I CARE – – News – Internet Centre Anti Racism Europe — [Germany’s AfD co-chair wants Nazi word destigmatised]
Frauke Petry, one of the two main leaders of the right-wing Alternative for Germany party, says the word “völkisch” should be destigmatized. The term has Nazi connotations.
11/9/2016- In an interview with the Sunday edition of the newspaper “Die Welt,” Alternative for Germany (AfD) co-chair Frauke Petry called for revaluing the term “völkisch,” which is closely associated with National Socialism. Duden, the German dictionary of record, defines “völkisch” as follows: “1. (National Socialist) (in the ideology of National Socialism), concerning a people as a purported race; of or belonging to a people as a purported race 2. (obsolete) national.” “It’s unacceptable to reduce the word ‘völkisch’ to ‘racist,'” Petry said. “I myself don’t use the term, but I have a problem with the negative connotations of the concept ‘völkisch’ being extended to the word ‘Volk.’ We need to work on giving the concept positive connotations.”
The word “Volk” had racial connotations during the Third Reich but continues to be used in common speech to signify people in the sense of the German people. By contrast, the adjective “völkisch” has no active meaning apart from Nazi racist ideas. Petry’s statements made headlines in almost all the Sunday editions of Germany’s major newspapers and drew initial condemnation from a variety of critics. “Next up will be the concept of ‘race,'” Green Party Bundestag Deputy Konstantin von Notz tweeted. The comedian Jan Böhmermann, himself no stranger to controversy, also tweeted sarcastically: “She could have used the occasion to positively revalue the terms ‘racial defilement’ or ‘popular parasite.'” Those are phrases from Nazi jargon, but the term “völkisch” goes back even further.