The head of the German nationalist party Alternative für Deutschland (AFD) has demanded einen Schlussstrich unter Deutschlands Nazi-Vergangenheit, which in English translates more or less as to put an end to Germans Nazi past. I don't understand what this means in practice, but a large majority of their voters support this. For example, see Der Spiegel, Neues Deutschland, Migazin, or the New York Times. But what would this mean concretely? Do they propose to stop covering nazi crimes in history education? To move or dismantle commemoration sites? To stop prosecuting nazis (demographics will ensure the latter soon enough anyway)? Or is it just a rhetorical remark, reclaiming the moral right to call to "Make Germany Great Again" without concerning oneself with the Holocaust?

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    Do you have a reason to assume that there is such a list of demands? I would assume that having a list of such demands would be counter-productive to the AFD, as people can then disagree about the items on the list. A vague notion can find far more supporters.
    – MSalters
    Jun 2, 2020 at 9:55
  • They don't want to talk about Nazism because it highlights the negative aspects of who they are. Jun 3, 2020 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


The Schlussstrichdebatte isn't something new the AFD picked up recently, it started right after WW2. Here is for example a poster by the FDP from 1949:

FDP poster "Schluss mit Entnazifizierung"

The first demand was to stop denazification (the denazification program was already weak in the late 40s and stopped by the early 50s).

But in general, the Schlussstrichdebatte is much less about specific actionable items, and instead about the form of social debate ("gesellschaftliche Debatte") and German identity. Franz-Josef Strauß expressed this when he said he didn't 'want to hear from Auschwitz anymore' or Ernst Nolte, who didn't want to hear about the 'responsibility of the Germans' ("Schuld der Deutschen").

Regarding Erinnerungskultur, the desire is to stop focusing on German crimes and to instead commemorate those responsible for the Holocaust and put blame on those who fought against fascism (see eg Höckes comments about a "Denkmal der Schande" and a desire for a "erinnerungspolitische Wende um 180 Grad", the focus on Dresden, the accusation that the allied forces tried to take Germans collective identity, Gauland who wants to be proud of the performance of German soldiers in two world wars etc).

Some more concrete demands are eg against building of new memorial sites (see eg this example about signs informing about historical events related to WW2)

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    Something about "Fliegenschiss" could be incorporated Jun 2, 2020 at 17:37
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    I really struggle to understand why this gets downvotes.
    – Arno
    Jun 2, 2020 at 21:08
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    @HagenvonEitzen I thought it was Vogelschiss, which admittedly is a little bit worse than Fliegenschiss.
    – gerrit
    Jun 3, 2020 at 7:26
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    @dan-klasson In my reading, tim has written in a completely neutral style. He obviously is quoting from Nazi-apologists, but that seems hardly avoidable when answering this question.
    – Arno
    Jun 3, 2020 at 20:15
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    @dan-klasson Let me know what parts come off that way, and I'll see if I can clarify (that's most definitely not how the answer is intended). I wouldn't but the blame on the Soviets, but I agree that post-WW2, Germany did get away with way too much.
    – tim
    Jun 3, 2020 at 20:22

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