Hubert Aiwanger has been “not an extremist, not an anti-Semite since adulthood”

Hubert Aiwanger has been “not an extremist, not an anti-Semite since adulthood”

In the affair surrounding an anti-Semitic flyer from school days, Hubert Aiwanger denied right-wing extremism – “for the last few decades”.

The Bavarian Deputy Prime Minister and Economics Minister Hubert Aiwanger, who is under great pressure in an affair over an anti-Semitic leaflet, described himself as a “democrat” on Wednesday and rejected allegations of right-wing extremism. For “the last few decades” he could “put all hands on fire,” said the 52-year-old in Donauwörth in front of journalists with a view to the allegations. “Since adulthood” he was “not an anti-Semite, not an extremist”.

What “is discussed here in my youth surprises me a bit,” added the party leader of the Free Voters in Bavaria and in the federal government. “But it is definitely the case that one or the other can be interpreted in one way or another in one’s youth.” It is correct that one or a few leaves were found in his school bag when he was at school. However, he had to “shake his head in part” at other reports.

According to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, Aiwanger was suspected of having written and distributed an anti-Semitic leaflet when he was at school in the 1980s. Specimens are said to have been found in his satchel. The leader of the Free Voters party declared at the weekend that he was not the originator. At the same time, his brother took responsibility for it.

Aiwanger is “not remotely remembered” showing the Hitler salute

Regarding allegations that he showed the Hitler salute as a student, Aiwanger told the “Bild” newspaper: “I don’t even remotely remember that I should have done something like that.” A former classmate of the politician had claimed in the ARD magazine “Report Munich” that Aiwanger used to “show a Hitler salute” when entering the already occupied classroom. In addition, Aiwanger “very often imitated these Hitler speeches in this Hitler slang”. Even anti-Jewish jokes were “definitely made”. Aiwanger told the “Bild” that he was “neither an anti-Semite nor an extremist”.

Reichstag building in Berlin

© serienlicht / Imago Images

Very close

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He looked “closely” at the 25 questions he was given by Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) during a crisis meeting of the coalition committee on Tuesday in Munich about the leaflet in question, explained Aiwanger in Donauwörth on the sidelines of visiting an event. He had previously “spoken intensively” to Söder, the situation was “very serious”.

In Bavaria, a new state parliament will be elected in five and a half weeks. He now wants to concentrate on the election campaign, added Aiwanger. He mainly gets the feedback from “people” that it is a “smear campaign” and that he should be “destroyed” politically and personally. Also on Aiwanger’s profile on X (formerly Twitter) there was a new entry for the first time in days with the wording: “#Dirty campaigns backfire in the end. #Aiwanger”. As a rule, the Free Voters boss writes all the posts himself.

Source: Stern

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