German politics are weird
If you are person who is passing by Germany you might find a lot of exciting things. Mostly what people tell you are their stories of success and it is in general a good thing. So the people who are here just for couple of days see the good infrastructure, worthy struggles and interesting people. There is this image of a good place where the things are rolling. Some people based on those experiences might even make a decision to move to Germany.
Don't get me wrong, i knew already before that German leftists are crazy about this things they call antigerman. And i've heard the stories how the people fight with each other on the topic of Israel. Literally fight. On the streets with the fists and sticks. But i think it was really hard to imagine the scale of weirdness around political topics not only in leftist circles, but in anarchist ones as well.
One of those topics is communism. The idea that is a brand for certain part of leftist scene. From one side there are this typical communists that I know from eastern europe – leninists, trotskists, stalinists, maoists and any other secterian form of authoritarian communism. I haven't heard the big fans of North Korea but apart from that you can get any taste of authoritarianism you want. Those people are extremely hard to deal with. They are nothing more than fanboys that are going to close eyes on everything not fitting in their world view.
To give you an example – during one demonstrations we spotted a group of authoritarian communists somewhere from Berlin or Hamburg. Some of us found it offending to have people with red flags with hammer and sickle next to us. A friend of mine went for a talk with them. Came back in 15 minutes without any result. We went with the bigger group and started asking them to put down their flags as they represent dozens of years of oppression in the places where we come from. Of course it came to gulags and all the other famous projects of Stalin and Co. But there was a wall that you can't penetrate – one of the leaders had a clear view that we can't poison. He told us that they don't believe in the bourgeois lies about comrade Stalin and Mao. So for them the whole history is a lie and there is nothing else you can do.
They are also the people who have strongest opinion on imperialism and are going to oppose any form of imperialism and support national liberation movement. For their involvement in palestinian struggle they are hatted by most of the left who is any way close to antigerman movement. In fact the most used arguments against authoritarian left in Germany are about their antisemitism and the rest is not really that important. Those arguments are given by leftists and anarchists as well.
The other side of communism are the people that sometimes define themselves as antiauthoritarian or radical left. Those are the people that accept the facts about the authoritarian communist regimes, but believe that communism should be revived in Germany with all it's beauty and might. Among those people you can find authoritarian communists as well, but those are not the fans of Mao or Stalin. The hardest version i've seen are some leninists. Those are trying to put aside anarchist criticism of Marx and believe with all the fire of their hearts that they can take the term and move it away from the bad history. And not only they are going to make communism great again, but also they are going to reclaim hammer and sickle symbolism from the hardcore Stalinists and Maoists. The project I believe more ambition than revolution itself. After all taking symbol that was developed for boslheviks and transform it into position message is something hard to do, taking in account that there are not so many people working with sickle or hammer among the german left.
Interestingly this part of communist movement is also heavily influenced by the antigerman ideas. For example communist union “...umz Ganze” is in many cities represented by the former or actual antigerman groups.
Those two streams are the biggest organized communists in the country. For sure there are quite a lot of people who are standing outside of those categories, but they are out of scope due to the fact that most of them are not really well organized.
In general i noticed that german left is not really critical of the eastern block regimes. Depending on the region this might differ though. For example former east german parts of the country might have stronger critics of authoritarian regimes than it's western comrades. But at the same times eastern germany is more influenced by the antigerman movement than the rest of the country, with one of the capitals of antigermanism currently in Leipzig.