AfD politician faces party expulsion over Hitler wine bottle photos

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 17 Oct, 2018 Updated Wed 17 Oct 2018 11:08 CEST
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An Alternative for Germany (AfD) politician could be expelled from the party after old photos of her posing in front of wine bottles with a Hitler label emerged.

The photos of Jessica Bießmann, who represents the AfD in the Marzahn-Hellersdorf area and is family spokeswoman for the faction, were reportedly posted on the social media site ‘MySpace' around a decade ago, but have re-emerged on the internet.

They show the 37-year-old posing in a variety of outfits on a kitchen counter, with the bottles featuring Hitler’s face on a shelf in the background.

The so-called "Führerwein" can be sold freely in some countries, including Italy, but can be delivered to Germany by mail order. It isn’t against the law to own the bottles, but it is forbidden to trade with them or show them in public.

The Berlin AfD has initiated proceedings against Bießmann, a member of state parliament, to expel her from the party. This was decided unanimously by the state executive, the spokesman for the Berlin AfD, Ronald Gläser, announced on Tuesday, reports RBB.

It is understood that the procedure could take several months and does not mean that there is immediate action. 

the AfD faction will also decide whether to expel the politician from the parliamentary group in Marzahn-Hellersdorf. Spokesman Thorsten Elsholtz reportedly told B.Z: "The Bießmann case is on the agenda."

Jessica Bießmann, family policy spokeswoman of the AfD faction in Berlin. Photo: DPA

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According to a B.Z newspaper report, Bießmann regretted that the photos had been taken. The 10-year-old photos were not taken in her apartment, the AfD politician told the B.Z. The apartment belonged to a friend in a suburb of the eastern German city of Chemnitz, to whom she no longer has any contact with today.

Bießmann hadn't noticed the bottles in the background at the time the photos were taken, she said.

The trained car saleswoman, who is a mother-of-three, was elected to the House of Representatives in 2016 and is the parliamentary group's family expert.

It remains to be seen whether Bießmann may also face criminal consequences. In Germany, the use and publication of unconstitutional signs, which include images of Hitler, is illegal.

All swastika and other Nazi symbols are banned in Germany. Those caught breaking the law can be fined or face a jail term of up to three years.

The reason an image of Hitler's head is also seen as offensive is because this kind of imagery was used on a huge scale during the Nazi era and symbolized the Nazi state as a whole.

The AfD has already had its fair share of controversial moments, including when co-leader Alexander Gauland said the Holocaust was "a speck of bird shit in more than 1,000 years of successful German history".

Meanwhile, Björn Höcke, the AfD leader in Thuringia, joined members of the far-right, anti-Islam group Pegida, during a march in the east German town of Chemnitz during unrest there, sparking calls for the party to be monitored by the state.

Höcke also called the Holocaust monument in Berlin a "monument of shame in the heart of the capital". The AfD considered expelling him from the party but changed its mind.

Although the party has risen meteorically since it was established in 2013, it has struggled with internal flighting. 



The Local 2018/10/17 11:08

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