‘Hitler or Höcke?’

Image result for Björn Höcke

Björn Höcke, whom German intelligence services  have labeled an extremist, has beat German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union in a regional election in Thuringia Germany, with 23.4% of the vote, up from 12.8%  five years ago . “There is nothing wrong with expressing our democratic opinion. We want Germany to remain German,” he tells his supporters, to ecstatic cheers after the results where made final.

“The press has an important role in a democracy,” he says. “Unfortunately our German media does not perform it. They prefer to produce propaganda for the establishment.”

The party seized on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to welcome over a million migrants to Germany in 2015. Two years later, the AfD became the first far-right party to enter Parliament since World War II. By now, it sits in every state legislature in the country.

Björn Höcke was a  secondary-school history teacher, and now the 47-year-old is a senior figure in the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). Though Mr Höcke is only a regional politician, yet nobody in current German politics has  a personality to rival his. Last month a public television network pulled a stunt in which they aimed to fan the flames of guilt and fear by comparing him to Hitler.

Image result for Björn Höcke

During the interview, he was shown footage of AfD parliamentarians in Berlin being read quotes from Mr Höcke’s recent political memoir and asked if they were from him – or Adolf Hitler’s  Mein Kampf.

All were unsure and one said: “If I’d to guess, then more from Mein Kampf, I’d say, not from Mr Höcke.”

Watching his party colleagues struggle to separate his language from the Adolf Hitler’s, Mr Höcke became angered at the lack of decency and fairness, and said, “These are all coincidences. Language cannot be linked to one particular time. All terms existed beforehand and after,” he said. “I don’t think there is one singular definition of what Nazi-era language is.” And further went on to say, ” “That says above all that most people have not read my book at all.”

His detractors  pointed out that in  Mein Kampf, Hitler warns of “hebräische Volksverderber” – a term meaning “Hebrew ruiners of the people”; in 2016 Mr Höcke used  “Volksverderber” to attack the then foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel.  Without hebräische(Hebrew people), Volksverderber simply means corrupters of the people.

The interviewer continued to ask Höcke about other  terms he used – such as “degenerate”–  claiming it was also well-known in Nazi vocabulary.

Recovering from his visible outrage as the camera rolled, he suggested Germany had a “tendency . . . to narrow the opinion corridor and that is not good for our country”.

A majority of Germans were afraid to discuss certain topics for fear of blowback from the “political correctness police”, he suggested, indicating that “something is rotten in our democracy”.

Eventually his press spokesman could be heard off camera demanding the interview be restarted, but the interviewer refused, and  Mr Höcke said he might live to regret this decision, and that  it was clear that “there would be no more interviews with me for you,” said Höcke

Asked if this was a threat, the AfD politician said: “We don’t know what’s coming and I may become an interesting . . . political person in this country.”

Image result for Björn Höcke on television interview

Höcke was last a target of  the media when in 2017 he described Berlin’s Holocaust memorial as a “monument of shame in the heart of the capital” .

“We need nothing less than a 180-degree shift in the politics of remembrance,” he added during that speech in Dresden.

Mr Höcke has set up his own faction within the AfD called Der Flügel, or The Wing. At its annual meeting he hands out silver badges to loyal followers. At this year’s gathering a supporter welcomed him on stage by saying: “You are our leader, who we are happy to follow”. The German word he used was Anführer.

Click image below to read my previously published story on an attempt to bully  Mr Höcke with Holocaust memorial in his back yard.

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Published in: on October 30, 2019 at 8:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

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