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AfD in Saxony-Anhalt classified as right-wing extremist

AfD in Saxony-Anhalt classified as right-wing extremist

by host

The Saxony-Anhalt state chapter of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has been classified as a right-wing extremist group by state-level intelligence authorities tasked with surveilling anti-constitutional groups.

Strong evidence of democratic violations by the party — including Islamophobic, anti-semitic and racist statements by elected officials — were collected by the German authorities and “prove the efforts of this party against the free democratic basic order,” said Jochen Hollmann, the head of Saxony-Anhalt’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution, to German news outlet mdr on Tuesday.

AfD is now classified as having “definitely extremist aspirations” — the highest threat category used by the domestic intelligence service, which allows intelligence services to increase monitoring of the party branch. AfD has become increasingly extreme since its founding in 2013, with the Saxony-Anhalt AfD branch suspected of being the first to radicalize in January 2021.

According to the authorities, the party violates human dignity, the principle of democracy and the rule of law — three pillars of the German constitution. Particularly problematic is AfD’s disregard for human dignity, which it demonstrates by calling migrants “invaders,” “intruders” and “culturally alien supply migrants,” mdr reported.

“The result is clear: The regional association not only continues to represent anti-constitutional positions that led to it being classified as a suspected case, but has also become so radicalized since the Corona pandemic that systematic observation using intelligence means is justified,” Hollmann said.

The decision comes as three states from the former East Germany — Thuringia, Brandenburg and Saxony — face regional elections in 2024, with support for the far-right AfD skyrocketing to between 15 percent and 35 percent in polls. Earlier this month, AfD made gains in state elections in Bavaria and Hesse, with officials close to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz concerned the right-populist party was gaining momentum.

The AfD in Saxony-Anhalt is the second party chapter to be classified as right wing-extremist after its sister branch in Thuringia in 2021.

Correction: A previous version of this article identified Jochen Hollmann as the head of Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution. He is the head of Saxony-Anhalt’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

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