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Rower forced to leave Olympics over ‘extreme-right’ boyfriend

I donlt understand this at all. This morning, a member of the German rowing team, Nadja Drygalla, was forced to pull out of the Games when it was discovered that she was dating a man in Rostock with links to a fascist organisation. Here are two links (in German):

Is this another panicky overreaction on the Bayreuth-swastika-Nikitin scale?

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  1. Perhaps the press has succeeded in making association or affiliation with any ‘right-wing’ organizations or thoughts something to be ashamed of…now that they are being cut off at the pass (by those who are now, unfortunately, afraid to allow civil dialogue in fear of persecution), I guess the press still wants something to fuss about!

    • Joep Bronkhorst says:

      As far as I can tell, the press didn’t report at all on her so-called ‘affiliations’ until she left the Olympic Village. And she’d already competed in the rowing eight 4 days ago, without comment.

  2. Her boyfriend isn’t just a regular conservative. He is a prominent member of a neo-Nazi nationalist group, which is a bit of a sore spot for the Germans. Because of their deep cultural shame over WW2 and the Holocaust, there is a very strong public sentiment of opposition to anyone seeking power who might embrace Nazi ideals. The Olympics are an event that promotes tolerance and multiculturalism, in direct contrats to Nazi beliefs. The rower voluntarily left the team when the news came out, to avoid bringing controversy that would have hurt the team’s public image and distracted them from their sport. She was not forced to leave–It was her choice to put her team before herself.

  3. (A good comparison would be if it was discovered that a member of the USA team was dating a member of the KKK. It was bring a lot of negative public attention on the team. And our sore spot for the KKK is a fraction of the size of Germany’s sore spot for Nazis.)

    • Emily, this comparision is absolutely correct.
      It’s not her brother but her fiancé and they have a relationship since two years and because of this, she quit the service in the 2011. That’s reported in this article.
      I don’t buy her story that she can live together for years with a person who has a rassistic right-wing political position including glorifying the NAZI time and rejecting his attitude for herself.
      Ms. Drygalla quit her service in the police in 2011. So, her personal situation was not a secret.
      The political scandal is to bring she to the team in 2012 and knowing about the background. This case was published after she was not involved actively in the games anymore. What’s that?

  4. As far as I have learned from German media reports, she only left the Olympic vVilliga, but didn’t formally quit the Olympic Games. There had been no plans anyway for her to participate in any further competition. She only participated in the women’s eight, where the German boat had already been eliminated on Tuesday, 31.

    Officially, she voluntarily left the Olympic Village to avoid damage for the German team. The German “chef de mission” has declared today that he spoke to Ms. Drygalla, and she credibly reaffirmed her commitment to the olympic values, explicitly including the rejection of racism.

    German media reported yesterday that Ms. Drygalla lives in a relationship a man who ran as candidate for the NPD (a party with clear neo-nazi ideology) in a regional election last year, and who is furthermore a leading member of a local neo-nazi association in Rostock.

    Some media also claimed to have credible reports about Ms. Drygalla herself making extreme-right declarations. This, however, has so far not been confirmed.

    Nevertheless, Ms. Drygalla apparently used to serve as a police officer and voluntarily quit in September 2011. There are unconfirmed reports that this was due to her links to right-wing extremism.

    The German rowing association now says they will discuss the issue with her when the Games are over and won’t take any decision before.

  5. Is this another panicky overreaction

    Just a regular work day at the Thought Police Headquarters.

  6. Another interesting fact: The Ministry of the Interior of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (responsible for the police as well as for sports) has confirmed that Ms. Drygalla quit police service in 2011 after reports about her personal links to neo-nazi activists:

    Anyway: Her partner is a leading neo-nazi activist. I don’t get how you can share your life with someone like him without at least tolerating his ideology. And tolerance towards neo-naziism is something I can’t tolerate.

  7. ” Because of their deep cultural shame over WW2 and the Holocaust, there is a very strong public sentiment of opposition to anyone seeking power who might embrace Nazi ideals. ”

    I think Emily hit the nail right on the head wit this statement ! People tend to forget that following WII, with the onset of the cold war (and the unfounded panic over communism), the Western allies found it convenient to a have few show trial, some denazification , and put the German “greatest generation” right back into power. These people, through direct guilt or shame, wanted to forget everything and move on (much like in the U.S. following reconstruction and the 100 years afterwards until the civil rights movement). The few trials the West German government had back in the 50′s and 60′s came under political pressure, and were mainly a joke, with most of the guilty going free or receiving a slap on the hand. If it wasn’t for the tenacious pursuit of the truth by people like Simon Wiesenthal, Tuviah Friedman, Serge and Beate Klarsfeld among others. It would have been unknown by the younger generations of German, and , I seriously doubt, any German children heard much from their dad if he served on the eastern front and Balkans in the Wehrmacht

    , much less the SS, Waffen SS or Einsatzgruppen!

    But with the passing of the WWII the truth did finally come out, as it always does. Scholarly research has shown that all levels of of German society during the war years, showed some degree of complicity in what was done, from the political elite to the common hausfrau. I think this this is the main cause for German hypersensitivity to anything that smacks of neo-nazism or a ultra right nationalism AND with any connection to their Olympic athletes. Perhaps they put pressure on the U.K. officials or, more likely the U.K.. , as host country, doesn’t wanted to be tainted by the “German brush”.

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