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First day of trial in the Höcke case: Accusation of sedition – News

  • Thuringia’s leader of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), Björn Höcke, has been charged with incitement to hatred.
  • The trial against the politician, who was classified as a right-wing extremist by the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution, begins today at the Halle Regional Court.
  • Höcke is accused of giving a speech with the words “Everything for Germany!” to have finished.
  • The public prosecutor says that Höcke knew that the sentence was the forbidden slogan of the Sturmabteilung (SA). The SA was the paramilitary fighting organization of the NSDAP.

In today’s trial, Höcke is accused of using the symbols of unconstitutional organizations and of incitement to hatred. In May 2021, Höcke is said to have ended a speech in Merseburg, Saxony-Anhalt, with the words “Everything for Germany”. Höcke’s lawyers deny that his words have any “criminal relevance.”

Political scientist Wolfgang Schröder on Björn Höcke:


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Legend:

Political scientist Wolfgang Schröder’s assessment of last week’s TV duel between Höcke and Voigt.

ZVG/University of Kassel

A week ago, Björn Höcke faced the Thuringian CDU leader Mario Voigt in a television duel on Welt TV. Political scientist Wolfgang Schröder from the University of Kassel assesses the extent to which Höcke’s appearance could influence the elections in Thuringia:

“It will probably give certain people the lasting impression that Höcke, who is constantly demonized as a fascist, isn’t so bad after all. This confirms my skepticism that the public debate in the form of a duel with right-wing populists and right-wing extremists is always asymmetrical and the latter manage to present themselves as much friendlier than they are. Something like a ‘banalization of evil’ is taking place here.”

You can find the entire interview with political scientist Wolfgang Schröder here.

The public prosecutor’s office has now expanded the charge by one point. Höcke is said to have repeated the same words at an AfD event in Gera, Thuringia, on December 12th last year “with certain knowledge of the criminal liability” of the slogan and called on the audience to shout “Germany!” to call.

The Thuringian regional association of the AfD has a particularly radical reputation and is classified by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution as “proven right-wing extremist”. Höcke once called the Holocaust memorial in Berlin a “monument of shame” and called for a “180-degree turn” in remembering the past.

Björn Höcke is chairman of the AfD in Thuringia and is considered an influential figure on the right wing of the party. The 52-year-old will lead the AfD’s election campaign in the Thuringian state elections on September 1st.

National polls have seen the AfD in second place behind the conservative opposition in recent months. The AfD has a particularly high proportion of voters in eastern Germany.

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