“The rise of the Pirate Party is as fast as that of the NSDAP between 1928 and 1933,” Martin Delius, parliamentary manager of the Pirates in the Berlin state government told Der Spiegel, provoking outage.
The 27-year-old has apologised, and said he would no longer be standing for election to lead the party nationally. “I made a mistake,” he told Monday's Berlin Zeitung. “The perception of the Pirate Party has been damaged by my unthinking comments. I take responsibility for this.”
The paper said that Delius had recently taken a tough position against a number of Pirates who had expressed far-right views, or who had not distanced themselves sufficiently from them.
The Greens – under threat by the Pirates for their position as Germany's third political party – attacked what party leader Claudia Roth described as Delius' “outrageous overstepping of boundaries.”
She called for the Pirates to define their basic values clearly and as unmistakably democratic – and to draw a firm line against far-right thinking.
Green chief whip Volker Beck said he saw a “real demarcation problem” between the Pirates and the far-right. Many of them believe they have to allow any opinion within their own party, “even if they find these opinions disgusting themselves,” he told Monday's Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper.
He said it was no surprise that the far-right were trying to infiltrate the Pirates as a new political party – and said the Pirates would only be to blame if they allow this to happen.