Strange how history works, isn’t it? Or fails to work, I should say. As German prosecutors proudly see to it that the conviction of a Dutch communist who was executed after the Nazis accused him of torching the Reichstag in 1933 be formally overturned, an event that led to the introduction of detention camps in Nazi Germany by the way, 100 immigrant groups in Germany are reacting in disgust to the populist campaign theatrics of CDU politician Roland Koch, who has suggested the introduction of “education camps” for Germany’s not so fine young and (watch the important word here) foreign criminals.

Shooting themselves directly in the foot with this latest gag (with the stress here firmly placed on gag), the CDU, in a clear reaction to the SPD’s minimum wage offensive, got offensive itself by stooping to this American-style boot camp for young criminals idea, which, although it may or may not work in the US, forgets an important distinction or two. Americans generally put their own citizens in camps like these (they’re “integrated”, you see) and the term “boot camp” in American English just don’t quite have the same ring to it as “education camp” in German German does. No should it, for obvious reasons.

I really think this is unfortunate because giving ammunition to an enemy like that (the SPD), a party who’s only weapon left to it (with a stress on the left) is using ammunition given to it like that – in order to stay firmly entrenched in the past where that party rightly belongs – is, well, unfortunate. But that’s the way it goes sometimes in the heat of election battle. Win a few, lose a few.

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