Germany is troubled. Its democracy is being tested. ...
“The conservatives of the Weimar Republic thought they could use Hitler. In truth, he was using them,” said a recent editorial by the weekly magazine Der Spiegel.

“They were in the final stage of democracy’s demise without even realizing it,” it continued. “Comparisons like this are inherently imperfect, but it can’t hurt to view the current situation as an early phase like the one experienced a century ago.”
Adding to the dangers is the vacuum of authority that is taking shape as traditional parties weaken. Paradoxically, early elections, ahead of next year’s scheduled ballot, look less likely in the wake of the current upheaval.

Both Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democrats and her coalition partners, the left-wing Social Democrats, are so feeble that they would stand to lose, potentially dramatically, if elections were held now.
- Katrin Bennhold, Merkel’s Chosen Successor Steps Aside. The Far Right Cries Victory., NYT, Feb. 10, 2020, Updated Feb. 11, 2020

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