Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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German Youth Festival Against Neo-Nazis

July 21, 2012

One thing leads to another and that is how we weave our lives together; I’d never have ended up at this interesting little festival in Mannheim had it not been for meeting and playing music with Tonio the day before. Tonio and his friends invited me to see their improv show at a theater on Friday night, and I got stuck in so much traffic leaving the race track that I missed the improv show … but found Tonio and his friends attending this very cool little festival in the same locale: It was a student-run festival that has been going for around a decade and is meant to fight against racism and neo-Nazis.

I found it very inspiring, and in fitting with most of the stuff on this blog, there was lots of music – in fact, most of the festival revolves around the music, an evening of four concerts by local up-and-coming rock bands. There were also tables full of merchandize and printed material, books and tracts against racism, T-shirts and other objects as well.

Brad Spurgeon interviews Antonia Hauth about the anti-racism, anti-neo-Nazi festival in Mannheim:

It was refreshing to find all these young people getting together to fight the scourge of hate and hate crimes. I decided to interview one of the organizers of the festival, Antonia Hauth, a young woman who has just passed the equivalent of her high school diploma, or A-Levels. I made it part of my series of podcasts that I have been doing with open mic and jam session organizers.

This may not have been an open stage, but I felt I might have been able to ask to play a song. Ultimately, however, I saw no real point in intruding. I was happy to attend and to make this felicitous discovery that I would never have known about had it not been for stopping Tonio in the street the day before because of his violin case!!!! But this was a real, true, interesting cultural experience. Listen to the interview and look at the videos to get the feel for it, and the intelligent response to hatred by a portion of today’s German youth. Or if you understand German, check out the organizing group’s web site about their activities against racism and neo-nazis in Germany.

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