nation state. She pointed to a passage in the government programme stating that Germany would fulfil its obligations from “resettlement and relocation”. Behind this is an EU resettlement programme that has so far been hidden from the population.
In this context, Thilo Sarrazin quoted the political scientist Yasha Mounk (Harvard University), who on 21 February 2018 in the TV-news “Tagesthemen” had declared “[…] that we dare here a historically unique experiment to transform a monoethnic and monocultural democracy into a multi-ethnic one. This can work, I think it will work, but of course there will also be a lot of distortions”. (https://de-vid.com/video/video-8pKWajuY7Yk.html). Professor Jörg Meuthen also used the term ideological society experiment, which takes place quite deliberately, especially in Germany, because here, based on history, a bond with the fatherland is particularly weak.

Who asked the German people?

In view of these outrageous facts, the question had to be asked: Who asked the German people if they wanted to participate in this experiment? After all, the German people, as sovereign bearers of state authority, are not passive recipients of orders from undeclared experimental applicants. The participants of the New Hambach Festival were in any case agreed that they would oppose this abandonment of our country, as Jörg Meuthen puts it: „We will defend ourselves against it in every democratic way!
EU parliamentarian Professor Dr Joachim Starbatty also called on those present to stand up for the nation: “Today the nation is being rediscovered in Hambach Castle”, he said and admitted to being a patriot, an enlightened patriot. Starbatty is Professor Emeritus of Economics and has become known in the Federal Constitutional Court with his lawsuits against the introduction of the euro. He has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2014.

“Get out of the euro, now!”

With a view to the opening of the borders by Chancellor Merkel, Starbatty criticised that in Germany today social compassion was above the rule of law. Like all other nations, we should stick to our interests, only then we would be a security element for the world. He opposed the ultra-loose monetary policy pursued by the President of the European Central Bank (ECB). As a result of this policy, savers in Germany had lost 447 billion euros over the last 7 years. The company pensions were no longer safe either. Our twilight years are in danger. Starbatty demanded: “We must put a stop to Mr Draghi before he  expropriates us all.” Starbatty stressed that this European way would fail. It would become more expensive than anyone could imagine. European integration would then also be destroyed. He concluded his speech with the words: “So I want us to say together: get out of the euro, now!”
Willy Wimmer, former Parliamentary State Secretary at the Ministry of Defence and former Vice-President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, quoted the remarks of a leading German police officer who had commented that about 200 African asylum seekers had prevented the deportation of an asylum seeker in Ellwangen (Germany) and threatened to storm the police station. First the state should not protect the borders, and then the policemen would have to go into situations that went beyond their capabilities. Minister of the Interior Seehofer called this situation a slap in the face of all law-abiding citizens. Wimmer demanded that the German state of law must be preserved.

Willy Wimmer stresses the importance of the national state for peacekeeping

Wimmer criticised Western policy towards Russia. The West continued to ignore the Russian President’s desire for a good neighbourhood. This was not the consequence of a policy associated with the names Willy Brandt and Helmut Kohl. He emphasised the importance of the nation state for peacekeeping. A strong and democratic state in the centre of Europe could guarantee peace.
Finally Wimmer thanked Max Otte, who had made this meeting possible. At the Hambach Festival the awareness had arisen that the freedom and the right of the German people had to be bravely defended. This day would change the country.

Lasting impressions

Lasting impressions of the “New Hambach Festival 2018” are: the good atmosphere and the awareness of the participants to take part in an important, perhaps historic day; the shared identity that made it easy to get into a dialogue with everyone. There were a remarkable number of young people at the festival. Later, Vera Lengsfeld wrote that she could not remember “having seen such relaxed, happy faces in recent years, competing with the sun”.
Those who spent this day at Hambach Castle went home strengthened and encouraged. The people entered into a dialogue with each other and – not as a ritual – sang the German national anthem at the end, whose meaning has perhaps become even more conscious to many: The call to stand up for unity and justice and freedom.     •

Joint Declaration of 2018

“With increased astonishment we observe how Germany is being damaged by illegal mass immigration. We express our solidarity with those who peacefully demonstrate for the restoration of the rule of law at the borders of our country”.
The declaration was submitted as a petition to the Petitions Committee of the German Bundestag on 16 May 2018. 164,671 (as of 15.5.18) people have signed.