By Frédéric Sirgant, Professor of History
It is no coincidence that, in Chemnitz, one of the slogans very often taken up by the demonstrators is that of “high treason” by Merkel, being responsible for allowing more than one million migrants to enter, with consequences that Germany discovers day by day. According to the Mannheimer Morgen, more than a thousand complaints of high treason have been officially filed against the Chancellor since 2015. Of course, Frauke Köhler, spokeswoman for the Karlsruhe Federal Prosecutor’s Office, said in 2017 that “the complaints against the Chancellor have all been unfounded”.
Nevertheless, the concept of treason is making its way into the minds of Europeans at the base. Not of anecdotal political betrayal, but of high treason. Committed by the people at the top. While Justice may well decide that it has no basis, the East Germans have been sufficiently scalded by history to know what the justice of an era and a regime was worth.
Indeed, if history would not take place as Justice and these leaders imagine, if, for example, mass attacks like those of Bataclan, rapes and knife killings were multiplying in Europe, if a financial crash happened – and these “ifs” are not catastrophic but realistic – there is no doubt that the spirit of Chemnitz would expand, a spirit of revolt against leaders who caused this situation and are unable to control it. Who can seriously say today that the European scenario does not contain powerful germs of aggravation? It only remains to be hoped that this revolt will take place at the polls, as has happened in several European countries. This would be a striking proof of an unexpected vitality of European identity.