Former SPD chief Schulz to AfD’s Gauland: ‘You belong in the dung heap of German history’

The Bundestag is well known for its lengthy discussions over Germany’s hot topics. But tempers flared up to a higher level on Wednesday during a debate which covered topics including the recent right-wing riots in Germany.

Former SPD chief Schulz to AfD's Gauland: 'You belong in the dung heap of German history'
Martin Schulz receives a standing ovation in the Bundestag on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

The former Social Democrats (SPD) leader Martin Schulz verbally attacked Alternative for Germany (AfD) co-leader Alexander Gauland in an impassioned speech, saying he belonged in the “Misthaufen” – the dung heap – of German history, reports German media.

MPs were holding the fiery debate in the Bundestag in the aftermath of far-right protests in eastern Germany. In addition to immigration and far-right violence, the national budget plan was also on the agenda.

The AfD, which is the largest opposition party in the Bundestag, raised concerns over the depiction of the right-wing demonstrators who took part in protests in the eastern German city of Chemnitz, describing most of them as “concerned citizens” rather than as part of extremist mobs.

Gauland said the protestors who gave Hitler salutes, an illegal act in Germany, belong to a minority and that “the real crime was the bloody act committed by two asylum-seekers in Chemnitz”, Deutsche Welle reports.

But his speech prompted an emotional response from Schulz, who stood up to accuse the AfD of adopting “the means of fascism”, pointing to a strategy of reducing complex political problems down to one thing, “in general related to a minority in a country,” he said.

“Migrants are to blame for everything – there have been similar words in this house before,” Schulz said, referring to the time of Nazism.

“It's time for democracy to defend itself against these people,” he added.

His speech was followed by loud applause from several members of government. He was also given a standing ovation by some.

Schulz also referenced Gauland’s previous comments at the beginning of June that the Nazi era was only a “speck of bird shit” in the course of Germany's long history. Schulz said: “Mr Gauland, the amount of bird shit is a dung heap, and there is where you belong in German history.”

Schulz received a standing ovation from his fellow Social Democrats, along with politicians from the Green and Left parties.

Gauland reacted by saying what he said had “nothing to do with fascism”.

“Barricade yourself in the federal chancellery, further from reality,” he added.

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Ex-chancellor Schröder sues German Bundestag for removing perks

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has sued the German parliament for removing some of his official post-retirement perks over his links to Russian energy giants, his lawyer said Friday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder sues German Bundestag for removing perks

Schröder, 78, has come under heavy criticism for his proximity to Russian President Vladimir Putin and involvement with state-backed energy companies.

The decision to suspend Schröder’s taxpayer-funded office and staff in May was “contrary to the rule of law”, Michael Nagel, told public broadcaster NDR.

Schröder “heard of everything through the media”, Nagel said, noting that the Social Democrat had asked for a hearing before the budget committee responsible but was not given the chance to express himself.

READ ALSO: Germany strips Schröder of official perks over Russia ties

Schröder’s lawyers filed the complaint with an administrative Berlin court, a spokesman for the court confirmed.

In its decision to strip him of the perks, the committee concluded that Schröder, who served as chancellor from 1998 to 2005, “no longer upholds the continuing obligations of his office”.

Most of Schröder’s office staff had already quit before the final ruling was made.

Despite resigning from the board of Russian oil company Rosneft and turning down a post on the supervisory board of gas giant Gazprom in May, Schröder has maintained close ties with the Kremlin.

The former chancellor met Putin in July, after which he said Moscow was ready for a “negotiated solution” to the war in Ukraine — comments branded as “disgusting” by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Last week, the Social Democrats concluded that Schröder would be allowed to remain a member after he was found not have breached party rules over his ties to the Russian President.

Schröder’s stance on the war and solo diplomacy has made him an embarrassment to the SPD, which is also the party of current Chancellor Olaf Scholz.