Corona Demonstrations – How Rights Use the Corona Crisis – Politics

Right-wing radicals and right-wing extremists are trying to take advantage of the demonstrations against corona politics. According to security authorities, they are increasingly proceeding according to plan.

Right-wing extremist organizations have so far not been the focus of the corona protests. But some statements make it clear that they have made this a strategic decision. Former NPD chairman Udo Voigt, 67, showed up again on Saturday in a “No to the forced vaccination” t-shirt on Alexanderplatz in Berlin; in the background women with long hair danced to electronic music. A representative of the younger generation, 31-year-old Martin Sellner as spokesman for the extreme right-wing identity movement, had already appealed to his followers on video: “It is an imperative of the hour that all patriots without self-conception and with a certain willingness to sacrifice themselves” at least temporarily bring in the corona demonstrations. According to security authorities, they are increasingly proceeding according to plan. That was how it was observed last weekend.

Members of the neo-Nazi small party “Der III. Weg” took part in corona protests in Kaiserslautern and Plauen, among others. The neo-Nazi group “Brotherhood Germany” mingled with the demonstrators in Düsseldorf on Saturday. The small party “The Rights” took part in the corona demonstrations in Dortmund, where it was able to make up a relatively high proportion, namely 30 of around 150 participants. And for the first time, there were also two separate events of right-wing extremist organizations over the weekend, albeit with little response. So in Haiger in Hesse, where the “III. Weg” mobilized, and in Mönchengladbach, where right-wing extremist Dominik Roeseler, who sits for the group “Mönchengladbach auf” in the city council, put his rally under the motto “freedom instead of new normality” and with his appeal against the “Corona madness” attracted about 100 participants.

The President of the Federal Criminal Police Office warns of a dynamic like 2015

Efforts are also increasing in the AfD. In recent days, activists from the Junge Alternative (JA), the party’s youth association, have emerged more and more. On Saturday, the JA called for rallies against the corona measures (“for fundamental rights and politics with reason”) both in Stuttgart and in Prenzlau in Brandenburg. Demonstrations are to be held again in Stuttgart next Saturday, then with Alice Weidel, the chairman of the Bundestag faction.

In Prenzlau, the head of state Andreas Kalbitz, shot by the board of the federal party the evening before, was there. His colleague from Saxony-Anhalt, Hans-Thomas Tillschneider, held a “walk” with 30 participants against the corona measures in the city of Querfurt on Saturday.

The autonomous scene has so far distanced itself

Speaking of which: Talking about “Querfront”, as one judges it in security circles, has so far primarily acted as an attempt by rights to make itself bigger than it is. The term suggests that the left have also joined the right. So far, this has not happened in any significant number. The autonomous scene has so far distanced itself. Left or radical left groups have not mobilized to the demonstrations. The left’s parliamentary faction vice-president Andrej Hunko performed at a weekend corona demonstration in his hometown Aachen – but there was immediate harsh criticism from the party and the party leadership.

The President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, had in the newspaper Welt am Sonntag warned that “extremists, especially right-wing extremists, are exploiting the demonstration.” The president of the Federal Criminal Police Office, Holger Münch, said that one was still a long way from a dynamic like the one at the beginning of the Pegida protests in Dresden in 2015. “The risk, however, that with decreasing acceptance and with a sense of threat – that was also one of the triggers in 2015/2016 – such a situation can occur,” he said.

What will the EU look like after the Corona crisis?:Readers’ discussion

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AfD: What the Kalbitz expulsion means for the party – politics

Power struggles have always occurred in the AfD. The expulsion of Andreas Kalbitz reflects a core conflict of the party: Do you need the extreme right – or do you have to get rid of it as soon as possible to survive?

There is a photo from 2007 by Andreas Kalbitz, the right wing of the AfD, who is suddenly no longer allowed to be in the AfD. The Munich-born, who led the AfD in Brandenburg and had been a member of the federal executive board for years, has been out since last Friday. The expulsion also has to do with this picture. It shows Kalbitz in short lederhosen and an olive-green T-shirt in a tent camp of the right-wing extremist “Home Youth German Youth”. It looks exactly as you would imagine the participants of a camp of neo-Nazis with morning exercise and “Germanic all-around”, it was a Pentecost meeting of the organization that is forbidden today. When the AfD politician was confronted with this and other images some time ago, he had a bizarre excuse. He was there as a guest, he said, “to take a look at that”.

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Head of the AfD Brandenburg: Things are getting closer for Kalbitz

The AfD right wing admitted that he was probably on a list by the Nazi organization HDJ. He continues to deny membership.

Salami tactician: Andreas Kalbitz Photo: Hannibal Hanschke / reuters

BERLIN taz | The case is clear for the protection of the constitution. AfD right winger Andreas Kalbitz was a member of the now banned neo-Nazi organization Heimattreue Deutsche Jugend, HDJ for short. The Federal Office has proof of this, said Brandenburg’s head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution Jörg Müller a few days ago in an interview with the taz: “An HDJ member entry of a ‘Family Andreas Kalbitz’ from 2007 with the number 01330.”

Now Kalbitz, head of the AfD-Brandenburg and so far one of the leaders of the supposedly disbanded “wing”, has at least admitted that it is “possible and likely” that his name will be listed on a “list of interested parties or contacts” of the HDJ. So it is, as Kalbitz confirmed the taz, in a statement from him to the AfD federal board. The research network of WDR, NDR and Süddeutscher Zeitung had first reported on the letter.

At the end of March, after the Office for the Protection of the Constitution had classified the “wing” as right-wing extremist, the AfD federal executive had asked Kalbitz to provide a list of the political organizations and associations in which he was a member or with whom he had been in contact. The Federal Executive Board had also requested the corresponding annual figures and explanations of the type of connection.

Membership in the HDJ, which, among other things, wanted to attract a new National Socialist elite in its camps, could mean Kalbitz’s political end in the AfD. Then, according to numerous party officials, it was no longer tenable. In terms of form too, exclusion in this case would be significantly less complicated than usual. Kalbitz would have had to indicate membership in the AfD party. Because he did not do this, the Federal Executive Board could withdraw his party membership by a simple majority – a mostly lengthy party exclusion process would then no longer be necessary. Kalbitz would be rid of all office immediately.

Kalbitz only admits what cannot be denied

But Kalbitz continues to deny that he was a member of the HDJ. He also sued the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), he told the taz on Wednesday. Domestic intelligence has refused to give him the “alleged evidence”, but he is now taking action. The Federal Executive had also asked him to do that. According to the research association, Kalbitz ’statement to the committee should include several letters from the Höcker law firm, which represents the AfD politician in legal action against the BfV. In it, the list of members, it is said, is referred to as “forgery”.

So far, Kalbitz had only admitted from the numerous stations of his right-wing extremist biography what he absolutely could not deny. Kalbitz has always tried to talk himself out, judges Brandenburg’s chief of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Müller. That is apparently the strategy now.

According to the research association, Kalbitz tried to refute all allegations in the letter and summed up: “Before my AfD membership, I was never a member of an association classified as right-wing extremist or on the incompatibility list and / or part of ‘organized right-wing extremism’, insofar as one could objectively legal or formal official classification and not left-wing radical narrative and a completely unfree and totalitarian contact guilt principle follows. “

Already on Friday afternoon, the currently twelve-member AfD federal executive board, to which Kalbitz himself belongs, will deal with his statements. The agenda also includes checking the self-dissolution of the “wing”, which the federal executive board had also requested. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution should have a good look at all of this. It would be “the decisive yardstick,” said Brandenburg’s head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Müller, “how the AfD federal board deals with Kalbitz”.

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Protection of the constitution raises the alarm: right-wing extremists exploit protests

The nationwide protests against the – fewer and fewer – corona restrictions attract different milieus. Right-wing extremists mingle almost everywhere among opponents of vaccination and citizens who are seriously concerned about their fundamental rights. The protection of the constitution is alarmed.

According to the German security authorities, right-wing extremists are trying to make use of the protests against corona requirements. “We see a trend that extremists, especially right-wing extremists, are exploiting the demonstration,” said Thomas Haldenwang, President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, “Welt am Sonntag”. A spokeswoman for the Federal Criminal Police Office also stressed in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung” that the right-wing camp was increasingly attracted to the demonstrations. On Saturday, thousands of people took to the streets in numerous German cities against restrictions in the Corona crisis. There were also counter demonstrations.

Haldenwang said that right-wing extremists sought connection to bourgeois spectra and called on supporters to actively participate in the protests. “There is a risk that right-wing extremists will use their enemy images and state-destroying goals to lead the Corona demonstrations, which are currently being carried out by constitutionally loyal citizens.” The heterogeneous protest audience does not stand shoulder to shoulder. “However, we are concerned that extremists are using the current situation as well as in the so-called refugee crisis.”

According to the BKA spokeswoman, the Federal Criminal Police Office also has no information about “coordinated infiltration by right-wing extremists”. But it should be recognized that they tried to “exploit the current situation for their propaganda purposes”. According to research by the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”, right-wing extremist parties such as The Third Way, The Right or the NPD are calling on their supporters to join the protests.

Seehofer wants to counter protests

Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) told the “F.A.S.” that many people were worried about their existence. Therefore, quick action is necessary. “We are also preventing right-wing radicals and conspiracy theorists from setting the tone,” emphasized the Interior Minister. CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak warned that if demonstrations “are infiltrated and misused by extremists, this will endanger our society.” Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) showed little understanding for the protests. “The facts are so clear on the table that you cannot seriously discuss whether Corona is a conspiracy,” he told “Bild am Sonntag”. “I take every political expression seriously, but in this case it is difficult for me to deal with it,” said the SPD politician.

The North Rhine-Westphalian Interior Minister Herbert Reul told the “Welt am Sonntag”: “There are a lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing trying to sneak into the middle of society with their anti-democratic slogans.” SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich called on citizens to distance themselves from extremists and conspiracy theorists in such demonstrations. “There should be learning processes with whom you make friends and who you don’t,” Mützenich told the newspapers of the Funke media group.

The chairman of the conference of interior ministers, Thuringia’s head of department Georg Maier, said: “We find that there is a certain extremist mobilization potential and the attempt to undermine the corona protests. But there are also legitimate protests.” It is difficult to all protests in Bausch und Bogen damn, “the SPD politician told the editorial network Germany.

Too many demonstrators in too little space

Several thousand people gathered again on Saturday in numerous German cities to demonstrate against the coronavirus restrictions. Only 5000 participants were allowed at the Cannstatter Wasen in Stuttgart this time. As more demonstrators came, numerous people also came together outside the designated area.

In Munich, the authorized number of participants for the demonstration on the Oktoberfest site was 1000. They protested peacefully on the closed-off site. A good 2,500 people had gathered next to the area, according to the police, regulations about the minimum distance were violated.

In Berlin, the police were deployed with around 1,000 people for several demonstrations. The well-known chef Attila Hildmann held a rally at the Reichstag building, several hundred people followed his call, but only 50 participants were allowed. Hildmann was most recently noticed with the spread of conspiracy theories. Alexanderplatz and the Volksbühne, where thousands have gathered in the past few weeks, were largely closed off. There were several counter protests, but there were no major incidents.

In Frankfurt am Main, the police counted around 1,500 people during demonstrations on both sides. Demonstrations with some hundreds of participants and sometimes accompanied by counter-protests also took place in Hamburg, Cologne, Dortmund, Essen, Leipzig and Dresden. In the Saxon capital, Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer stood up to the demonstrators for an hour and a half. He had to face numerous critical questions, some participants abused him, others paid respect to the CDU politician.

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AfD board excludes Kalbitz from the party (neue-deutschland.de)

And out he is: Andreas Kalbitz was excluded from the AfD.

Photo: AFP / Ronny Hartmann

Berlin. The Brandenburg state and faction leader Andreas Kalbitz is no longer a member of the AfD. As the German press agency learned from party circles, a majority of the federal executive voted on Friday to annul its membership. According to consistent media reports, seven members voted for the exclusion, five voted against. A member of the board abstained.

Party spokesman Bastian Behrens confirmed the expulsion to the AFP news agency. From the point of view of the federal executive board, Kalbitz had not become an effective party member, “which is why membership is no longer valid.” The decision stated that membership was terminated with immediate effect, “because of the concealment of membership in the” Heimattreuen Deutsche Jugend “(HDJ) and” because of the non-declaration of membership “among the Republicans between late 1993 and early 1994.

Kalbitz announced after the announcement of the decision to take legal action against the party exclusion. The two AfD parliamentary group leaders in the Bundestag, Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland, criticized the decision. The decision was wrong and also legally contestable.

With his decision, the board followed an application from party leader Jörg Meuthen. This had demanded that the AfD management committee decide on a possible cancellation of membership. Co-chair Tino Chrupalla and party vice Weidel, on the other hand, had suggested that a statement submitted by Kalbitz be legally examined first. The party executive had instructed Kalbitz in March to provide written information on previous club memberships and possible contacts in the extreme right-wing spectrum.

Kalbitz then wrote a statement in which he conceded that he considered it “quite possible and likely” that he would be on a “list of interested parties or contacts” of those who had since been banned in connection with attending an event organized by the German Youth (HDJ) Organization was listed. The HDJ is on the AfD’s so-called incompatibility list. Anyone who is a member of one of the organizations listed there, or has previously belonged to it, cannot be a member of the AfD.

From Kalbitz’s past, new links to the far-right camp have gradually become known over the past few years. Kalbitz was at a Pentecostal camp of the HDJ in 2007. From the end of 2014, he was chairman of the »Archive of the Times« association, which was co-founded by a former SS main assault leader.

Several AfD officials from eastern Germany had demonstratively stood behind Kalbitz on Friday morning. “Andreas Kalbitz is one of our most successful campaigners,” said Saxon Bundestag member Siegbert Droese of the German Press Agency. So it would be wrong to forego it. In view of the corona pandemic, it is unfortunate “that we are so concerned with ourselves in this difficult phase.”

The chairman of the AfD parliamentary group in Saxony-Anhalt, Oliver Kirchner, had stated on Facebook: »Anyone seriously considering removing Andreas Kalbitz from the party will remove the backbone and the cutting edge that party so urgently needs from this party . «

Kalbitz joined the AfD in its founding phase in spring 2013. The rise of the native of Munich, who only moved to the east years after the turn, took place for a long time in the shadow of today’s Bundestag faction leader Gauland and Björn Höcke. He has been a member of the Potsdam Landtag since October 2014. In April 2017 he inherited Gauland as the AfD state chair in Brandenburg, and since the end of 2017 he has been the parliamentary group leader. Agencies / nd

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AfD throws right winger Andreas Kalbitz out of party politics

The AfD federal executive has excluded the previous state chairman and parliamentary leader in Brandenburg, Andreas Kalbitz, from the party. On Friday, the highest party committee declared the membership of one of the best-known and most controversial leaders of the right-wing nationalists to be void. That learned the Southgerman newspaper from the party leadership. Seven board members voted for, five against the exclusion. A board member abstained.

The decision is considered a bang in the power struggle for the future of the AfD. Alongside Björn Höcke, head of the AfD in Thuringia, Kalbitz was the best-known representative of the party’s right-wing national movement, the “wing”. He is at least as influential as Höcke. The organization had disbanded at the end of April under pressure from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The reason for the exclusion was his admission to the neo-Nazi organization “Heimattreue Deutsche Jugend” (HDJ). The HDJ is on the AfD’s so-called incompatibility list. Anyone who was a member of a group on this list must not be included in the AfD. In addition, the party leadership accuses Kalbitz that he did not indicate his membership in the Republicans between late 1993 and early 1994. The Republicans have also been under the protection of the constitution for years.

With this declaration of nullity, the AfD chose the fastest way to separate from Kalbitz. Membership was canceled with immediate effect, it said. The pressure on the party leadership had risen again this week to draw consequences from Kalbitz’s involvement in the far-right milieu. In a letter to the 13 federal executive boards of the AfD, Kalbitz had to admit that his name might have been on a “prospect or contact list” of the now banned organization. Kalbitz describes this as “quite possible and likely”. This emerges from a statement to the party’s federal executive that WDR, NDR and Süddeutscher Zeitung is present.

Kalbitz wants to fight for his place in the AfD

The exclusion was preceded by a longer process. The AfD federal executive had asked Kalbitz at the end of March to review his biography and any right-wing extremist references. The reason for this is the opinion of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution on the AfD, in which it is established that Kalbitz was a member of the right-wing extremist organization HDJ. The report stated, among other things, that Kalbitz was deeply rooted in right-wing extremism and that the name “Andreas Kalbitz family” including a four-digit membership number was on a member list of the HDJ. Kalbitz denied this again and again.

The voting behavior makes it clear how controversial the rapid exclusion in the party is. According to information from party circles, the party leader Jörg Meuthen and six other members of the party executive board voted for the decision. Kalbitz, co-chair Tino Chrupalla, chairman of the parliamentary group, Alice Weidel, and three other members were against it. Carsten Hütter from Saxony therefore abstained. The separation could fuel the dispute over the direction in the AfD, it said in the party leadership.

The head of the parliamentary group, Alexander Gauland, criticized the expulsion as “wrong” and “very dangerous for the party”. Kalbitz meanwhile wants to fight for his place in the AfD. He wanted “to use all legal possibilities to contest this wrong political decision in my view,” he said after the decision.

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Constitutionalist about Corona deniers: “Forget history and stupid”

Brandenburg’s head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Jörg Müller, considers the protests by the corona relativists to be “dangerous”. The AfD also clicks in.

Right-wing extremist and video blogger Nikolai Nerling interviews an AfD supporter in Stuttgart Photo: Björn Kietzmann

taz: Mr. Müller, there are currently demos against the corona restrictions nationwide. In some places there is talk of dictatorship and lies, you hear conspiracy narratives – also in Brandenburg. Is this an issue for the protection of the constitution?

Jörg Müller: Of course, we look at how extremists deal with the corona crisis. The NPD and the III. Weg discovered this very early on as a topic for himself, linked it with conspiracy theories and conducted a debate about restrictions. And now these rallies are added. We see a dangerous mix there: conspiracy theorists, extremists, imperial citizens, preppers, but also ordinary citizens – that is difficult to determine.

What makes the rallies so dangerous?

We had a rally in Cottbus, organized by the Islamophobic association “Zukunft Heimat”, and a speaker spoke the word empowerment law in the first few minutes. This is forgotten in history, stupid and a border crossing.

The empowerment laws abolished democracy in Weimar, they led to the Holocaust and the World War. The corona regulations, however, have the clear goal of protecting health. At the same time, the Cottbus rally is called Covid-1984 – as if we were in an Orwellian surveillance system. You can see where the trend is going.

Is the protest at risk of radicalization?

A lot depends on how the situation develops. Many of the population are fed up with sitting at home. But surveys say that there is still great trust in the government. And there are now loosenings. That’s why I don’t see masses coming onto the street or even a second pegida emerging.

Not even with you in Cottbus, where right-wing extremists recently wanted to build a second Pegida stronghold?

The protests in Cottbus were almost dead. With the corona crisis, the organizers now sense a new opportunity. And indeed there could be an influx again. Extremists and others have been working closely together in Cottbus for a long time: Pegida, the identities, the AfD, the Institute for State Policy, Future Home, one percent – a toxic entity.

Recently AfD politicians also clicked into the corona rallies. What role does the party play?

In fact, the AfD is now promoting the rallies in some places. And in Cottbus the organizer, Christoph Berndt from “Zukunft Heimat”, is also a member of the AfD’s state parliament. I cannot yet see a nationwide strategy. The AfD still has no clear position on the pandemic: some say the virus should be taken seriously, others consider it a fictitious or at least greatly exaggerated story that the state is now allegedly using for repression. In Brandenburg the party follows, as always, its chairman Andreas Kalbitz, who serves the last story.

Jörg Müller, 46, is a non-partisan administrator and has been head of the Brandenburg Office for the Protection of the Constitution since February. Previously, he worked in the management department of the Interior Ministry there.

Most recently, the AfD was primarily concerned with itself: the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution classified the “wing” as clearly right-wing extremist, which then dissolved formally at the end of April. Party leader Jörg Meuthen started a split debate. Where does the AfD stand today?

There is still some unrest. Basically, not much has changed. The dissolution of the “wing” is an apparent dissolution, its protagonists are all still in the party and very dominant. It’s like aspirin: first the tablet lay next to the glass, now it dissolves in the glass. And of course the active ingredient continues to work. The ethnical-nationalistic attitude of Björn Höcke and the others has not disappeared. And there is no apparent opposition to a democratic center of the AfD.

Are the “wing” people already reorganizing?

I am sure that we will soon see something that will accommodate this group. Then maybe there is a national conservative attitude community. They will keep their feet still for a while, but then there will be substitute events, also for the Kyffhauser meeting. And Höcke finally said clearly that the “wing” would be dissolved because it had achieved its goal. He did not distance himself from the nationalist ideas and neither did any of the protagonists.

In Brandenburg you are dealing with Andreas Kalbitz with the second central “wing” leader next to Höcke. How is Kalbitz doing now?

Kalbitz has by no means distanced himself from the “wing” either, on the contrary. He is a right-wing extremist and continues on his course. His Brandenburg State Association is thoroughly winged and has clear extremist references, there is no relevant counter-current here.

But, to my surprise, Kalbitz is now under pressure from the Federal Executive Board: With the decision to declare his membership in various right-wing extremist organizations, including the HDJ, the home-loyal German youth who wanted to bring in a new National Socialist elite in their camps.

Her constitutional protection accuses Kalbitz of “being rooted in organized right-wing extremism for decades”. Will he be able to talk himself out of it?

So far he has always tried. In western associations he would probably have been excluded long ago, but in Brandenburg he is firmly in the saddle. Now it will be difficult for him. Because the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has proof of membership, for example an HDJ membership entry of a “Andreas Kalbitz family” from 2007 with the number 01330. It will be the decisive yardstick here of how the AfD federal board deals with Kalbitz.

With all of this, would your Brandenburg constitutional protection not only have to classify the “wing” but also the entire AfD state association as right-wing extremist?

Observing a party in democracy is tied to the exact rule of law and is a serious interference. If you do such a classification, everything must be stable. But if the wing continues to consolidate, this question will come up more and more.

Thuringia has already reacted and classified Höcke’s AfD state association as an extreme right-wing suspected case. Can’t you?

Of course we can if the conditions are there. Things are a little different in every country. There are high hurdles to overcome before an observation. And no constitutional protectionist likes to lose in court. The process is therefore very complex. But one thing is clear: if an effort works against the free democratic basic order, then it becomes our object of observation. There’s no way around it. We will see how things develop at the AfD in Brandenburg.

If the “wing” supporters remain so dominant in the AfD, doesn’t the constitutional protection have to watch the whole party at some point?

Of course, this question arises if the dominance of the previous “wing” continues and if country associations are gradually declared as objects of observation. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution then makes this decision. But as long as the AfD still has a democratic part, and this still exists in the western associations, this threshold has not yet been exceeded. But you can be sure that we will examine this question intensively.

On the other hand: do the classifications bring anything at all? Doesn’t the AfD continue to radicalize anyway – and is it still voted by the voters?

Counter question: Do you think there would have been a dissolution of the “wing” without the classification?

Probably not.

Then the classification was useful. That Kalbitz now has to explain itself – that would not have happened a quarter of a year ago. And if only one AfD MP now says that I no longer share these right-wing extremist views, it has been useful. And the Brandenburgers should know that if they choose the AfD, they are voting for a party led by right-wing extremists.

Most recently, that too CompactMagazine classified by Jürgen Elsässer. That too is based in Brandenburg. What makes the magazine so dangerous?

The magazine is the intellectual supplier of fuel for the right-wing extremist scene and perfects border crossings. And it offers extremists a platform. That is why we have now classified the Compact magazine in Brandenburg as a suspected case.

And Jürgen Elsässer is a right-wing extremist for you?

For me, Alsatian is a right-wing extremist.

How closely are you watching Compact now?

If there is a suspicion, we can use intelligence, including covert information or observations, the entire repertoire – but only within narrow limits. But Mr. Elsasser has hardly any inhibitions about making public what he thinks.

You have only been the Brandenburg constitutional protection chief for three months. Your predecessor was considered rather hesitant to deal with the AfD …

I don’t know if that was the case.

Some had this impression. Are you taking a different course now?

I already said on the first day that I want a constitutional protection agency that takes care of all areas of extremism. According to my analysis, the biggest threat right now is right-wing extremism. We cannot just watch an ever-increasing delimitation and we have to face it clearly. My concern is not that society is fraying on the fringes, but that extremism is reaching the center. That is why we have to clearly identify extremists and border crossings. I do that with Mr. Kalbitz and with others too.

Added on May 13, 2020 at 11:00 am

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AfD spokesman Christian Lüth scandal: Nazi grandpa just invented?

AfD spokesman Lüth had to go because he sees himself as a fascist. The party leadership wants him to remain free. Now there is new confusion.

The middle between Gauland and Meuthen is on the far right Photo: Soeren Stache / dpa

BERLIN taz | Tuesday afternoon, when the AfD parliamentary group comes together for their session, things could get very busy. The agenda includes the future of press spokesman Christian Lüth, who faction leader Alexander Gauland released from his duties a week and a half ago. The parliamentary group had already discussed Lüth on Monday. According to information from the taz, after intensive discussion, it was agreed that the exemption should initially continue until the summer break. Too many things are still unclear for a final decision.

But the group does not want to simply take note of this. She wants to have a say – and decide. Lüth finally had to face a vote of the parliamentary group before starting the job, the reasoned.

The background to Lüth’s exemption is a WhatsApp chat with a young woman who is supposed to be a member of the tightly conservative union of values ​​- and the more details become public, the more bizarre the matter appears. In the chat, which dates back to the end of last year, Lüth is said to have described himself as a “fascist”, boasted of his “Aryan” lineage and related positively to his alleged grandfather, a corvette captain who served as a submarine commander in the Second World War who had fought the Navy. For this he was honored by Hitler with the Iron Cross.

According to the AfD, Lüth is said to have proudly told other people about his grandfather. But this man, Wolfgang Lüth, doesn’t seem to be his grandfather at all. That was the direct descendants in conversation with the time and the mirror clear. Accordingly, Wolfgang Lüth was only Christian Lüth’s great uncle. Why he apparently invented a Nazi grandfather is only one of the open questions. Lüth himself has so far not made any public statements, and he has also left an inquiry from the taz unanswered.

Who benefits from Lüth’s case?

It is also unclear what relationship AfD parliamentary group spokesman had with the woman and how the chat came about. At first it was said that the woman had applied to the parliamentary group, but that does not seem to be the case. In the end, the chat and the threat to publish it ended up with Gauland – who pulled the ripcord a week and a half ago.

For Gauland, Lüth is not just any person. The former FDP man, who worked for two members of the Bundestag and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, came to the AfD in 2013 and – initially as the party’s press spokesman – always had a feel for how the balance of power shifted at the top. But he was always connected to Gauland, the powerful old man of the AfD – which paid off in 2017 when the party moved into the Bundestag. Sections of the parliamentary group wanted to prevent Lüth as press spokesman because he was considered cocky and unsound and had a reputation among journalists for not being particularly reliable. But Gauland prevailed.

The party and parliamentary group are meanwhile cheerfully speculating about who will benefit from the press spokesman’s exemption internally. Some right wingers in the faction could use the personnel to weaken faction leader Gauland and his co-chair Alice Weidel. Shortly before Easter they had organized a special meeting of the parliamentary group against the will of the top because they were dissatisfied with the Corona course of their leadership.

Tino Chrupalla, who has headed the party together with Jörg Meuthen since December, could also benefit from a new spokesman for the group. Chrupalla had confirmed Gauland’s exemption last weekend, even though he is not responsible for the media or personnel issues as the parliamentary group vice-president.

It can also be heard from the group that it is completely unclear whether Lüth really has to go in the end. Possibly a “connection use” is also sought. However, it is not excluded that the press spokesman will return to his old job at some point. “Fascist” or not.

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Right-wing baiting under mouth protection (neues-deutschland.de)

Veßra Monastery in Thuringia

Photo: dpa / Steffen Ittig

Over the next few weeks, the Thuringian police and the Meiningen public prosecutor will have to clarify the background to an apparently racist incident that allegedly took place in a supermarket in southern Thuringia a few days ago. According to photos of the incident published on the Internet, two men with hoodies have been shopping in a supermarket, the design of which is based on the clothing of the racist Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Not only that there is a cross on the chest of the sweater that looks at least very similar to the cross of the KKK. Apparently, a pointed hat and a full face mask have been pulled out of the hoods of the clothes, so that the overall outfit of the men is very similar to that of the KKK. Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) and Interior Minister Georg Maier (SPD) strongly condemned the incident and announced the consequences.

Right-wing extremist Tommy Frenck, who lives in Kloster Veßra (Hildburghausen district), seems to be behind the action – even though it cannot be clearly said whether he is one of the two men who showed up in the supermarket because of the complete masking. However, the photos of the provocation at the weekend appeared on a social media channel that Frenck operates. In addition, »hooded sweaters with a mask function« are available in the extreme right mail order business for which Frenck is responsible. The photos of the sweaters that Frenck has previously offered “in advance” have been published online, and are the same as those used in the supermarket campaign.

From comments that users have left about the incident, there are indications that the two men with the KKK outfit were shopping in a supermarket in Hildburghausen. There are also pictures of the »hooded sweaters with mask function«, which were apparently taken in Frenck’s inn in Veßra Abbey.

The right-wing extremists are abusing the obligation to wear mouth-nose protection in Germany due to the corona pandemic. One of the photos published by the incident says: “Shop with a mask, they said …”. According to the information on the social media channel, the two masked people were neither expelled from the house during their shopping tour, nor checked by the police, nor criticized by other buyers for their appearance. After the photos of the incident had become public, the left-wing MP Katharina König-Preuss filed a complaint. Among other things, it accuses those involved in the provocation of being guilty of incitement and calling for acts of violence.

Ramelow said that the action and sale of the sweaters express Frenck’s “racist outlook and inhumane attitude.” While the vast majority of people in Thuringia are complying with the obligation to wear a face mask to contain the corona pandemic, Frenck is also trying to profit from the crisis. After there had also been incidents in Erfurt in which right-wing extremists threatened people while wearing mouthguards in the colors of the imperial war flag, the state government would examine the extent to which the applicable rules had to be “specified”. It had to be clear that there was a duty to wear mouth and nose protection in certain public places, but no right to mask yourself under the guise of a duty to protect mouth in such a way that it would make committing crimes easier.

Interior Minister Maier said that when the two men with the KKK outfit appeared in the supermarket, they had sent “a hateful message”. “I am very sorry that nobody intervened in this situation,” he said. The police will now check “whether this incident is relevant to criminal law.”

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AfD and media: World Declaration Armin-Paul Hampel – Politics

Armin-Paul Hampel was once a respected ARD reporter. Today he sits for the AfD in the Bundestag – and criticizes journalists harshly. On the road with someone who has changed. Or not?

It takes less than three minutes to walk between Armin-Paul Hampel’s first life and his second. Two glass doors, a security gate and 150 meters of sidewalk, that’s all. In his first life, Hampel worked in a clay-red building on the banks of the Spree, with a view of the Reichstag dome. Wilhelmstraße 67 a, the ARD capital studio. From here the correspondent Hampel once explained the world to people.

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