In Germany, football has made nationalism cool again. That’s why I’m dreading the Euros | Fatma Aydemir

As the far-right AfD gains support among young people, an ugly summer mood looks certain – unless the German team get booted out early

It was the summer I graduated from secondary school, when Germans openly displayed their patriotism for the first time in decades. I had survived Germany’s inherently racist educational system, passed the final exams with acceptable grades, become the first in my working-class immigrant family to qualify for university. In short: I was ready to celebrate.

That summer of 2006 was surprisingly summery for Germany, so my classmates and I spent June organising outdoor parties, the last before we moved away to pursue our studies in other cities. But it was also the summer when Germany hosted the football World Cup and it quickly seemed to infect almost everyone around me with an enthusiasm for the alleged greatness of the reunified country. Like zombies, my white classmates transformed into aggressively drunk nationalists and our graduation parties turned into occasions for them to celebrate their Germanness together.

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