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Jews have a lot of economic and cultural influence in Germany and that is a big problem - this statement by the AfD chairman in Würzburg, Herold Peters-Hartmann, caused horror.
The Mayor of Würzburg Christian Schuchardt (CDU) and the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, were equally shocked. Schuchardt, like the Catholic chairman of the Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation in Würzburg and Lower Franconia, university priest Burkhard Hose, wants to file a criminal complaint for sedition. The AfD in Lower Franconia wants to examine the process.
The statements made by Peters-Hartmann at an information booth of the party last Saturday were made to the MTA-International portal, which belongs to the Islamic community Ahmadiyya. The video can be found on Youtube. In it, an employee of MTA-International was looking for a conversation with several AfD city council candidates. The AfD boss spoke of the fact that there are Christian, Muslim and Jewish blocs in Germany. He said of the latter that they had "a great deal of influence" economically and culturally. That is a "very big problem".
Würzburg AfD chairman raves about "homogeneous people"
The MTA employee further asked Peters-Hartmann whether a democracy does not mean that it is "not just a homogeneous people", that one has different views. The AfD boss replied: "Homogeneous people. That would be a dream. That would be a dream." Schuchardt now spoke of the fact that "old anti-Semitic resentments" were being stoked and that all boundaries were being exceeded. He stands by the side of all people, regardless of religion and origin, who want to live peacefully in the city. "I do NOT want brown dirt to stain our Würzburg - the city we love for its colorful cosmopolitanism."
Central Council President Schuster, who comes from Würzburg, said that the AfD claimed not to be anti-Semitic. "The crystal clear statement of the Würzburg AfD functionary proves the opposite," said Schuster. "It must not be that an AfD politician spreads crude conspiracy myths and resentments against Jews - neither in Würzburg nor anywhere else." University pastor Hose said, "as a society for Christian-Jewish cooperation we will fight with all constitutional means and with all forces of civil society against the spreading of anti-Semitism and hatred against Muslims in Würzburg".
Bavaria's anti-Semitism commissioner Ludwig Spaenle spoke of a "blatant breach of a taboo that reveals direct responsibility for political extremism and anti-Semitism".
"Draw the consequences if necessary"
The deputy AfD state chairman in Bavaria, Gerd Mannes, said that one would wait for the investigation after the criminal complaint and, if necessary, draw conclusions. "The AfD is very clear about Jewish life in Germany and I can only apologize for the party if the statements in the interview give the opposite impression."
He does not want to relativize the process. However, "the circumstances of the spontaneous and partly obviously covert interview in the pedestrian zone must also be examined in more detail." The reporter and the cameraman are alleged representatives of an at least questionable fundamentalist Islamic Internet platform, whose activities are monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. But there is no evidence of this.
The AfD district chairman in Lower Franconia, Richard Graupner, told the "Main-Post" that he had not yet seen the video. "We'll take a close look at that in the district board." Should the statements be so, "we will not approve of it. I have not the slightest doubt about that." The member of the state parliament announced that "appropriate measures would then be taken".
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