Promoting democracy, preventing extremism
The Center for Democracy Promotion and (Cross-Phenomenon) Extremism Prevention, DEXT-Fachstelle for short, in the Waldeck-Frankenberg district focuses on the topic of right-wing extremism/right-wing populism in accordance with local needs. The main task is to create basic knowledge about right-wing movements in the district and to derive strategic issues for combating them from this knowledge. The DEXT office focuses on knowledge identification, processing and dissemination. These are areas that have so far only been partially covered by the work of the Partnership for Democracy (PfD) "Network for Tolerance", which has been in existence for years and is funded by federal funds, due to resource constraints. The DEXT office Waldeck-Frankenberg works in close coordination with the PfD on the strategic further development and - where necessary - repositioning of activities at the district level. The aim is to identify continuities and discontinuities in radical politics, to strengthen regional resilience to right-wing populist and extreme right-wing tendencies and movements, and to promote social cohesion between majority and minority communities.
As part of the state program "Hesse - active for democracy and against extremism" (2020 - 2024), so-called specialist units for democracy promotion and cross-phenomena extremism prevention (DEXT) are being funded in counties, independent cities and special-status cities. The DEXT specialist unit should be a point of contact at local and regional level for all phenomena related to extremism, and the focus of its work should be based on local needs. Taking local needs into account, DEXT offices should, among other things, serve as a point of contact for initial counseling and organize training and continuing education measures (also for employees in the authorities). They should also contribute to local networking of relevant actors and promote local projects. In the field of extremism, the DEXT units work intensively with the research staff for the regional prevention of politically motivated crime (PMK) in the police headquarters.
Together with the four other DEXT offices in North Hesse, the event series "Democracy Talks North Hesse" was launched. Lectures and workshops are offered on a regular basis. Current dates can be found in the calendar of events of the Waldeck-Frankenberg district and further down the page at a glance in an overview. Some of these lectures are recorded and offered as podcasts:
Opinion forming on the web
Social media is a central part of our lives and is often used not only for sharing, but also for general information gathering. But questions and difficulties arise here: Where does the information we use to form our opinions come from? How do we recognize disinformation/fake news and how do we deal with it? How do we create a fair democratic discourse in ever-changing media worlds? The lecture highlights phenomena of digital change, problems, opportunities and risks and provides a media pedagogical assessment. (Speaker: Julian Kasten)
Right-wing extremist structures in North Hesse
NSU (National Socialist Underground), NSU 2.0 and the murderer of Walter Lübcke - all lone perpetrators? With a view to right-wing structures since the 2000s until today, the event will elaborate that the right-wing scene is regionally and supra-regionally networked and organized. For this purpose, current events such as the bomb threat of the NSU 2.0 at the Walter-Lübcke School in Wolfhage, which can be seen as a reaction to the commitment of the students for diversity and democracy, will be discussed and classified. In particular, the perspectives of those affected by right-wing violence play a role. (Speaker: Kirsten Neumann)
The extreme right in (northern) Hesse
The right-wing terrorist murders in Wolfhagen and Hanau have shocked many people. But these were not the only acts that must be considered right-wing terrorist in Hesse in the recent past. There has been an active extreme right-wing scene in Hesse for many years that is ready to use violence. However, many seemingly unorganized militants hardly appear in public, but operate in networks that are often hardly noticed. In contrast, parties of the right-wing spectrum or right-wing groups hardly appear in public anymore. The lecture will shed light on the strength of the extreme right-wing scene in Hesse, its influence on political and social developments, and the potential dangers it harbors. In particular, he will also address the situation in northern Hesse and the relationship between social media presence and the real balance of power of the extreme right. (Speaker: Sascha Schmidt)
What makes Islamism attractive? - Islamism prevention in educational work
Islamism is a broad phenomenon that is not limited to calls for violence, but can take on very different forms of expression. However, not every conflict based on religion is an expression of Islamist ideology. In prevention work, it is primarily a matter of knowing the questions and topics that are taken up in Islamist speeches and asking about the motives and needs that can make these offers interesting for adolescents and young adults. And it is about developing alternative offers that are more attractive than what Islamist scenes promise.