Stephan Kramer, head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Thüringia, told Israeli channel KAN11 that if the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) were to become part of the government, he and his family would leave Germany.
Kramer, who was secretary-general of the Central Council of Jews in Germany for 15 years, made the comments after an AfD candidate won in the district council election in the town of Sonneberg.
This represents the first time a far-right party has won such an election in Germany. The AfD has been called right-wing extremists by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
“We are basically the domestic intelligence agency comparable to the Shin Bet or the MI5 in the UK, established originally after the war when Germany was basically newly born,” said Kramer when asked to define his role.
“The AfD is the parliamentary arm of a much bigger plot that is planned by the new right, for the last 20, 23, 30 years. It’s not new actually anymore,” said Kramer.
“A revolutionary plot because that’s their agenda, they want to overcome the constitution, the government, the state, and the whole system that has been established in the federal republic of Germany since its existence,” he continued.
Some of Kramer’s remarks have been met with legal challenges. Kramer commented that “approximately 20 percent are brown dregs (sediment)” according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine. This was a reference to the Nazi brown shirts.
He clarified that it is not that one in five Germans are neo-Nazis but that chauvinism, antisemitism and authoritarian attitudes were increasing in Germany and that right-wing attitudes are becoming more entrenched in Germany.
Björn Höcke, head of the AfD in Thüringia, challenged the statement and said that in accordance with Section 130 of the Criminal Code he would be filing criminal proceedings against Kramer, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine. Section 130 makes it a crime to incite hatred against segments of the population or call for violent or arbitrary measures against them in a manner capable of disturbing the peace or to insult, maliciously malign, or defame segments of the population in a manner capable of disturbing the peace.
Toward the end of the interview when asked how his Jewish faith impacted his job, he answered “Well first I am a civil servant.... It is somewhat of an irony that I, as a Jew, do this in Germany after the history up to 1945. Still, it is a small victory for a Jew to hold this position.” he continued.