▷ WDR/NDR/SZ: Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution sees evidence of further radicalization …

19.01.2022 – 17:24

WDR West German Radio

Cologne (ots)

According to information from WDR, NDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) sees numerous evidence of further radicalization of the AfD. In a brief to the administrative court in Cologne, the domestic secret service argues that this evidence “proves the legality of a suspected case classification of the party as a whole”. This would have been the result of the intelligence observation of the formally dissolved “wing” and the youth organization “Junge Alternative”, which was considered particularly radical. The evaluation of public statements at the level of the entire party also supports this assessment. The AfD as a whole is currently being treated as a so-called test case. In a 37-page brief dated January 3, the BfV highlights numerous statements. According to the office, they should show that the entire party is also developing in the direction of right-wing extremism. In this and another brief dated December 21 last year, the office contradicts the arguments of the AfD, which denies this and apparently cited numerous internal efforts to combat the influence of right-wing extremists within the party to exonerate them. The BfV said on request that they did not want to comment on the AfD because of the ongoing proceedings. The AfD accuses the BfV of “serious substantive, systematic and dogmatic errors”. Especially with regard to the classification of the party as a whole, “there is a lack of any presentation by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution as to why individual statements by individual people should be relevant for the entire federal association ‘ a spokesman said when asked. From the AfD’s point of view, many of the examples used by the BfV concern “unproblematic statements that nevertheless serve as a basis for argumentation for the politically instrumentalized Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution,” according to the party’s statement.

Both pleadings are part of a comprehensive dispute that has been going on for months between the AfD and the domestic secret service. In March of last year, the office classified the entire party as a suspected case. Because of concerns that this could harm the party in the federal elections, the court requested that this not be communicated publicly. However, when details got out and several media, including WDR, NDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung, reported about it, the court claimed that this indiscretion was attributable to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and not to the AfD. The BfV may not treat the AfD as a suspected case until a court decision has been made. Finally, the clearly annoyed court declared that it no longer wanted to make a decision before the federal election: “This requires respect for the decision of the voters.” The court wants to deal with it at the beginning of March.

In the papers that have now been submitted, the lawyers for the domestic secret service underline once again with numerous examples why, from their point of view, the AfD must be observed in its entirety. According to the assessment of the BfV, the representatives of the particularly radical wing in the party, which was formally dissolved in April 2020, have become more effective and have repeatedly shown strength in votes. In several East German state associations, former functionaries of the formally dissolved wing are still dominant in the AfD to this day. The domestic secret service sees two things as particularly strong evidence of the triumphant advance of the wing representatives within the party: firstly, party exclusion procedures have had no effect. Although the former coordinator of the wing and former Brandenburg head of state Andreas Kalbitz is no longer allowed to be an AfD member, he is still active in the party, even as a non-party member of the state parliamentary group in Brandenburg. In the past federal election campaign, he appeared several times as a speaker on AfD podiums. The same applies to the former member of the Bundestag Frank Pasemann, who was also expelled, but who was then nominated in Saxony-Anhalt by an AfD district association as a non-party direct candidate. On the other hand, the BfV sees Jörg Meuthen’s announcement that he no longer wants to run as party co-chairman as an admission that his mission to differentiate the AfD more clearly from right-wing extremism has failed. Meuthen and a group of up to ten of the 13 party executives have declared war on the wing network for about two years. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution evaluates these ventures as failed and too half-hearted. In the individual examples cited as evidence of a further radicalization of the party as a whole, the BfV takes up a particularly large number of statements made by functionaries from Saxony and Bavaria. The Bavarian examples mostly come from a chat group of members of the state parliament and federal parliament, the content of which was made public by Bayerischer Rundfunk in early December. There, the legitimacy of elections was questioned and ideas for a coup and civil war were considered.

Overall, the office cites, among other things, numerous public statements by around 40 party officials that, in its view, violate the basic free and democratic order. These include, for example, that of Thomas Seitz, member of the Bundestag in Baden-Württemberg, who devalues ​​migrants in his Facebook profile. There he wrote that he was a representative of the “entire German people”. “Integrated migrants – i.e. no Özils who continue to see themselves as Turks – are of course also included. Pure passport Germans formally too – unfortunately.” A clear sign for the BfV: In Seitz’s opinion, German citizenship is apparently not decisive for belonging to the German people. Another example is the Thuringian state boss Björn Höcke, the integration figure of the wing. During the election campaign in Merseburg, he is said to have ended his speech with a slogan of the SA in the Third Reich with the exclamation “Everything for Germany!”. The statements relevant to the protection of the constitution now not only concern topics such as right-wing extremism, Islamophobia and anti-immigration, but also statements on the subject of corona. The examples are all from more recent times, from the year 2021. Hans-Thomas Tillschneider, for example, AfD member of the state parliament in Saxony-Anhalt, posted corona conspiracy theories on Facebook a few weeks after the last federal election: “By the way, I can also imagine that behind the Corona policy is an elite that wants to create a new world order!”

The briefs should already be available to the AfD and are currently being evaluated there by an internal working group. Accordingly, consequences should be examined against several officials in order to prevent the party as a whole from being upgraded. The party executive is said to have discussed the matter on Monday and decided to draw up a list of those people who are repeatedly mentioned in reports by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. According to board circles, you could face measures up to and including expulsion from the party.

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WDR Communication
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Original content from: WDR Westdeutscher Rundfunk, transmitted by news aktuell


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