Why did the idiocy of fascism affect America

The 1968 movement

Wulf Schönbohm

To person

The CDU politician and political scientist Wulf Schönbohm, born in 1941, was national chairman of the RCDS from 1967-1968. In 1969 he published the book "The APO's theses. Arguments against the radical left".

The mistakes and omissions of the 1968 movement must also be named, such as the rejection of parliamentary democracy, anti-authoritarian education and non-protest against the crackdown on the Prague Spring.


Most of the students neither read nor understood Rudi Dutschke's writings. (& copy AP)

As a contemporary witness, I recently gave a lecture on the 68ers before the high school graduation class. The students appeared moderately interested. For them it was a very distant, difficult to understand event in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, and for me, even after forty years, it was still an extremely lively and exciting time. The political struggle against the SDS in Berlin on the one hand, and the commitment to reforms at the university and in society against the ossified establishment on the other, this two-front battle was grueling. In the summer semester of 1964, after three years of service as a contract soldier, I began my studies at the Otto Suhr Institute (OSI) at Freie Universität. There, the number of students who had withdrawn from military service as "slackers" by relocating to Berlin was particularly high. In the OSI, my few friends from the Ring of Christian Democratic Students (RCDS) and I were insulted as "fascists", in the CDU, on the other hand, we were seen as left-wing revolutionaries.

I consciously quoted from the writings of the SDS theorists Rudi Dutschke and Bernd Rabehl in front of the high school graduates, but my suspicion that my listeners did not understand them and were bored was quickly confirmed. No wonder, because even then most students neither read nor understood them. These complicated neo-Marxist analyzes were only for the initiated; On the other hand, many students understood the meaning of the SDS actions against the authoritarian university rector, against the emergency laws, the Springer Group and against the Vietnam War. The SDS, as the political core of the APO, found support for its cleverly selected actions against certain grievances, but not for its actual goal, the abolition of the existing regulatory system in the state, economy and society.

In contrast to the SDS, the Extra-Parliamentary Opposition (APO) was a thematically and politically diversified protest movement that reached far beyond the SDS and the university and aimed for a more liberal, more tolerant, less authoritarian society without asking the system question like the SDS . Back then, there was a deep-seated unease among the younger generation about the mustiness, the belief in authority, the narrow-mindedness and the narrow-mindedness of their families and their living environment. The SDS articulated and mobilized this latent protest. This led to numerous protests against the established authorities in the province as well.