Far-right German party may expel official over Holocaust Memorial remark

The comment stirred anger across Germany but was cheered by some far-right AfD supporters.

January 24, 2017 13:21
1 minute read.
A woman walks through the Holocaust memorial during heavy snowfall in Berlin

A woman walks through the Holocaust memorial during heavy snowfall in Berlin.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


BERLIN  - The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has not yet decided whether to expel one of its state leaders for criticizing Berlin's Holocaust Memorial, its co-leader said on Tuesday.

Bjoern Hoecke, AfD head in the eastern state of Thuringia, described the memorial as a "monument of shame" in a speech in Dresden last week.

The comment stirred anger across Germany but was cheered by some far-right AfD supporters.

Hoecke said on Monday the party had dropped plans to throw him out, but co-leader Frauke Petry told German broadcaster MDR on Tuesday that was not the case, adding the comment had damaged the party's reputation.

The AfD's anti-immigrant rhetoric has won support among Germans worried about the influx of more than a million migrants in the past two years, though other major parties have rejected it as a potential coalition partner.

It is expected to win seats in national elections on Sept. 24, and a poll released Tuesday by Insa for the Bild newspaper gave it 14.5 percent support, up one percentage point from a survey conducted last week.

Petry told MDR the party's executive committee viewed disciplinary action against Hoecke as necessary, but officials were still assessing his speech and how it compared to the party's views.

"We are simply taking the time to do a thorough assessment in such a serious case," Petry said.

Petry said that, while the AfD wanted to see a more "differentiated approach to history", nothing in its program called for a radical change in Germany's approach to commemorating the genocide of Jews and others during the Nazi era.

Hoecke said the party's debate about his remarks reflected a power struggle.

In the Insa poll, Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats dropped one percentage point to 32.5 percent while the Social Democrats, junior partner in the ruling coalition, remained unchanged at 21 percent.

The Holocaust Memorial, located near the Brandenburg Gate in the heart of Berlin, comprises 2,711 tombstone-like slabs of granite of varying heights, arranged in a grid pattern.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

The Empire State Building rises above New York, U.S., January 23, 2019
June 25, 2019
Steve Dunleavy, tabloid journalist who loved Israel, passes away


Cookie Settings