Germany is now the world’s leader in biomedical tyranny. Since March 2020, civil rights to bodily autonomy and integrity have been suspended under an epidemiological state of emergency. Last week, the Bundestag extended these measures well into next year. This, while other European countries have ditched restrictions. Even Italy, the early epicenter of the crisis, has abandoned most mask and vaccine mandates. Yet the German federal government continues to require both.
Beginning Oct. 1, more severe mask mandates and testing regimens will be implemented in health facilities and schools, while the federal states can individually impose still-wider restrictions. Masking in public spaces may also be mandated for those who haven’t received a Covid vaccine within the last three months, and companies can still require employees to be vaccinated. As in the past, this prolongation of a state of emergency rests upon shoddy data about cases, hospitalizations, and death rates—and thus remains unrelated to scientific reasoning.
For decades, scholars have tried to explain Germany’s special historical path, its Sonderweg: that is, its failure to follow other major European states on the road to democratic rule in the 19th century. Today, Germany’s response to Covid has become a symbol of the nation’s special obstinacy—of its determination to race down the Sonderweg to hell. It shows that the 1949 constitution’s bedrock principle—“All state power emanates from the people”—is no longer worth the paper it was printed on.