Germany

Coronavirus crisis exposes devastating conditions in the German meat processing industry

By Marianne Arens, 16 May 2020

German slaughterhouses have become coronavirus hotspots, with hundreds of workers, most of them sub-contracted from Eastern Europe, infected with the virus.

Rushed relaxation of coronavirus measures in Germany puts thousands of lives at risk

By Marianne Arens, 15 May 2020

With the general relaxation of the coronavirus measures, cases in schools, retirement homes, local transport, industry and the entire working population are inevitably on the rise again.

“Corona demonstrations” in Germany: Neo-Nazis join hands with Free Democrats, Christian Democrats and Left Party

By Peter Schwarz, 15 May 2020

The FDP’s leader in Thuringia, Thomas Kemmerich, participated in a demonstration against the measures put in place to restrict the spread of the coronavirus. Like other such mobilisations in Germany, it was dominated by the extreme right.

German auto bosses demand government subsidies and job cuts

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 15 May 2020

The German auto industry is using the coronavirus crisis to implement its long-planned transition to electro-mobility and digitalisation. Its main partner is the company union, the IG Metall.

German armed forces deploy 300 soldiers to EU mission “Irini” in Mediterranean

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 14 May 2020

The mission’s mandate includes stopping and searching ships suspected of transporting weapons to Libya.

German politicians and media laud right-wing demonstrations against coronavirus restrictions

By Christoph Vandreier, 13 May 2020

The ruling elite is now mobilising the right-wing dregs of society in the “corona” demonstrations to intimidate the population and enforce their back-to-work campaign.

Rising number of COVID-19 deaths in Germany’s retirement and care homes

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 12 May 2020

As the German government is effectively ending its coronavirus lockdown, reports about people dying of COVID-19 in retirement and care homes are increasing.

Hundreds of COVID-19 infections in German meatpacking plants

By Marianne Arens, 11 May 2020

Immigrants from Romania, who are the main workers in the German meatpacking industry, are now being struck down by COVID-19.

Verdict published in NSU trial: German court protects neo-Nazi André Eminger

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 11 May 2020

From the outset the intention of the NSU trial in Munich was to cover up the involvement of Germany’s domestic intelligence service and other security agencies.

Seventy-five years after the end of World War II

Right-wing ideologues in Germany demand sacrifice of human lives in coronavirus pandemic

By Christoph Vandreier, 11 May 2020

Three-quarters of a century after the end of the most brutal war in world history, the German ruling elite is returning to authoritarian and ultimately fascist policies to enforce militarism and inequality.

Germany reopens schools, endangering thousands of lives

By Marianne Arens, 9 May 2020

Schools are being reopened in nearly all federal states and the risky measure is meeting with growing opposition from teachers.

German government ends lockdown, putting hundreds of thousands of lives at risk

By Johannes Stern, 8 May 2020

Three weeks after the decision of the federal and state governments to gradually withdraw the restrictions imposed in March, the end of the lockdown in Germany has largely been completed.

German government plans purchase of 138 fighter jets and prepares for nuclear war

By Gregor Link and Johannes Stern, 7 May 2020

Germany’s government is preparing to purchase 93 Eurofighters and 45 US-made F-18 fighter jets for a total cost of almost €20 billion.

German auto companies demand even more state money

By Ulrich Rippert, 7 May 2020

Along with hunting for government stimulus packages, the auto companies are ramping up production again despite the dangers to workers' health and lives.

Playing Russian roulette with hundreds of thousands of lives

German big business demands end to lockdown

By Peter Schwarz, 6 May 2020

Two weeks after the initial lifting of some of the coronavirus lockdown's restrictions in Germany, demands for its total abandonment have reached fever pitch.

German authorities press charges in Lübcke murder case

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 6 May 2020

The neo-Nazi Stephan Ernst is accused of having shot leading Christian Democratic politician Walter Lübcke in cold blood on the terrace of his home on the night of June 2, 2019.

Think tank sees coronavirus crisis as “opportunity” for German militarism

By Gregor Link, 4 May 2020

The German Council on Foreign Relations calls for a “comprehensive conflict strategy” in order to emerge “even stronger” from the crisis.

Euro zone economy contracts at record pace

By Nick Beams, 2 May 2020

The European Central Bank has taken the same road as the US Fed, committing itself to pump still more money across the board into the financial markets.

German government accelerates its deadly back-to-work initiative

By Johannes Stern, 2 May 2020

Despite the continuing spread of the COVID-19 internationally, the German government is accelerating its lifting of the limited restrictions imposed to prevent transmission of the virus.

Nearly 300 meat-processing workers infected by coronavirus at German slaughterhouse

By Marianne Arens, 2 May 2020

While almost 300 workers at a Baden-Württemberg slaughterhouse have COVID-19, the plant remains open.

Germany: Daimler trains managers to kick out workers

By Ulrich Rippert, 2 May 2020

Daimler department heads and other managers are being trained to put pressure on individual workers to “implement the job cuts as smoothly as possible.”

Germany’s Lufthansa: Billions in state aid and mass layoffs

By Peter Schwarz, 2 May 2020

The airline unions are appealing to Chancellor Merkel for state intervention.

Sixty-eight Amazon workers fall ill with COVID-19 at Winsen, Germany warehouse

By Marianne Arens, 1 May 2020

While Amazon has profited massively from the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of its workers throughout the world have become infected with COVID-19.

Profits before human life: German parliament president Schäuble wins broad support in the establishment

By Peter Schwarz, 30 April 2020

The German ruling class is marking the 75th anniversary of Hitler’s suicide in the Führer bunker by discussing how many human lives should be sacrificed in the coronavirus crisis.

German students oppose reopening of schools

By our reporters, 30 April 2020

Under the slogan “average grade 2020,” students are demanding the suspension of final exams and the closing of schools so long as the lives of students, teachers and their relatives are at risk from COVID-19.

Germany: IG Metall and works council force Volkswagen workers back despite coronavirus danger

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting and Peter Schwarz, 28 April 2020

Production is starting up again at Volkswagen ’ s main plant, the largest car factory in Europe with 63,000 employees , as the company plays roulette with the health and lives of its workforce.

Growing resistance in Germany to the opening up of schools

By Andy Niklaus and Carola Kleinert, 28 April 2020

”From the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, I have only seen economic interests at work,” said one high school student.

German parliament president calls for sacrificing lives for corporate profits

By Johannes Stern, 28 April 2020

The ruling class’s back-to-work offensive, which threatens a major resurgence of COVID-19, has long been accompanied by a media-driven campaign with fascistic characteristics.

Workers at Dublin Bus rebel at lack of personal protective equipment

By Dermot Byrne, 27 April 2020

One Irish driver explained: “There is a general feeling the union doesn’t act in the interests of the bus workers.”

Germany: Daimler and VW boost production and demand billions in taxpayers’ money

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 27 April 2020

Although around 2,500 people in Germany are being infected with the coronavirus every day, Daimler and Volkswagen both restarted car production this week.

Romanian harvest worker in Germany dies of COVID-19

By Anna Rombach and Marianne Arens, 27 April 2020

The death of the 57-year-old Nicolae Bahan has cast a grim light on the terrible conditions confronting harvest workers coming from Eastern Europe to toil in Germany ’ s fields.

German government endangers the health and lives of millions with return to work and schools

By Johannes Stern, 25 April 2020

A number of state governments—including the Social Democrat/Left Party/Green government in Berlin—forced thousands of students back to school earlier this week to sit their final exams.

Germany’s right-wing Bild newspaper agitates against China

By Peter Schwarz, 23 April 2020

The accusation serves to divert attention away from the ruling elite’s failure to deal with the pandemic, while at the same time whipping up public opinion for war with China.

Germany: Opening Berlin schools risks the lives of teachers, pupils and their families

By Carola Kleinert and Andy Niklaus, 22 April 2020

“We must learn to live with the pandemic,” Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed.

Germany’s Left Party backs multibillion-euro bailout of banks and big business

By Johannes Stern, 22 April 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has thoroughly exposed the class character and political orientation of the Left Party and its pseudo-left satellites.

Europe’s pandemic death toll passes 100,000

By Robert Stevens, 20 April 2020

The five major states in Europe—Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK—account for around 85,000 of the 100,000 plus deaths.

How German CEOs are profiting from the coronavirus crisis

By Peter Schwarz, 20 April 2020

An article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung details how the executives of major German corporations are raking in millions from the COVID-19 crisis.

German automakers, unions and government collaborate to restart production

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 18 April 2020

Germany’s automakers and the IG Metall trade union are demanding that production be restarted.

Big business representatives defend hospital closures in Germany

By Markus Salzmann, 18 April 2020

Economist Boris Augurzky claims that there are too many hospitals, and has called for the crisis to be used to further reduce the number of facilities.

Munich tram drivers speak out on dangerous conditions during coronavirus pandemic

By our reporters, 16 April 2020

Reports from two tram drivers illustrate the irresponsible actions of the MVG management putting workers at increased risk of infection and death.

German National Academy of Sciences demands reopening of primary schools

By Peter Schwarz, 15 April 2020

The call for human life to be weighed against economic value runs through the statement from start to finish.

Germany: Hesse politicians and employers expose workers to risk of COVID-19 infection

By Marianne Arens, 15 April 2020

Refuse workers report how they are given no protection and are expected to travel home in their dirty overalls.

German airline Lufthansa receives multibillion-euro bailout, prepares to cut 18,000 jobs

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 14 April 2020

Europe’s largest airline, is exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to implement long-planned attacks on their workforces.

No work without protection! Berlin transport worker issues appeal for independent workers committees

By Andy Niklaus, 14 April 2020

A serious fight against the coronavirus pandemic must focus on the interests of the broad masses of the population, not the profits of the wealthy few.

COVID-19 deaths surpass 76,000 in Europe as Spanish government sends millions back to work

By Robert Stevens, 13 April 2020

More than 30 National Health Service workers are reported to have died as the UK’s death toll rises above 10,000.

“If we stop working, nothing will move here anymore!”

German nurses, carers, transport and delivery workers raise their voices

By Ulrich Rippert, 13 April 2020

It is the workers, not the capitalists, who are essential to social life.

European governments plot return to work in midst of pandemic

By Thomas Scripps, 11 April 2020

As plans were being hatched over how to impose a return to work, over 4,000 new pandemic deaths were reported in Europe on Friday, bringing the total for the continent to over 70,000.

German hospitals become COVID-19 hotspots for health care workers

By Markus Salzmann, 11 April 2020

According to the Robert Koch Institute, more than 2,300 doctors and nurses have been infected with coronavirus in Germany.

Europe’s investors celebrate stock market rally as thousands die of COVID-19

By Jordan Shilton, 10 April 2020

While over 4,100 people died of COVID-19 yesterday, stock markets finished the week with huge gains as the ruling elite’s plan to force workers back to work emerges.

Deaths from COVID-19 mount in German elderly care homes

By Markus Salzmann, 10 April 2020

The large number of deaths stems from the failure to implement timely countermeasures or follow them, a shortage of staff, overworked personnel and the absence of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Germany: Weighing economic interests vs. human life in the coronavirus pandemic

By Peter Schwarz, 9 April 2020

The German media are again openly discussing how much a human life is worth and how many lives should be sacrificed to the interests of the economy.

German government expands war operations despite coronavirus pandemic

By Johannes Stern, 7 April 2020

The dramatic spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has done nothing to change German war policy. The ruling class is utilising the crisis in order to push forward its foreign policy offensive.

German police claim latest racist rampage was not the work of a far-right extremist

By Marianne Arens, 7 April 2020

After investigating the gruesome, racially motivated murder rampage in Hanau, German police concluded there was no indication that it was the act of a far-right extremist.

As Europe’s COVID-19 death toll nears 50,000, British PM Johnson admitted to hospital

By Robert Stevens, 6 April 2020

There is mounting evidence that fatalities are much higher when deaths outside hospitals are factored in.

Doctors in Germany will soon have to decide on life and death

By Peter Schwarz, 6 April 2020

Seven professional societies have adopted a paper with recommendations laying down which patients will be treated, and which must die if intensive care capacity is exceeded.

No to the domestic deployment of the German army!

By Johannes Stern, 6 April 2020

The German army's so-called “Coronavirus operation” is the largest military operation in country’s post-war history.

Unemployment surges in Europe amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Alex Lantier, 4 April 2020

The catastrophe now unfolding in Europe is rooted not in the biological properties of the coronavirus, but in the political bankruptcy of European capitalism.

Mounting opposition among German health care, industrial workers

By Ulrich Rippert, 4 April 2020

The German government has implemented a bailout program for major companies and banks, but health care and industrial workers are forced to work under catastrophic conditions.

Coronavirus crisis: Hunger and malnutrition spread in Germany

By Carola Kleinert and Andy Niklaus, 4 April 2020

Research indicates some 13 million people in Germany are living in poverty or confront hunger, malnutrition and social misery due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Germany marked an increase in violent attacks on refugees in 2019

By Isabel Roy, 3 April 2020

The Left Party has been instrumental, along with the country’s other political parties, in creating a hostile climate and the corresponding explosion of violence against refugees and immigrants.

Hospital closures continue in Germany despite COVID-19 pandemic

By Sybille Fuchs, 2 April 2020

Although every hospital bed in Germany is needed because of the coronavirus pandemic, many hospitals are facing closure, especially in more rural areas.

One hundred years since Germany’s Kapp Putsch

How the Social Democratic Party supported the far-right

By Peter Schwarz, 2 April 2020

The Kapp Putsch is of burning contemporary relevance at a time when Germany’s bourgeoisie is once again turning to militarism, a right-wing extremist party is represented in the federal parliament and all state parliaments, and far-right terrorist networks operate unhindered within the state apparatus and the army.

German government preparing major domestic military deployment

By Johannes Stern, 31 March 2020

Regardless of how much medical assistance the military ends up providing, its deployment must be understood as a warning.

Germany: The coronavirus pandemic and the destruction of the public health system

By Tino Jacobson and Markus Salzmann, 31 March 2020

Over the last 30 years, the German health care system has been radically damaged as a result of austerity, privatised and its institutions trimmed for profit.

Germany: IG Metall union exploiting COVID-19 crisis to cut more jobs at Thyssenkrupp

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 30 March 2020

The union and its works council representatives have agreed to increased job cuts and are also sending workers onto the production lines, despite heightened health risks, to achieve ever-higher productivity.

Coronavirus in Europe: Overworked hospitals become death traps

By Gregor Link, 28 March 2020

The criminal inactivity of European governments has led to a murderous and vicious circle of overwork, infection and work absences in hospitals throughout the continent.

European Union summit on coronavirus ends in acrimony

By Peter Schwarz, 28 March 2020

The 27 European Union heads of government met via video conference on Thursday evening to discuss the coronavirus crisis.

Profits before lives: German parliament passes emergency package for large corporations and the rich

By Johannes Stern, 27 March 2020

All parties in parliament, from the Left Party to the extreme right AfD, are working together to defend capitalism and to shift the burden of the COVID-19 crisis onto the working class.

German investor Dibelius: Big business must take priority over health care

By Peter Schwarz, 26 March 2020

It will only be a matter of days before Dibelius and his ilk will demand that workers who refuse to risk their health by going back to work should be forced to do so.

Germany: IG Metall union agrees an industrial truce with the corporations

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 26 March 2020

Last week, the IG Metall in North Rhine-Westphalia agreed to a wage freeze, which is to be extended into all areas of the economy.

Death toll over 12,000 in Europe as coronavirus infections escalate

By Thomas Scripps, 25 March 2020

WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom insisted it was still possible to “change the trajectory,” but warned that governments were failing to devote the necessary resources to the crisis.

German government’s coronavirus bailout: Billions for the rich, rations for the poor

By Peter Schwarz, 25 March 2020

It is a continuation of the policy of enriching the wealthy at the expense of the poor that the grand coalition has been pursuing for years.

A tale of two surges: Wall Street soars amid New York City’s coronavirus toll

By Bill Van Auken, 25 March 2020

As billionaires gorged themselves on the prospect of trillions more being poured into the financial markets, the pandemic was wreaking havoc in America’s largest city.

Germany: Appalling lack of protective equipment in COVID-19 outbreak

By Markus Salzmann, 24 March 2020

It is still virtually impossible to be tested for the life-threatening virus and there is a lack of protective marks and other urgently needed equipment for health care workers.

German government prepares for internet censorship and deployment of the armed forces

By Ulrich Rippert, 23 March 2020

The social democratic state premier of Lower Saxony, Boris Pistorius, has called for a clamp-down against those contradicting official government propaganda about the coronavirus epidemic.

Over 620 deaths in Italy on Friday as coronavirus fatalities surge in Europe

By Robert Stevens, 21 March 2020

Italy, Spain, Belgium and the UK all recorded their largest single-day death tolls in the global coronavirus pandemic on Friday.

US imperialism exploits coronavirus as a weapon of war

By Bill Van Auken, 20 March 2020

The maintenance and tightening of punishing economic sanctions against Iran as it confronts one of the world’s worst outbreaks of the coronavirus constitutes a US war crime.

German Chancellor Merkel’s address to the nation: A declaration of criminal irresponsibility

By Johannes Stern, 20 March 2020

The central message delivered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her address to the nation Wednesday evening was that the federal government will do nothing to avert a catastrophe for the population.

As coronavirus pandemic grows, anger rises against German companies

By Marianne Arens, 19 March 2020

While the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced that the health risk posed by COVID-19 is “high”, VW announced its production lines would operate until Friday.

Going into lockdown, Europe overtakes China as coronavirus epicenter

By Alex Lantier, 18 March 2020

Europe is set to soon have more coronavirus cases than China and already has seen more deaths: 3,401 people have died in Europe, and 3,226 have died in China.

Merkel’s response to coronavirus: Draconian measures for German population, unlimited loans for corporations

By Ulrich Rippert, 18 March 2020

While coronavirus tests are denied and workers are compelled, in spite of an immediate threat of infection, into the factories, the state is opening the treasury without restrictions to the financial oligarchy.

70th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 3

Curveball—Germany’s role in the Iraq war—and the horrors of the concentration camp in Persian Lessons

By Stefan Steinberg, 18 March 2020

Johannes Naber’s film is a political satire rooted firmly in evidence researched by the director and his team. Vadim Perelman’s work follows a man who has to invent an entire language to survive.

Coronavirus crisis in Germany: Workers must demand factories and large enterprises be closed

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 17 March 2020

The shareholders’ profits are of more value than workers’ lives for the managers, the government and also the union officials.

As Europe becomes the new epicenter of pandemic

Trump administration official admits coronavirus could kill millions in US

By Benjamin Mateus, 16 March 2020

The World Health Organization has declared Europe the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, as more people have died outside China than within it.

Coronavirus could lead to collapse of German healthcare system as early as May

By Marianne Arens, 16 March 2020

The number of people infected in Germany has tripled since Wednesday.

Coronavirus outbreak: The German government was warned of the dangers of a looming pandemic and did nothing

By Gustav Kemper, 16 March 2020

A risk analysis by the Robert Koch Institute eight years ago had already warned that inadequacies in Germany’s health system could mean death for millions when confronted with a novel virus.

German student newspaper “Unauf” defends far-right violence against students

the IYSSE at Humboldt University, 16 March 2020

Following the refusal of Humboldt University management to condemn the physical attack by right-wing extremist professor Jörg Baberowski on a left-wing student, the “independent student newspaper at Humboldt University” has followed suit.

The response of the ruling elite to the coronavirus pandemic: Malign neglect

By Alex Lantier and Andre Damon, 14 March 2020

Governments around the world are making a deliberate decision to minimize their response to the pandemic, threatening the lives of millions of people.

A comment by writer and director Andrew Birkin on Speer Goes to Hollywood

13 March 2020

The WSWS has received a letter from writer and director Andrew Birkin in response to its review, posted on March 11, of Speer Goes to Hollywood .

Crypto AG leaks: German and American spy agencies snooped on 120 countries

By Gregor Link, 13 March 2020

Under the code names “Rubicon” and “Minerva,” Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) together with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had monitored the encrypted government communications of almost half the countries on earth for decades.

On coronavirus, Merkel tells Europe: “Drop dead”

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 12 March 2020

Merkel stated that a central priority of her government is to ensure the health care system does not become “overloaded” by the task of caring for coronavirus patients.

Trump’s coronavirus address: Ignorance, xenophobia and helplessness

By James Cogan and Andre Damon, 12 March 2020

In remarks consisting largely of self-praise, Trump proposed no measures that would slow the spread of the disease and mitigate its effects.

Coronavirus pandemic surges across Europe

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 11 March 2020

Thousands fell ill with coronavirus and hundreds died yesterday in Europe as the pandemic kept surging across the continent.

Germany’s Left Party joins hands with far-right Alternative for Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 11 March 2020

Just two days after he was elected minister president of Thuringia, the Left Party’s Bodo Ramelow ensured that the AfD obtained one of the vice president positions in the state parliament.

Germany sees rapid increase in coronavirus infections and first deaths

By Markus Salzmann, 10 March 2020

The massive spread of the coronavirus in Germany shows both the government’s indifference towards the dangers for the population and the precarious state of the country’s health care system, which has been systematically run down in recent years.

German government incites racism with commemoration of right-wing terrorist attack in Hanau, refugee policy

By Peter Schwarz, 9 March 2020

The state has not “underestimated” the danger posed by the far-right, but rather systematically incited and encouraged it.

The all-party conspiracy behind the return of the Left Party to government in Thuringia

By Ulrich Rippert, 6 March 2020

One month after Free Democratic Party (FDP) politician Thomas Kemmerich was elected Thuringia state premier with the votes of the extreme right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), his predecessor, Left Party leader Bodo Ramelow, is back in office.

Right-wing extremist accused of murdering German politician Walter Lübcke suspected in another attempted murder

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 6 March 2020

It is impossible to say where the neo-Nazi milieu ends and where the German state begins.

European Union intensifies war against refugees at Turkish-Greek border

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 4 March 2020

Under the eyes of a high-ranking EU delegation, Greek border guards brutally attacked unarmed refugees.

Defender 2020: Largest mobilisation of NATO troops against Russia in 25 years

By Markus Salzmann, 4 March 2020

Seventy-five years after the end of World War II, the scale of NATO's provocative military exercise underscores how far advanced the preparations for war are.