THE BLOG

BILD, Journalism's Disgrace And The New Nazi Philosophy

03/11/2015 12:24 pm ET | Updated May 08, 2015

2015-03-09-1425873379-2421469-BILDsatirecartoon.jpg
(Illustration by Matheos Sprague)

One of the most interesting moments of the Grexit-or-not saga reignited in the weeks following the left-wing Syriza's election victory on January 25th came when Axel Schäfer, a member of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD), took the podium during the German Bundestag discussion on a four-month extension for the Greek program. His remarks centered on a disgraceful headline in the German daily Bild, which a few days earlier, had asked readers to photograph themselves holding up the issue which had the words "NO more millions to the greedy Greeks" emblazoned across its front page.

Schäfer's act was symbolic but clear. He held up a copy of the issue with a bold red line crossing out the headline. This act found overwhelming support in the German media, but not as widely among German citizens. Many Germans rushed to snap selfies holding up the Bild issue with a smile and somber or angry expressions on their faces. These people are probably worried about their future. Or, perhaps, they are concerned about the venture known as the European Union in which their country holds the bank and for whose upkeep they've been told their country continuously pays to support some lazy southern Europeans whose main concern is how they will avoid to pay their taxes. Bild is, of course, among those propagating this.

Have we entered an era in Europe of national and social behaviors reminiscent of decades long past and which targeted not only specific social groups but entire countries? Are we seeing attitudes that bring to mind the emergence of Nazi philosophy decades ago or is this an exaggeration?

I wonder... Has anyone spoken with any of those Germans who rushed to take pictures of themselves holding up the newspaper touting about unemployment levels in the land of the lazy Greeks? In spring 2006, unemployment stood at 10% in Germany and 9% in Greece. In autumn 2014, the German figure had dropped to 5% and the Greek figure had risen to 26%. What is happening in the European Union of peoples? Has anyone spoken with any of those Germans grinning broadly while holding up Bild, for the sharp rise in suicides in Greece as a result of the recession? Has anyone spoken with those good Germans with the angry faces about the thousands of Greek schoolchildren whose families are unable to provide them with even the basics, like breakfast before going to school? The incidents of six and seven year old kids fading out during school time due to their hunger, they just rise.... What will happen to an entire generation that grows up starving and oppressed by hunger? What is their priority, food or a book?

Bild is laying the ground in German society for a new Nazi philosophy. It is doing so in the same way that hunger and poverty led close to half a million Greeks to vote for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece. Shouldn't this set off alarm bells rather than touch off the sort of arrogance seen from economists around the world who suggest solutions without taking in to consideration the human factor?

When will the world's elite and Europe's leaders understand the paramount need for a social state? Until they do, the ignominious Bild will find fertile soil for its contemporary, lightly concealed Nazi speech.