THE director of the Buchenwald concentration camp memorial foundation confronted a far-right German politician yesterday over his party’s attacks on Holocaust remembrance in the country.
Volkhard Knigge met with Alternative for Germany (AfD) parliamentarian Stephan Brandner and said he would use the meeting to challenge him over “the historical revisionism and anti-democratic positions of his party and his own position on them.”
Germany remains sensitive over its nazi past and the crimes committed under Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship, which saw six million Jews exterminated in gas chambers during the Holocaust.
However, the AfD – which entered the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, for the first time last September with 90 MPs – has been accused of “openly waging battle against the democratic culture of remembrance” with the aim of making it easier to “trample human dignity in future.”
During a Holocaust memorial service in the Bundestag earlier this year, a number of its MPs were seen shaking their heads while the names of Holocaust victims were read out.
The party’s co-leader Alexander Gauland has described the nazi period as a mere “speck of bird poop in over 1,000 years of successful German history.”
AfD politician Bjoern Hoecke, a member of the Thuringian state parliament, has been banned from Holocaust memorial services after branding a memorial in Berlin a “monument of shame” during a speech last year.
And Mr Brandner was criticised after he called Buchenwald “a warning to all that every dictatorship, whether politically red or brown in stripe, gives rise to crime and criminals” for drawing a false equivalence between nazis and communists.
Almost a quarter of a million people were held at Buchenwald between 1937 and 1945, with an estimated 56,000 killed.
Mr Knippe vowed “to do everything in our power to expose and defeat these AfD objectives.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.