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AfD confirms participation of Weidel’s assistant in secret plan on “remigration” following “Correctiv” report

The personal aide to the AfD parliamentary group leader is said to have presented a social media project at the meeting. Weidel herself was unaware of the participants and content.

The AfD parliamentary group has confirmed the participation of the personal assistant to party and faction leader Alice Weidel in the meeting of the right-wing network of politicians and entrepreneurs at the end of November 2023 in Potsdam.

Roland Hartwig presented a social media project at the meeting, which he is overseeing, a spokesperson for the parliamentary group told Tagesspiegel. Hartwig works for Weidel and previously served as the parliamentary managing director of the AfD faction.

An article published on Wednesday by the investigative portal “Correctiv” reported on the meeting, which reportedly discussed a strategy for the “remigration” of millions of foreigners and people with German citizenship from Germany. According to the report, Austrian right-wing extremist Martin Sellner is said to have played a central role.

“The AfD will not change its stance on immigration policy, as stated in the party’s program, due to an individual opinion of a speaker at a non-AfD event.” A spokesperson for the AfD parliamentary groupsaid

The AfD faction spokesperson said that Hartwig did not develop any ideas there that were subsequently discussed in the federal executive committee: “He did not develop political strategies there, nor did he bring in ideas of a Mr. Sellner about migration policy, of whose appearance he had no prior knowledge into the party.”

The strategy for “remigration” presented at the meeting will not be adopted by the AfD, said the faction spokesperson: “The AfD will not change its stance on immigration policy, as stated in the party’s program, due to an individual opinion of a speaker at a non-AfD event.”

However, Brandenburg AfD member of the Bundestag René Springer expressed support for the content of the meeting on Wednesday. “We will repatriate foreigners to their home countries. In millions. This is not a #SecretPlan. It’s a promise,” he wrote.

AfD leader Weidel allegedly knew very little

Weidel’s personal spokesperson told Tagesspiegel that she was not aware of the content or participants of the said meeting.

“The sword of Damocles of a ban should, however, continue to hang over the AfD.” Wolfgang Thierse (SPD), former President of the Bundestag

Former President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Thierse (SPD) sees the meeting as evidence of the radicalism of the AfD. “The investigation into the AfD’s plans for mass deportation of people with a migration background is enlightening. If only half of it is true, it shows that the AfD is much more than just a right-wing populist party,” Thierse told Tagesspiegel: “The AfD is organizing itself with enemies of democracy and revolutionaries. This is highly dramatic.”

The democratic parties must “seek much more than before to engage in substantive debate with the AfD, expose their deceit and double game,” Thierse said. “Just one example: The AfD wants to reduce subsidies according to their program, but now celebrates the farmers’ protest against the reduction of subsidies.”

If the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution defines the AfD as a largely right-wing extremist party, “the state must observe it very closely and consider a possible ban. However, a party ban has high hurdles, and any proceedings towards that would be exploited for propaganda by the AfD. The sword of Damocles of a ban should, however, continue to hang over the AfD,” Thierse said. “The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution must still be taken seriously.”

By Charlotte Greipl, Daniel Friedrich Sturm

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