We’ve featured Björn Höcke, a popular local leader within the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany), a number of times in the past. Even though I don’t understand German, Mr. Höcke’s eloquence somehow comes through in the subtitled videos we’ve posted. I can’t tell you anything about his rhetorical skills, or what kind of accent he has, but his charisma seems to transcend the language barrier. He’s kind of like Tommy Robinson that way.
Björn Höcke is less willing than the AfD’s national leadership to hobble himself with the shibboleths of Political Correctness. Which is why he’s been consigned to regional leadership, rather than being a star member of the Bundestag like Alice Weidel, Alexander Gauland, and Gottfried Curio.
Personally, I prefer un-PC Germans. If they don’t descend to Jew-hatred — which no leader of the AfD does — I like to see Germans who are proud to be Germans, who refuse to let themselves and their nation be defined by the twelve years of their history from 1933 to 1945.
Björn Höcke is causing controversy yet again, and the national leadership of the AfD is not pleased. Many thanks to JLH for translating this article from Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung:
“Above all, it is the style of the AfD chair and spokesman for the “Wing’ that is the object of criticism in parts of the party.”
Continuing Conflict About Björn Höcke
by Peter Entinger
July 20, 2019
Arguments surrounding the Thuringian and his “Wing” [der Flügel] prevent the AfD from settling down.
Shortly before the provincial elections in Middle Germany, the power struggle inside the AfD flamed up. The center of conflict is once again Thuringian State party leader, Björn Höcke.
A position paper from 100 functionaries and representatives of the party called for Höcke to concentrate on his provincial contingent in Thuringia.
His recent appearance at the Kyffhäuser meeting of the so-called Wing had met with vigorous criticism. He spoke of “exclusionism and divisiveness.” He attacked the AfD arbitration panel as well as the national party leader. “I guarantee you that, in this arrangement, this party leader will not be re-elected.”
Until recently, Alexander Gauland, the party’s contingent leader in the Bundestag, had been seen as the connecting link between wings of the party. At Kyffhäuser, he distanced himself for the first time from the “Wing” and warned against “total freedom of expression.” The AfD senior member openly admitted that there are rumblings in a number of local organizations. “I am concerned at the conflicts in several provincial party wings,” he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “It cannot go well in the long run when conflicts in the party take up more energy than confronting the political opposition.”
After his controversial speech in Dresden, Höcke stayed in the background for almost two years, all the while exerting great influence in other provincial party wings. Markus Klenk, meanwhile retired as chief of the Bavarian AfD, accuses Höcke of undermining its authority by purposefully assigning right-wing staff to it. The present caucus leader, Katrin Steiner-Ebner, is among the Thuringian’s supporters. In this connection, here is a decision of the Bavarian panel of arbitration: “The Wing” represents a damaging organization. It can “no longer be denied” that The Wing is in a “competitive relationship” with the AfD. Höcke responded by saying that The Wing had no membership cards and would not be raising any contributions. On the other hand, the Thuringian gave out badges to “deserving members” at the meeting of The Wing, which was taken by much of the national leadership as a provocation.
Höcke’s supporters in the highest level of the party are in the minority, and they do not play a big role within the parliamentary faction. Their influence in the party organizations, however, is considerable. In North Rhine-Westphalia, all the members of the provincial leadership, except for three Höcke supporters, resigned. The departing Chair Helmut Seifen summed it up bitterly, saying that the Wing members had ripped off whole chapters, and would accelerate the division of the party.
In Schleswig-Holstein, another supporter was re-elected to the party’s state leadership. It did not go down well with the party leadership that Doris von Sayn-Wittgenstein — already threatened with exclusion from the party — was elevated to the office again. Gauland’s co-party leader, Jörg Meuthen, advocated putting a stop to the procedure, commenting that the party could not afford to scare away middle-class supporters.
In Lower Saxony, supporters of the present state party leader, Dana Guth are in conflict with those of her predecessor, Paul Hampel, likewise a Höcke man. And the national party head has been forced to intervene more than once in little Saarland. The local party chief, Josef Dörr, is suspected of wanting to silence critics. He is also aligned with the Thuringian.
A serious mistake in candidate listings in Saxony which could lead to a severely diminished vote in September has not improved the mood. The document of the 100 AfD functionaries exploded into this situational conflict. Höcke’s Kyffhäuser speech, it says, damaged internal party solidarity and “thus stabbed our campaigners and members in the back.” “The majority of the membership rejects the excessively showy cult of personality surrounding Höcke.” The signatories emphasized “the AfD is not and will not become a Björn Höcke party.” Höcke should confine himself to his tasks in Thuringia. The signatories include the deputy parliamentary heads, Georg Pazderski and Kay Gottschalk as well as several Bundestag representatives and the state heads of Rhineland-Palatinate and Lower Saxony, Uwe Junge and Dana Guth.
It is interesting that Jörg Meuthen, who was said to have a rather close relationship with Höcke, is distancing himself, “I am not surprised at this uproar,” he said, “because dissatisfaction and massive criticism of the demeanor and some comments by the Thuringian party leader are palpable within the party,”