Saxon universities and higher education institutions embody cosmopolitanism, tolerance, humanity and respect for one another. These values – just like the freedom of research and teaching – are inviolable. They form the foundation for both societal cohesion as well as for cutting-edge research and teaching. We, as higher education institutions, contribute to understanding and bearing responsibility through scientifically sound analyses.
We perceive these values to be threatened by the developments in the past years in Saxony and most recently in Chemnitz. We acknowledge that Saxony has a massive problem with right-wing extremism, which for years has been underestimated and in part even trivialised by a large proportion of political stakeholders and authorities.
Irrespective of the reasons why people are worried and are taking to the streets – showing the Hitler salute, spewing contemptuous, seditious, incendiary and hateful slogans, attacking those holding opposing beliefs – are all criminal offences that must not be tolerated. This is an attack on our democracy and the rule of law!
We therefore call on all people in the Free State of Saxony and beyond to take a stand together for democratic values. We urge the political stakeholders to oppose right-wing extremist tendencies, even more vehemently than before, and to stringently intervene against all forms of right-wing extremism. This also pertains to us as higher education institutions, our staff, students and members – we are all committed to active civic courage. We are obliged to clearly defend these values and to get even more involved in the societal discourse.
“'All nonsense that happens is not only the fault of those who commit it but also of those who do not prevent it”, said Erich Kästner.
Today, this attitude is more important than ever!
Rectors‘ Conference Saxony