Magazine article Tablet Magazine

Henryk Broder in the Lion's Den

Magazine article Tablet Magazine

Henryk Broder in the Lion's Den

Article excerpt

"When does a Jew have the opportunity to appear in a room full of Nazis, neo-Nazis, crypto-Nazis and para-Nazis?" said the German-Jewish writer Henryk Broder, speaking in Germany's Bundestag to the parliamentary caucus of the right-wing Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) on Jan. 19. "Many of you may never have seen a living Jew in the flesh, and are waiting for the room to fill up with the stink of garlic and sulphur" Broder told his audience, confronting the AfD's members of parliament in the best tradition of Jewish irony and setting in relief Germany's great political dilemma: Is it possible to speak of a German national revival without apologizing for the unspeakable crimes of German nationalism in the past?

"It would be good if there weren't a shitstorm" Broder said of his speech to the AfD, "and if there is one, even better. …

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