The Western Front

A Welcome Anniversary

On July 13, the German weekly Junge Freiheit celebrated its 15th anniversary.  This is astonishing, considering the outrages committed against the publication, including the burning of its printing facilities in 1994 and the five-year-long public warning against the paper issued by the provincial government of Nord-rhein-Westfalen for “intimations of a disposition sympathetic to the far Right.”  

Throughout the summer and into the fall, the paper was full of provocative commentaries about the electoral campaigns of the two major-party coalitions, leading up to the national elections in September.  Dieter Stein and his editors hammered away at the timid Edmund Stoiber, head of the Christian Democratic/Christian Social Union, who avoided the issue of immigration during his campaign with Chancellor Gerhard Schröder until about two weeks before the election.  The September 13 issue of Junge Freiheit, which examined the candidates’ attitudes toward the planned American war against Iraq, described the difference as an entirely trivial distinction between someone who has already become “the bed-mat of President Bush” and someone who will return to that role immediately after the election.  

The center-right coalition under Stoiber botched the national election, losing by two points, although, by every economic indicator and based on the voters’...

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