Aiwanger is said to have written anti-Semitic leaflets as a student – Söder demands clarification

Aiwanger is said to have written anti-Semitic leaflets as a student – Söder demands clarification

Bavaria’s Deputy Prime Minister Hubert Aiwanger is doing brilliantly in the polls a few weeks before the state elections, but now there is a serious allegation: the head of the Free Voters is said to have written an anti-Semitic leaflet as a student.

In the midst of the Bavarian state election campaign, deputy head of government Hubert Aiwanger is facing serious allegations of an anti-Semitic flyer from his school days. Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) immediately asked his coalition partner for clarification. “These allegations simply have to be clarified now. They have to be cleared up completely,” said Söder on Saturday on the sidelines of a folk festival in Augsburg.

The “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (Saturday) had reported on the leaflet. The headline of the paper reads: “Federal competition” and underneath it says “Who is the greatest traitor to the fatherland?” can win is a “free flight through the chimney in Auschwitz.” In this tone it goes on.

Aiwanger has since denied the allegations. “I did not write the paper in question and I consider the content to be disgusting and inhuman,” said the Free Voters chief through a spokesman in a written statement. “The author of the paper is known to me, he will explain himself.”

Markus Söder: “There are bad allegations”

Söder said of the leaflet reported by “SZ”: “There are serious allegations in the room. This leaflet is inhuman, downright disgusting.” The CSU chairman added: “That’s why the central demand now on Hubert Aiwanger is simply to clarify things and explain them publicly.”

Aiwanger did not respond to a request from the German Press Agency by Saturday afternoon. A spokesman for the Free Voters said Aiwanger and the Free Voters are not commenting on “this process” for the time being. However, when asked by dpa on Saturday, the leader of the parliamentary group, Florian Streibl, said: “We will speak to him today.” The Free Voter spokesman then announced on Saturday that there would be a reaction later in the day. He left details open.

Aiwanger was originally supposed to come to the big folk festival parade in Augsburg on Saturday afternoon. But he did not appear there.

Calls for consequences grow louder

A new state parliament will be elected in Bavaria on October 8th. The CSU had always stated that it wanted to continue the coalition with the Free Voters after the election. All polls up to the end left almost no doubt that this will also be possible – with the free voters were at 11 to 14 percent. For both coalition partners, the allegations and the public debate are therefore absolutely inopportune. Unlike in the past, Söder ruled out a coalition with the Greens before this election. The CSU has governed the Free State since 2018 together with the Free Voters.

Demands for consequences came immediately from almost all directions in politics. The leaders of the Greens, Katharina Schulze and Ludwig Hartmann, called for his dismissal if the allegations against Aiwanger were confirmed. “This leaflet mocks the victims of the Holocaust. The ideas are inhuman. Anyone who thinks, writes and speaks like this clearly shows their anti-Semitism,” said Schulze. “If the allegations are true, then Markus Söder must fire Hubert Aiwanger.” For the FDP, the head of the state parliament, Martin Hagen, demanded: “Hubert Aiwanger must explain himself personally and clear up the allegations.”

The SPD called for a special session of the state parliament. “The leaflet is right-wing extremism of the lowest drawer that denigrates the millions of victims of the Holocaust and the Nazi dictatorship in the worst possible way,” said SPD parliamentary group leader Florian von Brunn. “It is inconceivable that an author of such lines sits in the Bavarian state parliament or holds a public office in our country for even one day longer.” The SPD parliamentary group will immediately apply for a special session of the state parliament.

Sometimes a choice of words à la AfD

Aiwanger had already hit the headlines nationwide in June because of controversial statements at a rally in Erding. Among other things, he said there that the silent majority had to “take back democracy”. As so often before, he was then accused of populism and then a choice of words à la AfD.

Aiwanger, the strong man of the Free Voters in Bavaria and also nationwide, likes to see himself as a representative of what he calls the “normal population”, of farmers and craftsmen. In beer tents and at other appearances, he regularly railed against the Greens and the traffic light government. He lets accusations of being a populist roll off his feet. He will not be silenced, he says. His stated goal is to keep potential AfD voters from voting for the AfD and to “lure” them to the Free Voters.

Source: Stern

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