Founded by a coterie of nationalist students against a prevailing ethos of left-liberalism on campuses, Junge Freiheit (Young Freedom) has been an instrumental outlet for the German Right for over 30 years. Occupying an intersection between the Conservative, Populist and Radical Right, the weekly newspaper has borne the brunt of not just communist violence but outright state harassment in the form of Germany’s onerous censorship laws. 

The Burkean recently sat down with Junge Freiheit’s editor Dieter Stein about his life in journalism, lessons learnt as well as the trajectory of German politics in the coming post-Merkel era.

CB: Today JF has an important role within the German populist and conservative Right, could you provide an overview as to the genesis of the magazine and the cultural milieu on campuses of which it emerged from in the 1980s?

DS: I was already interested in making newspapers as a schoolboy. Originally a class newspaper, then the school newspaper JF was founded and published at our school. At the same time, I was only politically active in the Junge Union, the youth organization of the CDU, and in 1984 I joined the Republicans founded in 1983 by two members of the Bundestag who left the CSU.

It was a right-wing conservative new party. From these, in turn, a moderate group split off in 1985 under the name “Freedom People’s Party“. Their planned youth organization “Freedom Youth” should serve the JF as a newspaper. Hence the name “Junge Freiheit“! That was done with this party as early as 1987 and I’ve been non-party ever since. 

A key experience for me, however, was the wall of ignorance that newly founded right-wing parties encounter – in contrast to left-wing parties – and how little their own media resonance space was. It was then that I realized that conservative politics and political change would not be possible without our own independent media. 

So we just kept going – albeit with very modest means at first.

CB: With the issue of history looming large for a post-war right wing publication, which ideological traditions does JF draw from on the German Right?

DS: The most important topic for us in the 1980s was the “German Question”, the division of Germany and the demand for reunification. That the Wall fell in 1989 and Germany was reunified was incredibly fortunate! 

In this context, we in Germany still argue about the question of whether the nation state is a good model or whether it is better if the nation-states are overcome. 

Of course we defend the position that nations remain a permanent historical entity and that their dissolution in a European superstate would be an absurdly wrong path.

Junge Freiheit offices following a 1994 arson attack-courtesy of JF website.

CB: Rather famously JF has faced repeated state and left wing harassment with a firebombing attack on your printer occuring 1994, how in your 35 years of journalism have you overcome these difficulties?-Is it easier or harder to be a right wing journalist in 2021 than the 1980s in Germany?

Mind you, I see myself as a conservative and not a right-wing. These terms have different connotations and meanings in German. It is still difficult in Germany to use critical journalism against the dominant left-liberal zeitgeist. 

In the past, the attacks were more obvious, such as the attack on our print shop or my car, which was set on fire or in other times paving stones were thrown at. Today it is more subtle, for example through defamatory Internet campaigns against our newspaper or through warnings from ruling politicians about the JF. 

We are going against it with all legal possibilities and are the defenders of freedom of expression and freedom of the press in Germany. In a ten-year process up to the Federal Constitutional Court in 2005, we fought a so-called “Verfassungsschutz” (Court Order) in North Rhine-Westphalia to prevent the allegation that JF was a “right-wing extremist newspaper”.

CB: In Ireland we are on the verge of passing rather austere hate speech laws similar to those endured in Germany. As a German journalist how have these laws affected your work and how are they best combated?

DS: These laws have so far not affected JF’s journalism. But you are right, we all have to be very careful together that the freedom of expression and freedom of publication is not restricted under the guise of alleged “anti-hate laws”. The information and discussion opportunities that the Internet has created over the past 20 years are a thorn in the side of some politicians. 

They try everything to limit and control this information and discussions. We all have to be very vigilant and defend our basic rights against new opinion censors! These laws put pressure above all on the operators of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to censor even more. This is a big threat!

CB: With Chancellor Merkel on the cusp of retiring, where lies the future for German politics and the liberal centre in your eyes?

That is currently the big question that concerns many people inside and outside the CDU. Some believe that without Merkel, the CDU will wear itself out in internal struggles in the medium term and lose many members and voters to parties like the AfD. 

It would then take the path of the SPD, which today only has around 15 percent of the vote because it first lost voters and members to the Greens and Die Linke, and in recent years many voters and members have migrated towards the AfD . Others believe that the CDU can hold around 30 percent of the vote and thus remain the last major people’s party. To do this, however, it would have to be able to permanently involve conservatives and market economists, which is currently doubtful. But the pressure of competition from the AfD forces the CDU to innovate.

CB: The past decade has seen significant success for the AfD party, what has contributed to these electoral successes and has JF played a role?

The CDU, which we just talked about, has moved more and more to the left since the turn of the millennium. You can ultimately fix this in the change of the CDU chairmanship from Helmut Kohl to Angela Merkel. With Helmut Kohl a noticeable, albeit weak, conservative wing always held sway over the CDU, Angela Merkel increasingly wanted to win voters in the middle and left of the middle of the party spectrum. To do this, she moved with relentless severity against the remaining conservatives. She was temporarily successful and was able to hold on as Chancellor for a long time.

CB: Censorship is an increasing issue for right wing publications, has JF dealt with deplatforming and if so how does it as a publication try to mitigate it?

We have not yet been affected by deplatforming. Only individual videos have been blocked on YouTube – but we were able to successfully take action against these blockings. But it is correct that the leading politicians at EU and national level, together with companies such as Facebook and YouTube, are constantly working on new laws and regulations that are supposed to limit “hate” on the Internet, but are actually used frequently in order to restrict the conservative and even liberal opposition in their freedom of expression and freedom of publication.

Of course, we also feel that JF, although formally the second largest national political weekly newspaper in terms of circulation, is often ignored in the established media and, unlike the editors-in-chief of other newspapers, I am not invited to talk shows on public broadcasters. But that also tends to be the case with other conservative journalists and politicians. This is of course a scandal!

CB: Is it fair to say the German Right was radicalised after the migrant crisis of 2014/5?

The crisis of illegal immigration, which hit and damaged all of Europe and especially Germany from 2015 onwards, led to the political radicalisation of many people who actually belonged to the middle class of society. They did not radicalize themselves, they opposed the government, which then, with the support of the media, discriminated against them as “evil rights”. Nevertheless, there is a regrettable immanent radicalization on the right, which is provoked and reinforced under repressive external pressure. As the voice of reason, we always try to advocate a moderate course in politics. Therefore, by the way, I myself repeatedly criticize forces on the right wing of the AfD, who threaten to lead the AfD into a right-wing ghetto through escapades and radicalism.

Posted by Ciaran Brennan

2 Comments

  1. The Real Fianna 29/07/2021 at 9:23 am

    From the Article – It was then that I realized that conservative politics and political change would not be possible without our own independent media.
    _____________________________________

    Whoever controls the flow of information, controls the way people see things. The shepherd leading its sheep. If you question things, they have terms to destroy debate. That is why they invented the term “Conspiracy Theorist”. Terms such as thoseares a label to undermine people who think and question official narratives that do not make sense. Anti-Vaxxer is another term they are using to undermine people who will not risk their immune system to be harmed with clot shots or heart attack shots, infertility shots, or whatever the next flavour of harm will be etc, as the damage from them becomes more apparent.

    There is a reason why the lamestream media only reads from the one globalist hymn sheet. All the advertisements are mostly from globalist companies, they are the bread and butter, the globalists push narratives not only through their version of the news, but also in the ads, they push for globalism. Globalist agenda is pushed extensively in sport aswell. They are relentless with it. Movies, music, everywhere you look. This is being pushed from the top down like a waterfall to engineer a new river of monoculture. Because in order to centralize control, they have to have one globalist culture, one government, this is why they push the term “Global Citizen”. An enslaved global citizen with little to no civil liberties, a managed, contained and dumbed down subject. Frightening stuff, but that is what they are pushing when looked at more closely.

    People need to learn what game is being played, to be picky with the research. Study what the WEC (World Economic Forum is pushing. You will own nothing but you will be happy they say. Why are they selling that to people? they also do not say that anymore, because of the backlash, many people were waking up to them. Why are they trying to destroy agricultural farming and pushing synthethic meat? What will be in that so-called meat eventually? Why in the fuck are they doing research on putting stuff in mosquitos? Again, its like something out of a fucking bond film, truth is stranger than fiction they say.

    Fact check is another term they use to squash alternative streams of information being suggested, whether right or wrong, they only want one narrative, no debates. A closed box.

    Debunked debunked, parrots, fact checkers fact checkers. They are getting more desperate.

    _____________________________

    From the article — These laws put pressure above all on the operators of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to censor even more. This is a big threat!

    _____________________________________________________________

    They are building a digital prison, it is in plain sight. Facadebook, shitter, Censoredtube are a part of the apparatus for control. They also use bots all over shitter and facadebook spreading their agendas, many people have seen it in action. Dumbphones would have been a gift to tyrants like Stalin, it allows for mass-surveillance and thought control. A tracking device in a pocket. Also, they name such devices a cell-phone? you could say they are a form of prison cell. People are prisoners to their cell phones these days you could say. A dangerous injection tied to a dumbphone, so you can eat in a restaurant. Stalin would be in heaven at the thought of it.

    Big-tech has also gotten people addicted to social-media platforms for a reason. This is where people spend a lot of their time, they let big-tech suggest the news to them, and only big-tech approved news is seen to be trustworthy by the unthinking majority. Also virtue signalling and pandering to dystopian agendas is an olympic sport on those platforms.

    It is no wonder they are going around letting themselves get injected, and putting it on the phones, so they can eat and drink in restaurants and pubs thinking that they are great members of society, when in fact they are only increasing profits for big pharma and endangering their own immune systems. Now they are pushing booster shots. Their immune systems will likely be fucked, because those injections are experimental and have harmed people. To play russian roulette with your health is very self-destructive and irresponsible.

    FRom Article — In this context, we in Germany still argue about the question of whether the nation state is a good model or whether it is better if the nation-states are overcome.

    ______________________________________________________________

    A nation state can be a good model, only if the organisers of the nation are carefully selected, and carefully controlled by an “intelligent minded people” to solidify the best interests for themselves, their communities, and their nation in an independent way. The elected organisers of the society must answer to the people first and foremost, that is the most important thing, the leaders must not answer to outside interests trying to destroy the nation and lead it into enslavement. In the modern world, you can easily see that there is a guiding-hand pulling the strings, seeking to rule the world through centralization, desperately trying to enslave people into their version of reality and their system of control.

    For a nation state to be healthy, and a respected one, the people must be intelligently educated, by people that truly care for their interests, not educated by a system that only pushes subversive narratives that undermine the independence and wealth of the state (Climate tax for Climate hoax agenda etc). A Strong nation must have a militaristic culture, and a highly philosophical and a united culture. It must seek high standards in everything. If the people demand good leaders, they deserve and will get good leaders. If the people are STRONG, the leaders will be STRONG. If the people are weak, then weak spineless leaders will make the nation weak and easily controlled by outside forces.

    Look at the modern politicans of ireland, they are out to line their own pockets, they are not leaders, they are greedy opportunists looking to cash in on the weakness of the populace and current world affairs. Look at them celebrating and throwing themselves in the air after getting a seat, it is very inappropriate, it gives you an insight into their minds, it is about the money for them. Some of those scenes are very shocking. They tell the populace, oh look, look at all the money circulating in the economy, they say nothing about all the DEBT, and the enormous cost of living, the enormous cost of homes, as they sit their pandering arses on the seats in brussels or in the oireachtas looking forward to their pensions as people die in homeless ruin down the streets from them.

    The people must love its nation, its people, and have first and second amendment style rights enshrined into the law of the land. The state should never become bigger than the people, because the people are the state. The wealth of the nation should be distributed among ALL its people, not just a few. You can judge a nation by the way it treats its people and its animals.

    A freedom loving independent culture is natural to european men, it is in the blood, but has been suppressed by sinister forces. In a metaphorical sense european man was once the independent wolf, the independent bear, now it has become a sheep in a farm pen, a sheep whose mind has been conditioned to not think outside the pen, to not see outside pen, not allowed to become wild and independent, not allowed to become free, to roam the forests to connect with the soil, to love the land. If you can not connect with the nature of the land, then you could not possibly care for the land.

    Usury should be abolished, people need community spirit, people should help each other build homes, a lot of that is lost in the modern world, money is the god, money is the king. Your status is defined by how much fiat currency you have. People are chasing fiat currency while their nations are getting destroyed from within.
    People are not thinking clearly thinking as to where it is they are being led.

    Reply

  2. Ivaus@thetricolour 30/07/2021 at 3:58 am

    Well said,@ THE REAL FIANNA, and spoken like a true Statesman,we are
    In short supply of people with caliber,backbone,honesty and a moral compass
    that is not found in a smartphone.We did have some journalists in my youth
    that questioned bullshit but they are as rare now as hens teeth.I believe a lot of
    people were also more informed and willing to STAND UP for the courage of
    their convictions.TV was a distraction then but not dead fart in a room it is now,
    and then that too has been surpassed by the Zombie effect of tongue-tied mobile phone addicts. Like all tools,it is for a purpose but not to take control of
    your life.unfortunately the dictators in society have used it to their advantage
    and it is now a very dangerous tool.
    It would be great to have a functioning independent press by the people for the
    people,professional journalists that ask the questions on all our lips.So too we
    could have a national broadcaster for the people,not the establishment that
    lines their pockets today. So now in 2021 all our information controllers,media,
    tv and broadcasting is being corruptly abused…we get gas lighting ,we get coercion , WE GET MANDATORY ….but we actually get fu.k all,and pay for it.
    Let’s use the ONE TOOL everybody has,feed it,inform it and use it wisely.
    Where there is a will…there is a way…a solution to every problem. FIX IT NOW

    Reply

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