Two young German women who lost their jobs due to belonging to right wing groups have organized a new group whose aim is defending the rights of women who are involved in right wing politics. Iris Niemeyer believes she and other women are being persecuted due to holding political views rather than any work incompetence on their part. Ms. Niemyer said she was working at a youth center when the center received an email informing them she was a member of a far right wing group. The email even included photos of Niemeyer at a rally for the right wing extremist National Democratic Party of Germany(NPD). After she admitted the information was correct, Ms. Niemeyer was fired. After threatening a law suit the center settled by giving her two months pay.
A democracy must incorporate diverse voices, even those from people one may detest. Ms. Niemeyer and her friends believe they are “nationalists” and “patriots” even though authorities describe her membership as fostering anti-semitism and racism. Ms. Niemeyer and her colleague, actress Sigrid Schussler cast themselves in the role of victims who are being persecuted by left wing and liberal groups. They are using the new organization to bring together women who also have lost jobs due to having divergent political views.
Most probably women such as Niemeyer and Schussler harbor racist and anti-semitic views but until they engage in actions which are illegal, they have a right to be bigots. Years ago in the 1950s I was termed a “communist” for organizing teachers and denied numerous jobs. The strength of democracy is allowing diverse views and bringing together in the forum of debate ideas from all sources. Ignorance and prejudice are not crimes, they are diseases of thinking and the best solution is engaging people with these diseases in discussions.