The German state of Thuringia is probing the activity of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) on suspicion of unconstitutional objectives.
The probe will require the involvement of the intelligence services. Lower Saxony and Bremen intelligence agencies have their own probes limited to the youth win fog the AfD, namely the Young Alternative group.
The AfD secured just under 13% in the September 2017 elections, mainly on an anti-immigration platform.
The probe targeting the party as a whole in Thuringia was triggered by the state AfD leader Bjoern Hoecke, who called Holocaust-Mahnmal in Berlin a “monument of shame.” The memorial consists of 2,711 slabs in a grid pattern on a sloping field, organized in rows, holding the names of approximately 3 million Jewish Holocaust victims.
The co-leader of AfD Alexander Gauland played down the significance of the German Nazi past, breaking with a long-held political taboo in Germany. According to a poll published by the public broadcaster ARD, 65% of Germans consider the surveillance of AfD appropriate.
Chancellor Angela Merkel accuses the AfD of stirring up ethnic tension in Germany, following a fatal stabbing in the eastern city of Chemnitz that has been blamed on migrants, Reuters reports. The Chancellor has made reference to “targetted harassment” by the far-right, stirred to some extend by the AfD.
A 35-year-old German man was stabbed to death in Chemnitz on August 26, with a Syrian and an Iraqi national in pre-trial detention over the stabbing. The event has triggered a wave of demonstrations against migrants.
The Chancellor was contradicted on Friday by the head of Germany’s federal intelligence services (BfV), Hans-Georg Maassen, who said there was little evidence of far-right violence against immigrants following the Chemnitz events. He said the footage that made its way on social media indicating harassment may be the product of an intentional misinformation campaign.