This text originally appeared in German on a leaflet produced by Die LINKE Wedding. Reproduced with permission.
With the election slogan “Deutschland – aber völlig normal“ (“Germany – but perfectly normal”), the AfD are trying to play down their inflammatory politics. But the party is anything but normal. Here are some examples regarding Beatrix von Storch – the AfD lead candidate in Berlin-Mitte.
Although she can do nothing about her family, it is still important to know the legacy from which Frau von Storch has built her career.
Beatrix Amelie Ehrengard Elija von Oldenburg came from the Oldenberg royal family. This family was for a long time one of the most influential in Europe. Her grandfather Nikolaus von Oldenburg was both a Standartenführer [a leading position] in the Nazi SA, and also in direct contact with Heinrich Himmler. He knew early on about the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 and used his position to ask Himmler for land and property in the East. Her other grandfather was Johann Ludwig Graf Schwerin von Krosigk, who was Hitler’s finance minister from 1932-45.
Their current contacts continue to play down and glorify the cruelty of the Hitler régime. For example, von Storch is a great fan of Sebastian Kurz, nicknamed “Baby Hitler”, and of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, whose election campaign contained Hitler quotes.
Her family background and her sympathy for such people are also reflected in her own statements. In 2016, she made the inhumane and brutal suggestion that refugee women and children on the German border should be shot. On facebook, she wrote: “whoever does not accept the STOP at our border is an aggressor.”
The AfD stirs up hatred against people with a migration background and against Muslims.
In the AfD programme, the word “violence” appears exclusively in connection with Islam and people with a history of immigration. Their aim is to incite fear and to normalise general suspicion against Muslims.
In this sense, Beatrix von Storch described the anti-Islam campaign of the Austrian ÖVP government as exemplary. She also demanded a map of where Muslims live in Germany, which could be used to put them under general suspicion.
Climate Change denier
Regarding the climate and Corona crises, the AfD denies the credibility of scientists and disseminates false information which ultimately endangers people, including their own voters. In an interview about the climate crisis, von Storch denied its existence. As an answer to temperature increase, she suggested “telling the sun that it should not shine as much”.
Against women, gays and lesbians and Trans people
Beatrix von Storch wants to take away the right of girls and women to control their own life and bodies.
She demands a complete ban on abortions and the punishment of both women and the participating doctors. She want everybody who campaigns for the right to legal abortion to be monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz). At the annual anti-choice so-called “March for Life”, she marches in the front row.
The AfD denies that women are socially disadvantaged. Instead they fight against every form of equal opportunities policy. Single mothers should only receive financial support if “the living conditions are the result of misfortune, not if it’s the woman’s own fault, or they came from a decision she made.”
The AfD attacks the dignity of lesbians, gays, trans and intersex people, vilifying their identity as “unnatural”. The AfD opposes marriage for all and registering a third gender into a birth certificate. They want to stop gender research and prevent child centres and schools from explaining the sexual diversity in society.
In a parliamentary debate on the Transsexual law, Beatrix von Storch screamed “They are paving the way to make young, insecure people irreversibly infertile, to castrate, to deform and to destroy whole families. What they demand is really just disgusting”.
The aim of the AfD is the greatest possible benefits for German businesses.
High earners will be further advantaged through tax breaks. Refugees will be scapegoated for social abuses. The AfD wants to put the disabled and addicts into camps.
Your voice against Nazis and Racists
The AfD is the parliamentary arm of right-wing terror. They connect the right-wing spectrum from the bourgeois-conservative milieu up to the extreme right. AfD politicians include convicted antisemites, right-wing thugs and known Nazis. When the AfD entered parliament, they won money, power and resources.
If election stalls of the AfD take place without visible protest and open opposition, this will lead to them being treated as a normal party.
If the AfD becomes normalized, racism. misogyny and exclusion will become socially acceptable. Already, right wing thugs and hooligans feel their opinions confirmed by the AfD and the discourse that they are leading.
We need educational work, non-violent protest and blockades of AfD election stalls against the rise of the AfD and the acute threat from the right: your voice against Nazis and racists.
A society in which all people can live together in solidarity, regardless of their background, sexual identity, religion and gender is possible – but only without and against the AfD.
Translation: Phil Butland