Germany's far-right AfD denies plan to expel 'non-assimilated foreigners'

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Germany's far-right AfD denies plan to expel 'non-assimilated foreigners'
Pictured is the guesthouse in Potsdam where far-right AfD and Austrian politicians reportedly met. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Jens Kalaene

Officials from Germany's far-right AfD attended a meeting with an Austrian extremist leader, the party confirmed Wednesday, but denied any plans to adopt a proposal for mass deportations of immigrants reportedly discussed at the talks.


Citing undercover research, investigative media outlet Correctiv had reported that Martin Sellner, who leads the white pride Identitarian Movement in Austria, had presented a plan to "reverse the inward migration of foreigners", and remove migrants and asylum seekers instead.

He also reportedly suggested that when the AfD came into power, the biggest "problem" for the party would be the expulsion of "non assimilated citizens".

The meeting near Potsdam had gathered politicians, lawyers and doctors alike, according to Correctiv.

Sellner confirmed his presence at the talks, telling AFP, "it was the end of November and I presented my book and the Identitarian concept of remigration there".

The Austrian added that his "concept targeted migrants who are not assimilated, or who culturally, economically and criminally weigh on society".

The Identitarian movement subscribes to the "great replacement" conspiracy theory claiming a plot by non-white migrants to replace Europe's "native" white population, something that the nationalist extremists want to stop.


The AfD said Roland Hartwig, who is an aide of co-leader Alice Weidel, had presented a social media project at the meeting.

But the far-right group said Hartwig did not "bring Mr Sellner's ideas on migration policies" into the party, and added that it "would not change its immigration policies based on the individual ideas of a speaker at the meeting".

READ ALSO: Scholz 'concerned' about growing far-right popularity in Germany

According to Correctiv, one of the AfD participants had claimed the party was no longer opposed to dual citizenship, as "you can then take away the German one, and they'd still have one".

Saxony-Anhalt's AfD parliamentary group leader Ulrich Siegmund was also present at the meeting, as he confirmed to Correctiv, as was - according to his own statements only later - Potsdam's AfD district chairman Tim Krause.

Concerns about AfD's growing popularity

Created in 2013 as an anti-euro outfit before morphing into an anti-immigration party, the AfD entered parliament for the first time in 2017 on the back of discontent over a huge influx of migrants, many fleeing wars in Syria and Iraq.

Support for the party slid to around 10 percent in the 2021 election, but it has since regained ground as Chancellor Olaf Scholz's coalition struggles with an energy crisis, massive inflation and an ailing economy in the wake of Russia's war on Ukraine.

Concerns have also grown over the appeal of the party ahead of regional elections expected this autumn in the states of Thuringia, Saxony and Brandenburg, where support for the far-right party has traditionally been strongest.

The ideology behind the plan discussed at the meeting took aim at "the foundations of our democracy", German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.


FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr saw parallels to National Socialism.

"The plans to expel millions of people are reminiscent of the darkest chapter in German history," he wrote on X on Thursday. The research cited by the media organisation Correctiv "shows that the AfD deeply rejects democracy and our liberal basic order".

READ ALSO: Who are 'Reichsbürger' and how big a threat do they pose in Germany?

SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert and Green Party parliamentary group leader Britta Haßelmann called on citizens to take a stand against the AfD.

"I appeal to all those who do not want history to repeat itself: show your colours and do not leave the field to the misanthropes," Kühnert told the Funke Mediengruppe newspapers on Thursday morning.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also