In the town of Solingen near the North Rhine-Westphalian state capital of Düsseldorf, an arson attack was carried out on Monday night on an apartment building in which mainly Muslim Bulgarians with Turkish roots lived. The arson attack killed an entire family and seriously injured nine other people. The dead were a couple aged 28 and 29, their three-year-old child and a five-month-old baby. The remaining nine seriously injured people are also Bulgarian citizens.

The fire was started on Monday night with the help of accelerants in the downstairs stairwell and quickly spread to the top floor, where the family who were killed lived. Other residents were only able to save themselves from the fire by jumping outside, as one family did from the third floor, but they were seriously injured by both the fire and the jump.

The public prosecutor's office currently sees "no evidence of a xenophobic motive". This is despite the fact that a fire had already been set on purpose in the stairwell a year and a half earlier, but was quickly discovered and extinguished. In the usual bureaucratic German jargon, the public prosecutor's office does not explain why it de facto rules out a racist background to the crime. Meanwhile, migrant and anti-fascist initiatives have already protested in front of the building today, criticizing precisely this. In a published statement, they write in reference to the statements of the Solingen public prosecutor's office "We see this differently after the experiences with the murderous arson attack in Solingen in 1993, after the NSU murders, after Hanau and Halle" (...) "the current racist mobilization reminds us - and not only us - of the societal mood of the nineties before Rostock, Mölln and Solingen."

And these initiatives are right to raise their voices and place the latest arson attack in the context of other fascist and racist attacks. Given the current reactionarization of the German state and the high level of the fascist mass movement, it is quite unlikely that a house in which mostly Muslim Bulgarians live would be the victim of an arson attack and not have a racist motive behind it. Finally, it is above all the Ampel government (the coalition of socialdemocrats, greens and liberals) that has been putting the slogans from the right-wing opposition around AfD and Co. into practice in recent months and is pursuing a divisive and chauvinistic agitation against migrants in general and against Arabs and Muslims in particular. In addition, hatred against south-eastern Europeans from Bulgaria and Romania, and especially against Roma and Sinti, enjoys a permanent boom in Germany.

However, what the Ampel government and the other bourgeois parties are doing is not simply "blunt" hatred of foreigners, but cold calculation in the midst of the economic and political crisis of German imperialism. On the one hand, the spread of racism and imperialist chauvinism serves to delegitimize, for example, solidarity with national liberation movements such as those in Palestine and thus also to justify the domination of the imperialists over the oppressed nations, which is exercised over the "barbarians", "Islamist terrorists" and "anti-Semites". Secondly, it is a call to all German philistines - especially from those classes and strata that still have something to lose - to kick down, especially in times of crisis, and to deny the migrants the crumbs they have instead of taking to the streets against the government or even German imperialism. And a third function is also to make very practical transfers of the costs of the crisis to the most exploited and poorest sections of the working class, who have the least voice in society, as we have seen for example in the crackdown on working class and poor families in Essen, who also come from south-eastern Europe.

These are just a few examples of how the policies of German imperialism serve as a precursor and accelerant for fascist and racist attacks. Whether it was a racist act or not, the arson attack in Solingen is a crime against the working class and the people in the FRG. A crime that is not worth a hypocritical word of condolence or mourning from senior government politicians. But this is also a tradition in Germany, as already in 1993, during the last racist arson attack in Solingen in which five people were murdered, the then CDU Chancellor Helmut Kohl said when asked why he did not comment on the crime "God knows I also have other appointments."

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