Right-wing AfD leader verboten in Munich beer hall
The Local · 6 May 2016, 11:21
Published: 06 May 2016 11:21 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 May 2016 11:21 GMT+02:00
- Blasting AfD won't win back voters, warns Merkel (03 May 16)
- Germany's right-wing AfD adopts anti-Islam manifesto (01 May 16)
- 400 arrests outside German far-right AfD party congress (30 Apr 16)
A Munich branch of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party had booked a room in the Hofbräukeller beer hall and garden for Friday May 13th.
Party leader Frauke Petry was set to address members in the traditional hostelry, according to the Munich-based newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
But now manager Ricky Steinberg has called off the group’s reservation.
“I fear for the reputation of the Hofbräukeller and for its security,” Steinberg told Süddeutsche Zeitung on Thursday evening.
“I cannot expect my guests to put up with that.”
The AfD had made the reservation several weeks before and had been given a guarantee.
“I found myself in a catch-22 situation,” Steinberg said. “Should someone simply kick out a party that has gained so much support among the public?”
But the landlord said he changed his mind after he heard about the AfD’s latest party meeting last weekend where members adopted an anti-Islam agenda, including demanding bans on minarets on mosques, the call to prayer, full-face veils for women and female headscarves in schools.
He said he was concerned that now there would be protests at the hall if Petry came to speak.
“I really don’t need that kind of hullabaloo,” the manager said. “I now feel much better after the cancellation.”
Steinberg did allow another AfD leading light, Alexander Gauland, to speak at the beer hall last year, but the manager said that Gauland’s “Cold War 2.0” speech was about Euro-skepticism and anti-Islam sentiments were not yet such a big part of the party’s platform at the time.
In former times in Germany, beer halls have been home to extremism, including Hitler’s failed Beer Hall Putsch attempted coup in 1923.
But Steinberg's beer hall is not the first in recent times to eject right-wingers. Last year guests at another Munich beer garden drove out a known neo-Nazi.
And banning Petry isn't the first time Steinberg has gotten into a row with the right. The manager butted heads last summer with a right-wing student group called Alemannia when he rejected their reservation request.
The students took to social media to post nearly 3,000 negative reviews about the Hofbräukeller. In the end, Steinberg caved and let them celebrate at the beer hall.
But he still insists that when it comes to the “right-wing mindset… I won’t have that in my house.”