Björn Höcke fined for using banned Nazi slogans

Björn Höcke fined for using banned Nazi slogans
Björn Höcke fined for using banned Nazi slogans

Thuringia’s AfD leader Höcke has already been convicted once for a Nazi remark. Now a second verdict has followed.

The Halle Regional Court has again sentenced the Thuringian AfD regional leader Björn Höcke for using a banned Nazi slogan. Höcke must pay a fine of 130 daily rates of 130 euros each. The 52-year-old was found guilty of using symbols of unconstitutional and terrorist organizations. Presiding Judge Jan Stengel said that the court did not consider a prison sentence appropriate. However, Höcke’s guilt cannot be called into question. An appeal against the verdict is possible.

The public prosecutor’s office had charged Höcke because he uttered the first two words of the Nazi slogan “Everything for Germany” at an AfD get-together in Gera, Thuringia, in December 2023. The audience completed the slogan. From the prosecutor’s point of view, the politician knew that the audience would utter the third word and made an “almost inviting arm movement” to do so. The slogan was once used by the Sturmabteilung (SA), the paramilitary combat organization of the Nazi party NSDAP.

Höcke already convicted of Nazi slogans

Judge Stengel said that the video of the speech in Gera did not show Höcke’s negative attitude, “but rather his facial expression of approval.” Höcke wanted everyone to complete the sentence. He tested the limits of what could be said.

The representative of the public prosecutor, Benedikt Bernzen, demanded an eight-month prison sentence for the defendant, which should be suspended. In addition, Höcke should pay 10,000 euros to a non-profit organization such as the Buchenwald concentration camp memorial. The defense attorneys and Höcke himself demanded an acquittal. The politician, who is running as his party’s top candidate in the Thuringian state elections on September 1, said: “I am innocent and ask for an acquittal.”

In May, the Halle Regional Court had already sentenced Höcke to a fine totaling 13,000 euros for the same Nazi slogan. He had used the slogan at an election campaign event in Merseburg, Saxony-Anhalt, in May 2021. The decision is not legally binding because Höcke has appealed.

Transparency note: This article has been updated.

Source: Stern

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