Alternative fur Deutschland
Alternative for Germany (German: Alternative für Deutschland, AfD) is a traditionalist conservative political party in Germany. It entered the Bundestag national parliament in 2017 propelled by voters angry at the then Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision in 2015 to admit almost one million mainly Muslim uninvited so-called "asylum seekers" who had swarmed across the southern borders. The AfD sits on opposition benches in all of Germany's 16 state parliaments, where it is ostracised by all the Liberal-Left parties, including the Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD), their main opponents.
Europe's Liberal-Left mainstream media continually smear the party as "Far-Right". In December 2019 its Bundestag co-leader Alexander Gauland said:
- They call us Nazis, fascists and right-wing terrorists. But we need to be wise and resilient. The day will come when a weakened CDU has only one option: us!
In the September 2021 General Elections the AfD gained 83 seats in the national German Bundestag in Berlin.
Founded in April 2013, the AfD narrowly missed the 5% electoral threshold to sit in the Bundestag during the 2013 Federal election. The following year the party won seven seats in the EU elections as members of the European Conservatives and Reformists. After securing representation in 14 of the 16 German State Parliaments by October 2017, the AfD became the third-largest party in Germany following the 2017 Federal Elections, with 94 seats in the Bundestag, a major breakthrough for the party.
In 2019 the AfD attacked the CDU Chancellor Angela Merkel's position on immigration and publicly condemned it: "The AFD calls for an end to mass immigration, we want to leave the Migration and Refugee Pact, and we support repatriation of migrants. We reject refugee quotas. The AFD demands full sovereignty and secure borders."
In October 2019 in the Thuringia State elections Alternative für Deutschland gained 23.4% of the vote against 22% for the Christian Democrats (CDU). The AfD more than doubled its vote there, from 10.6% five years ago. The Far-Left quasi-Communist Die Linke party, part of Thuringia's ruling coalition, won the state election with just over 30%.
In the German General Election held on 26 September 2021 the AfD lost 11 seats, their share of the vote slipping nationally to 10.5% - a decline of 2.3 percentage points, and from third largest to fifth in votes cast. But it became the largest party in the eastern states of Saxony (24.6%) and Thuringia (24%), and in Saxony-Anhalt they had their third-highest vote at 19.6%. At a press conference after the national vote, party co-leader Alice Weidel was quick to state that the AfD losses were the result of media bias and what she called unfair election campaigning by political competitors.
The party has also raised the issue, and seeks the support of the victims and their descendants, of the post-war expulsions from Germany's occupied eastern territories. It has set up a parliamentary working group on expellees and runs a Facebook group for "Expellees, Returnees and German Minorities," (VAdM). In 2019 in the eastern German state of Saxony, the AfD's parliamentary leader, Jörg Urban, led a memorial service for the expulsions and expellees. In the state's September elections, the party won more votes than ever. And their leader in Brandenburg, Andreas Kalbitz, was the center of a recent scandal for signing a letter by a controversial group of expellees.
The party is Euro-sceptic, and is opposed to alien immigration, particularly Islamic, into not just Germany but Europe-wide. It has links with other parties and traditionalist groups across Europe, and in this respect held a four-day conference in Berlin at the beginning of April 2019 on the subject of "Preserving European Civilisation, Culture and Values" which attracted delegates from numerous countries.
The party has, from December 2019, co-Leaders Tino Chrupalla, a lawmaker from Saxony (who leads the AfD's Bundestag parliamentary group together with Alice Weidel) and Joerg Meuthen, an economics Professor from the industrial southern state of Baden-Württemberg. He is considered a moderate.. However, following the September 2021 General Election, and leadership squabbles, Meuthen has announced that he will be retiring in December 2021. Meuthen's retreat fits in with the fate of previous AfD leaders such as Bernd Lucke and Frauke Petry, who were excised from the party leadership for opposing the party's more conservative factions, and eventually left the party entirely. Unlike the British Conservative Party which has been successfully taken over by liberals, the AfD conservatives are determined this is not going to happen to their party. Chrupalla is anti-Third World immigration into Germany and Europe and has said that Afghan "refugees" should be refused entry and returned to the borders. On outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel (Oct 2021) Chrupalla stated he would not miss the CDU chancellor of 16 years when she leaves her post after a new government is formed:
- I am happy that this woman is stepping down. She has done damage to Germany like almost no other [post-war] Chancellor before her, he said, adding that a prominent former editor of Der Spiegel magazine and then the newspaper Die Welt had also described the current government as the worst since World War II.
- Beatrix von Storch (born Beatrix Amelie Ehrengard Eilika, Duchess of Oldenburg in 1971), one of the AfD's founding members, who has served as Deputy Leader since July 2015 and has been a Member of the Bundestag since September 2017. She had previously served as Member of the European Parliament (MEP). She is a member of the Royal House of Oldenburg which reigned over the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg until November 1918. She is outspoken on a wide range of issues, notably opposing same-sex marriage and the "homosexual agenda". She has vigorously opposed the promotion of the LGBT agenda in schools.
- Dr. Alice Weidel has been co-leader in the Bundestag since October 2017, and has at various times made outspoken and provocative speeches on a broad range of issues, inside and outside the Bundestag. Weidel has stated her opposition to discussion of sexuality prior to puberty saying "I don’t want anyone with their gender idiocy or their early sexualisation classes coming near my children". She also believes Germany should withdraw from the Euro single EU currency. Weidel is a member of the Friedrich A. von Hayek Society.
- Alexander Gauland (b.1941) who is co-leader of the AfD in the Bundestag (Reichstag) and was party co-leader from October 2017 until November 2019. Gauland had said the German national soccer team's defender Jerome Boateng, a negro, might be appreciated for his performance on the pitch - but people would not want someone like Boateng as a neighbor. He also argued Germany should close its borders and said of an image showing a drowned refugee child: "We can't be blackmailed by children's eyes." In September 2017, a video emerged of Gauland in which he said that Germany should be proud of its soldiers in both world wars and people should no longer reproach Germans for the Second World War. He was quoted as saying: "If the French are rightly proud of their Emperor [who conquered all Europe] and the Britons of Lord Nelson and Churchill, we have the right to be proud of the achievements of the [heroic] German soldiers in two world wars who fought for their country". He continued, "If I look around Europe, no other people has dealt as clearly with their past wrongs as the Germans."
- Hansjorg Müller, Member of the Committee on Economic and Energy Affairs.
- Dr. Bruno Hollnagel, Member of the Finance Committee.
- Björn Höcke, 47, leader of the Thuringia AfD, heads a stridently nationalist group called Flügel and has been accused by the broad Left of inflammatory rhetoric: he once deplored central Berlin's Holocaust memorial as a "monument of shame". During the 2019 elections campaign, his desperate CDU rival in Thuringia, Mike Mohring, called him a "Nazi". The AfD's brilliant 2019 result in Thuringia might be seen as a personal triumph for Höcke and his followers, and was seen as a significant setback for the central government.
- Norbert Kleinwachter, Member of the Bundestag and frequently appears in AfD YouTube videos.
- Dr. Christian Wirth, Member of the Bundestag.
- Bernhard Zimniok, Member of the European Parliament for Munich. On Saturday 19 October 2019 he addressed the annual conference of the Traditional Britain Group in central London on alien migration and its costs in every aspect.
- Gunnar Beck, Member of the European Parliament, member of the European Parliament's Identity and Democracy Group, and a member of the Working Group on the Conference on the Future of Europe. He is also a member of other EU Parliamentary committees: Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs; Committee on Legal Affairs; Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Co-operation Committee, etc. In April 2021 he called for Ursula von de Leyen, President of the European Commission, to resign over the "disastrous" EU Covid vaccine roll-out. He said "von der Leyen was a disastrous minister in Germany, and has proved the same now as Commission President." On Saturday 23 October 2021 he too addressed the annual conference of the Traditional Britain Group.
- A plan to stop immigration: Germany's AfD party
- Pascal Beucker (18 March 2016). "Marktradikal und blank" (in de). Die Tageszeitung.
- Berlin, Reuters in (14 September 2017). AfD co-founder says Germans should be proud of its second world war soldiers (en).