After the AfD’s controversial secret meeting, calls for a party ban are becoming louder. For Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, however, this is not a sensible solution. She relies on other ideas.
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) sees little chance of depriving AfD politician Björn Höcke of individual basic rights. “In the history of the Federal Republic, the Federal Constitutional Court has never ruled in any case that a person has forfeited their fundamental rights,” Faeser told the newspapers of the Funke media group on Saturday. For Höcke and his Thuringian AfD regional association, which is classified as right-wing extremist, “the first thing to do is to deal with the political debate,” emphasized the SPD politician.
An online petition directed against AfD politician Höcke exceeded one million signatures on Tuesday after two months. The petition demands that the federal government submit an application to the Federal Constitutional Court for the forfeiture of fundamental rights in accordance with Article 18 of the Basic Law. According to this article, individual basic rights can be taken away from anyone who “abuses them to fight against the free, democratic basic order”. For example, the right to vote or the power to hold public office could be revoked.
Faeser: “AfD despises modern Germany”
Interior Minister Faeser was also skeptical about banning the AfD. This has “very high hurdles,” she said. “Our constitution rightly envisages this strongest instrument of defensive democracy as a last resort. Nobody can rule that out in the relevant circumstances. But politically it is clear: If people turn to such a party, we must ensure that these people turn to the democratic parties come back,” emphasized Faeser.
When asked whether an application for a ban before the state elections in September would be ruled out, Faeser replied: “Prohibition proceedings are lengthy. And again: This is the strongest legal means and not a means of political debate.”
However, Faeser urgently warned against the AfD taking over government. “The AfD despises our modern Germany,” she said. “She wants to roll back the role of women, attack free media and the independent judiciary – and obviously doesn’t have many people with an immigration background in our country.”
AfD secret meeting reminds of Wannsee conference
Germany is a different country today than it was in the 1930s, said Faeser, referring to comparisons with the rise of the National Socialists. “Nevertheless, we must be careful and recognize the threat to our democracy.” The Interior Minister was also alarmed by the right-wing plans for a coup. The recently revealed secret meeting of right-wing extremists in a hotel near Potsdam “involuntarily brings back memories of the terrible Wannsee Conference,” she said.
On January 20, 1942, leading representatives of the SS, NSDAP and several Reich ministries met in a villa on Berlin’s Wannsee to discuss their approach to the extermination of the Jews.
According to research by the Correctiv network, AfD politicians, neo-Nazis and entrepreneurs met in November 2023 in a hotel near Potsdam to discuss the expulsion of millions of people with an immigrant background from Germany.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.