Information service against right-wing extremism
The information service against right-wing extremism ( IDGR for short ) existed from 1998 to 2006 as a private free online service that countered right-wing extremism , neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism with information on this topic.
The main concern of the IDGR was to educate about international right-wing extremism, including the activities of Holocaust deniers , and related organizations. To do this, he collected and selected information from the Internet , from publicly accessible mass media and scientific publications. He stated that the target group was generally interested people who would like to get an initial overview of the topics mentioned via the Internet.
In an encyclopedia entry, the IDGR defined right-wing extremism, referring to Wolfgang Benz, as a rejection of fundamental democratic constitutional principles in connection with some ideological elements that are not always present at the same time: including aggressive and elitist nationalism , anti-Semitism, racism , a tendency towards conspiracy theories and a willingness to use violence . The editors only wanted to show proven connections between people in contemporary history and right-wing extremist tendencies.
Porters and employees
The IDGR was set up and published in 1998 by the political scientist Margret Chatwin . She financed and edited the website without any institutional sponsors, received no donations or subsidies for her work, and paid no fees to the other authors.
The articles were created voluntarily and free of charge by almost 40 other authors, including employees of Holocaust memorials , students, journalists, specialist book authors and right-wing extremism experts such as:
- Thomas Grumke , political scientist, publicist and author a. a. of right-wing extremism in the US
- Friedrich Paul Heller , author a. a. of the book “ Thule . From Volkish Occultism to the New Right " (1995)
- Martin Jander , historian, Germanist and political scientist
- Ralph Kummer, political scientist, author in the series of publications of the Center for Democratic Culture
- Jürgen Langowski , u. a. Editor of the Internet website Holocaust Reference - Arguments against Auschwitz deniers and the Nazi archive (see web links)
- Anton Maegerle , archivist and expert on the German right-wing extremist scene, a. a. Author of The Language of Hate. Right-wing extremism and ethnic esotericism (2001)
- Hans-Günter Richardi , editor of the Süddeutsche Zeitung and book author, a. a. from school of violence. The Dachau Concentration Camp (1983).
These and other employees made their knowledge available to the IDGR and collected current information on right-wing extremism from the generally accessible daily press and publications from all political camps, including government sources such as B. Constitutional Protection Reports . They evaluated this information and rated it.
The IDGR website offered an alphabetically arranged lexicon with more than 500 individual articles, a catalog of topics, news, a section for new articles and an internal search function. The articles were linked to one another, but right-wing extremist websites were expressly not linked. Occasionally, without special notice, publications were cited that some state offices for the protection of the constitution attribute to left-wing extremism .
The authors of the individual articles cited sources as footnotes, which in turn were cross-linked for verification. The respective authors and the publisher are responsible for their factual accuracy. The IDGR stressed that the information would be continuously checked and corrected if necessary; he urged his readers to report any misinformation they found. However, some of the older articles have barely been updated since they were written, while others took years to correct.
The IDGR also observed possible points of contact between right-wing conservatism and right-wing extremism, for example in the “New Right” . Here the IDGR saw above all the Institute for State Policy , Junge Freiheit , the Weikersheim Study Center and associations for expellees such as the Junge Landsmannschaft East Prussia . Their positions were evaluated by the authors of the individual articles according to historical, political and ideological aspects. Another focus was the documentation of relationships between right-wing extremism and esotericism .
A special section entitled “Documents” offered original documents from proceedings against Nazi criminals, position papers from right-wing extremist groups and prohibition proceedings against them. A bibliography organized by subject offered standard works by Holocaust experts and historians who deal with the subject. Another section featured reviews of recent book releases, both by right-wing extremists themselves and by authors who deal with them. The IDGR employees also intervened in current discussions by documenting and commenting on newspaper comments on right-wing extremism.
A page entitled “Encouragement from the far right” documented a selection of the hate letters that the IDGR said reached the IDGR almost every day. The publisher emphasized that post with content relevant to criminal law would not be documented, but would be handed over to the public prosecutor's office. Nevertheless, threats of murder and violence were already hinted at in the letters and emails presented.
The IDGR provided information on right-wing extremism, neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism in order to combat them. This objective and its implementation were assessed differently. Andreas Klärner, who worked at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research at the time , rated the offer as a reviewer for H-Soz-u-Kult :
“The IDGR is the first address on the web if you want to find out more about German and international right-wing extremism. This applies to both a scientific and a general public. "
The articles and lexicon entries are well researched, secondary sources are proven. Only the unfounded waiver of the "evidence of primary sources in the form of links to right-wing extremist web pages" is incomprehensible and restricts the scientific information content of the IDGR "significantly".
The Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance , founded by the Federal Government in 2000 and supported by the Bundestag , awarded the IDGR 2002 a prize of 5,000 euros for its voluntary work.
Some information from the IDGR about contacts, networks and ideological points of contact between right-wing conservative and right-wing extremist groups and media were rated negatively. Right-wing conservatives saw it as an unproven construction and inadmissible mixture of conservatism and right-wing extremism with the intention of bringing democrats close to right-wing extremist aspirations and thus slandering them. They considered the IDGR to be biased and its concept of right-wing extremism to be ideological. Claus Wolfschlag , co-author of Junge Freiheit , classified some of the IDGR authors as left-wing extremists and criticized the IDGR for primarily defamation and politically motivated "denunciation journalism".
Value judgments in individual IDGR articles were criticized. Monika Kirschner presented Silvio Gesell as a “representative of a folk anti-capitalism ” that was close to the Nazi ideology . Werner Onken, editor of Gesell's writings, criticized this as an unchecked repetition and dissemination of "false information and misinterpretations of his work" without primary references.
In late 2006, Margret Chatwin took the IDGR website offline. The reason she gave was that a privately run information project was no longer as necessary as it was when the IDGR was founded, due to the numerous offers on right-wing extremism. "The original idea of the Internet" is being "increasingly marketed and buried." The IDGR information collected, written and usable without author or user fees would be commercially exploited under the protection of the judiciary.
Previously, former IDGR employees had founded a project called redok , which deals with research and reports on topics similar to those of the IDGR and publishes them on the Internet. On March 27, 2007, Chatwin added its final declaration : redok was not a follow-up project to the IDGR, it was designed in a completely different way and it lacks the most important content it had written.
- Albrecht Kolthoff (IDGR employee): The information service against right-wing extremism (IDGR). In: Stephan Braun , Daniel Hörsch (ed.): Right networks - a danger. Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2004, ISBN 3-8100-4153-X , pp. 231–242
- Panorama bright spot - fight against right-wing extremism . Article by the TV magazine Panorama about the IDGR from November 25, 2004
- Enlightenment through information: With a “facelift” into the fifth year. Press release of the "Information Service Against Right-Wing Extremism". In: HaGalil . January 30, 2004, accessed September 25, 2018 .
- Andreas Klärner: Review of the IDGR for H-Soz-Kult, January 23, 2004
- Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance: We About Us
- Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance : Web project "Information Service Against Right-Wing Extremism" (IDGR) ( Memento from October 22, 2017 in the Internet Archive )
- on the endowment of the prize: Peter Nowak (Frankfurter Rundschau, October 23, 2006): An online service with information against the law has been discontinued.
- Claus Wolfschlag on the IDGR
- Werner Onken, January 4, 2006: Silvio Gesell in the IDGR lexicon against right-wing extremism ( Memento from April 13, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
- Markus Beckedahl : Information service against right-wing extremism stops , netzpolitik.org , October 24, 2006; accessed May 8, 2020.
- Final communication from Margret Chatwins of September 27, 2006, taken offline in mid-May 2007.
- About redok ( Memento from August 12, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
- Final communication by Margret Chatwins, September 27, 2006, amended in March 2007, taken offline in mid-May 2007.