Yesterday afternoon German news-magazine “Spiegel” ran a story titled “Der nette Nachbar von der NPD” (“The friendly neighbor from the NPD”). First, a bit of context:
The NPD is a far-right-wing party that has been on the receiving end of at least one federal investigation. According to Wikipedia, the NPD has been founded in 1964 as a successor to the NSDAP. In short: I wouldn’t consider them to be “nice people”.
So what happened? In June 2019 a member of the NPD was elected into a head council position in a town called Waldsiedlung, a district of Altenstadt in Hesse. The previous head of the local council didn’t want to continue and for one reason or another nobody but the NPD candidate was left.
The story gets weird, though:
Die Entscheidung für den Rechtsextremen sei aus der Not geboren. “Da wir keinen anderen haben - vor allem keinen Jüngeren, der sich mit Computern auskennt, der Mails verschicken kann.” Im Ortsbeirat, berichtet Szilasko, verhalte sich Jagsch “absolut kollegial und ruhig”.
Als sich Jagsch zur Wahl stellte, wollte niemand sonst das Amt besetzen. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt war es bereits seit über zwei Monaten unbesetzt - seitdem der vorige Vorsitzende Klaus Dietrich seinen Rücktritt erklärt hatte. “In dieses Vakuum stieß der NPD-Funktionär. In Ermangelung einer Alternative, wie mir Sitzungsteilnehmer berichteten, wählten alle Vertreter der anderen Parteien ihn zum Vorsteher”, sagte der Vorsitzende der örtlichen SPD, Markus Brando, im Gespräch mit der “Hessenschau”.
Every other member of that council voted for him after the position had been vacant for more than two weeks and nobody else wanted it. He also had the “unique” qualification that he “knew about computers” and “could send e-mails”.
OK, it’s a town of only around 2,500 citizens but that doesn’t change that nobody seemed to think it necessary to oppose the candidacy to some political position of someone from a known anti-constitutional party with the excuse that he was the only one who could write e-mails.
Today, “Der Postillon” (basically the German version of “The Onion”) wrote:
Hitler damals nur zum Reichskanzler ernannt, weil er als einziger die Schreibmaschine bedienen konnte
“Hitler was only appointed chancellor back then because he was the only one who could use typewriters.”
It also made it onto Fefes Blog, one of the better known German hacker blogs (for lack of a better term).
Some politicians may now demand that the election be invalidated. Personally, I think that would make the situation even worse since he was (at least to my knowledge) democratically elected. Is there someone like a “Vote of no-confidence” on that level? The more dire part of that whole story, though, is that nobody seemed to care enough…
Not caring is never a good thing. Not on this level, not an any other. And, for f*ck’s sake, learn how to write e-mails already!