An Open Letter from the Department of German at the University of Virginia in Response to the Events of August 11th and 12th

The Department of German strongly condemns the violence and intimidation perpetrated by the white supremacists and Neo-Nazis who gathered in Charlottesville, VA, on August 11th and 12th, 2017. As a faculty, we are appalled that the UVA Grounds were used to promote this agenda and that students were subject to intimidation and physical attack a short distance from their dormitories. That the racist ideology of this group targets especially vulnerable minorities while threatening the dignity, safety, and well-being of individuals in Charlottesville, at UVA, and nation-wide goes without saying; but it must be said nonetheless.

As members of a German Department we are profoundly conscious of the violent, bigoted, and genocidal history that forms the indelible legacy of white supremacist ideology, no matter what mask it might assume or name it might go by. Appalled at the conduct of these purveyors of hate who marched to the Nazi slogan “blood and soil” (Blut und Boden) while declaring “You will not replace us” and “Jew will not replace us,” we affirm our solidarity with those groups that they especially targeted last weekend. As individuals and as a department, our faculty is committed to the safety and well being of all students, faculty, and staff at the University of Virginia. We assert the need and encourage all to oppose these white supremacist heirs to Nazism: As Governor Terry McAuliffe declared, such people “are not wanted in this great commonwealth.”