AfD banned ‘indefinitely’ from attending Holocaust memorial services

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party have been banned from attending Holocaust remembrance services at the Buchenwald Concentration Camp in the central German state of Thuringia.

AfD banned 'indefinitely' from attending Holocaust memorial services
Photo: DPA

Volkhard Knigge, the director of the memorial foundation which organizes remembrance services, sent a letter to the local chapter of the AfD informing them of the ban. 

The services at the Buchenwald Concentration Camp were organized to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day. January 27th marks the 74th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp.

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The ban, which was imposed earlier in the week, is set to run indefinitely. 

The foundation told the AfD that its representatives would be unwelcome until the point at which “it has convincingly distanced itself from the anti-democratic and anti-human rights stances and historical revisionism within the party”. 

Björn Höcke, the AfD’s leader in Thuringia, was previously banned from attending memorial services after a 2017 speech in Dresden where he criticised Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial, saying “we Germans are the only ones in the world who have planted a memorial of shame in the heart of their capital” while urging Germany to “make a 180-degree change in their commemoration policy”. 

The foundation said it was incumbent upon the AfD to alter their political stances and distance themselves from Höcke should they wish to be permitted to attend future events. 

“Anyone within the AfD who does not credibly oppose such positions and the trivialising, relativizing view of history associated with them, supports them,” wrote Mr Knigge. 

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Traditionally, representatives of Thuringia’s state parliament attend remembrance ceremonies each year to lay a wreath in commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust. 

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