Germany's Angela Merkel condemns 'repulsive' racism, anti-Semitism in Charlottesville

German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
(Image credit: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued firm remarks against the white supremacist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, with a spokesperson calling "such images and chants … disgusting wherever they may be and ... diametrically opposed to the political goals of the chancellor and the entire German government," Agence France-Presse reports.

The "Unite the Right" march brought together a number of white supremacist groups including the KKK and neo-Nazis. Germany in particular has a zero-tolerance position on such shows of "ethno-nationalism," The Economist writes:

Every German school child must visit a concentration camp; as essential a part of the curriculum as learning to write or count. The country's cities are landscapes of remembrance. Streets and squares are named after resisters. Little brass squares in the pavements (Stolpersteine, or stumbling stones) contain the names and details of Holocaust victims who once lived at those addresses. Memorials dot the streets: plaques commemorating specific persecuted groups, boards listing the names of concentration camps ("places of horror which we must never forget"), a giant field of grey pillars in central Berlin attesting to the Holocaust. [The Economist]

"The scenes at the right-wing extremist march were absolutely repulsive," Merkel's spokesman added. "Naked racism, anti-Semitism, and hate in their most evil form were on display."

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President Trump also offered forceful comments on Charlottesville on Monday after being accused of being too muted in his response over the weekend. "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence," he said. "It has no place in America."

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.