Wednesday, 11 March 2015


Though probably better known in most circles as a subcamp of the concentration camp Buchenwald and for the recent outcry by some when it was proposed that refugees be housed in the former officers’ barracks on that profane ground, Tröglitz (DE) in Saxon Anhalt is now garnering attention once more, because its mayor stepped down, having retreated to factions in village that violently oppose the mayor’s decision to offer shelter to sixty Syrian refugees—or his lack of leadership in blocking the move.
Whilst defending his community, saying that most are inviting and caring individuals, a few hooligans massed on the mayor’s private residence in such a terrorising and unrelenting manner, which local authorities had not the purview or power to stop, the mayor maintains Tröglitz is not a bastion for xenophobia, but fearing for the safety of his family, relinquished the office. Though on the macro-scale, the PEGIDA marches have largely been subdued in the bigger cities by counter-rallies that far out-number those standing with the movement, sparse policy dialogue has come out of the contentious issue. Now it seems that activists can focus in on the smallest subdivisions and the very local sense, these messages still are resounding ones. Public officials of course don’t sacrifice their right to privacy or the security of their families once they take office—and nor can freedom of expression or assembly be curtailed depending on the target, but it does represent something chilling, I think, for homegrown democracy that might so readily cow to the bullying of a few, creating enclaves where no refugees are welcome. What do you think?