Political establishment humiliated in Bavarian election

Horst Seehofer (right) with Chancellor Angela Merkel: the ruling CSU was rejected by Bavarian voters yesterday after Seehofer’s inconsistent stance on immigration

The latest in a series of historic defeats for Europe’s political establishment saw German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s partners in the Christian Social Union (CSU) fall to a humilating defeat in the Bavarian regional elections.

Ever since the creation of Bismarck’s Germany in 1871 Bavaria has had a unique position as a Catholic region in a majority-Protestant state and has almost always been ruled by Catholic-conservative parties. In postwar arrangements that grew out of Anglo-American military occupation, the Christian Democrats (CDU) are the main conservative party in fifteen of Germany’s sixteen regions or länder, while the CSU operates as the CDU’s Catholic partner in Bavaria.

CSU leader Horst Seehofer is Interior Minister in Merkel’s cabinet, and for more than a year he has been trying to distance himself from her disastrous immigration policies. However Bavaria’s voters saw through Seehofer’s inconsistency: if he really disagreed so much with Merkel’s determination to admit hordes of migrants, he should have split the CDU-CSU alliance and brought down the government. Seehofer cannot continue to serve in such a senior government role, then when it suits him avoid responsibility for government policy.

Seehofer’s CSU polled its worst result since 1950, down from 47.6% to 37.2%, finishing eighteen seats short of a majority.

Alternative für Deutschland (AfD – Alternative for Germany) – the anti-immigration party that was created just after the previous Bavarian elections in 2013 – achieved 10.2% and will have 22 seats in the new Bavarian parliament (Landtag). AfD now has members in every regional parliament except Hesse (the region that includes Frankfurt), where the newly-created party narrowly missed out at the September 2013 Landtag election, polling 4.1%, below the 5% threshold required to obtain seats. AfD is confident of winning seats at the next election in Hesse, which is on October 28th. Opinion polls suggest AfD’s Hesse vote will be between 10% and 14%.

 

Since there is no chance of the CSU agreeing to coalition talks with AfD, the ruling party will now seek a deal with the so-called ‘Free Voters’ (FW), a loosely-knit grouping of regionalist parties that will have a shopping list of demands representing particular local interests. FW’s platform is anti-immigration, but not so strongly as AfD, and their support can probably by bought by CSU concessions on specific issues (e.g. opposition to a third runway at Munich’s international airport).

The big question know is whether this latest electoral humiliation will signal the end for Angela Merkel. Armin Gastl, CSU leader in the central Munich constituency, said: “Voters are abandoning us chiefly because of Merkel. I hope she will step down—she is a woman of the past, not a woman of the future. This is the twilight of the chancellor.”

 

Former Trump adviser on European tour – plans to set up new European populist ‘Movement’

Leading figures in ‘The Movement’, an alliance of European populists – (left to right) former Trump adviser Steve Bannon; Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini; and Brussels-based Jewish lawyer Mischael Modrikamen

Steve Bannon, the controversial former adviser to President Trump and former executive chairman of Breitbart News, is touring European capitals this week and meeting a range of political leaders.

Bannon plans to develop a pan-European alliance of populist forces under the label ‘The Movement’. This was officially registered in January by a Belgian lawyer called Mischael Modrikamen, who is a well-known figure in the Jewish community in Brussels and leader of a tiny party called the People’s Party.

Modrikamen is a friend and ally of Nigel Farage, through whom he was introduced to Bannon.

The most important figures already signed up to ‘The Movement’ are Italian deputy prime minister and interior minister Matteo Salvini, leader of the anti-immigration Lega, and his ally Giorgia Meloni, leader of Fratelli d’Italia (‘Brothers of Italy’), the most significant of several groups that grew out of the former fascist party MSI.

Steve Bannon with Giorgia Meloni last weekend at the conference of her ‘post-fascist’ party Fratelli d’Italia

Bannon spoke at the Fratelli d’Italia conference in Rome last weekend. He told an enthusiastic crowd: “Trump and Brexit and [the Italian general election in] March 2018 are all inextricably linked: it’s a rejection of the way things are and it’s a way forward … it’s the little guy saying ‘we have a better idea’ … and the first thing is a rejection of what the elites have foisted on Western civilization.”

After Rome, Bannon went on to Prague where he met Czech President Milos Zeman, who comes from a very different political tradition to Bannon’s Italian hosts. While Salvini’s roots are in regional separatism and Meloni’s are in the postwar development of Italy’s fascist tradition, President Zeman is one of the last of the old Eastern European politicians rooted in a version of socialism. A Communist party member until 1970, Zeman created the Social Democratic Party and was a centre-left Prime Minister for several years, but more recently has moved towards a radically anti-immigration populism, winning re-election as President earlier this year.

Like Bannon’s other allies, Zeman is closer to Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin than to the liberal elites who control the European Union.

 

 

Labour promise post-Brexit immigration nightmare

Diane Abbott – seen here (right) with Jeremy Corbyn – today announced Labour’s post-Brexit immigration policy

Some H&D readers were always sceptical about Brexit, fearing that immigration policy would actually get worse after we left the European Union. UKIP spokesmen regularly argued that they would prefer immigrants from India (and by implication English-speaking countries in Africa) to those from Eastern Europe.

UKIP of course is now semi-extinct, so that party’s views on race and immigration are irrelevant, but there is a real possibility that post-Brexit Britain will have a Labour government. Today we found out what that might mean.

Diane Abbott – who has been such a disaster as Shadow Home Secretary that she was hidden away for most of the 2017 election campaign – today announced Labour’s immigration policy, and many H&D readers might now be thinking we would be better off in the EU than risking this open door disaster.

Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn were seen in the 1980s as the ‘loony left’, highlighted in this Tory election poster, but Tory failure now leaves these extremists on the brink of power.

Ms Abbott said that a Labour government would end any preferential system for Europeans:

“Sadly at the current time we have a class system for migrants.

“Commonwealth migrants and other non-EU migrants are treated in a way that is tantamount to making them second-class migrants.

“They struggle to bring partners or spouses here. They have to meet minimum income targets. They can lose their right to residency simply by travelling home for family reasons.

“It’s not fair, it’s not humane, it’s not reasonable.

“Labour will end the established system of first and second-class migrants. And we will do so, not by treating EU migrants as appallingly as Commonwealth and other non-EU migrants have been treated for a long time. We will end the first and second-class system by treating everyone fairly.”

We fear that Ms Abbott was not thinking of South African, Australian or other White Commonwealth migrants. We all know the type of people who will be queuing up to take advantage of a Corbyn-Abbott run Britain.

Big gains for Swedish anti-immigration party

Sweden Democrats’ leader Jimmie Åkesson casting his vote in today’s general election

As counting ends after today’s general election in Sweden, the anti-immigration party Sweden Democrats have made significant gains, polling 17.6% of the vote and probably holding the balance of power. It will be impossible for the centre-right ‘Moderates’ to form a government without the support of the Sweden Democrats, while the ruling Social Democrats have slipped to their worst result since 1908 and can now only govern with the support of the extreme left.

In reality the Sweden Democrats (led by a former Moderates activist Jimmie Åkesson) are today ideologically similar to the right-wing of our Conservative Party, though when it was founded in the late 1980s the origins of the party were among hardline racial nationalists, including former members of the Waffen-SS.

The biggest reason for the party’s recent success has been the shocking ethnic transformation of Sweden, which within living memory was an almost entirely White country. Since 2015 the left-wing government has allowed the entry of 163,000 immigrants – and remember that Sweden has less than one-sixth the population of the UK. Sweden has for the last few years had the highest per capita immigration rate of any European country.

It will be very interesting to see whether the Sweden Democrats are allowed any role in government, in what was arguably the most consistently left-wing 20th century democracy. And if they are excluded from government, will the anti-immigration rage of the Swedish people be further inflamed?

 

German government on the brink over immigration policy – is this the end for Merkel?

Angela Merkel (left) is at odds with her own interior minister Horst Seehofer (right) over immigration policy in a row that could transform European politics.

Germany’s coalition government is on the verge of collapse due to serious splits over immigration policy.

Chancellor Angela Merkel took the disastrous decision in 2015 to admit more than a million refugees in what amounted to an ‘open border’ policy. Now her own interior minister (equivalent to a British Home Secretary) is threatening to resign.

This is especially serious because the minister concerned (Horst Seehofer) leads the Bavarian conservative party CSU, which has been allied to Merkel’s CDU for the entire history of the German Federal Republic: all the way back to 1945.

Seehofer’s immediate concern is so-called “secondary migration”, by which immigrants to one EU country then move to another EU country. Understandably he wants Germany to have control of its own borders.

Merkel tried last week to reach a deal with other EU leaders which would satisfy her anti-immigration critics, both among her own government allies and in the general population, but she seems to have failed.

If Seehofer’s CSU splits from the CDU, it will be the most serious change in Western European politics since the Second World War – a much bigger deal than Brexit – and might give a tremendous boost to plans for a continent-wide alliance of anti-immigration parties, now being promoted by Italy’s deputy prime minister and interior minister Matteo Salvini.

(July 3rd update: Seehofer and Merkel seemed to have patched up a deal to avoid an immediate split in the government, but the big issues remain unresolved and the latest deal is causing a fresh immigration row with Austria.)

Meanwhile demonstrations have been held for the last two weekends in the cities of Hamm and Nuremberg against the imprisonment of 89-year-old Ursula Haverbeck for the opinion crime of ‘Holocaust denial’. Mrs Haverbeck dared to question the establishment’s line on 1940s history – the very same historical myths that underpinned the postwar political consensus which is now collapsing.

The most recent protest march last Saturday (see below) was attended by veteran British nationalist and campaigner for historical truth Richard Edmonds, whose speech begins at 25:28 in the first video below.

This week the latest Orwellian trial will take place in Germany, featuring Canadian-German Alfred Schaefer and his sister, violinist Monika Schaefer, a Canadian citizen who has been imprisoned since January awaiting trial for the ‘crime’ of uploading a ‘Holocaust denial’ video to YouTube.

Canadians protest at German Consulate after violinist arrested for Thought Crime

Last week a group of concerned Canadians deliver a letter of protest at the German Consulate in Vancouver, following the extraordinary arrest of a Canadian violinist for violating Germany’s notorious laws restricting historical analysis and debate.

Violinist Monica Schaefer was seized by German police while quietly attending the trial of attorney Sylvia Stolz, who has been subjected to repeated prosecutions and imprisonments for defending her historical revisionist clients in German courts.

Now Monika herself is being held in prison while the authorities determine how she can be tried.  Despite her good character, she is likely to remain in custody for several months before any trial.

Germany’s notorious volksverhetzung law makes it a criminal offence to raise questions about the alleged ‘Holocaust’ of six million Jews in homicidal ‘gas chambers’.  Those imprisoned under this law have included German-Canadian artist and publisher Ernst Zündel, author and lawyer Horst Mahler, and his fellow attorney Sylvia Stolz.

For further information about Monika Schaefer’s case read Paul Fromm’s regularly updated website.

H&D readers can contact Monika Schaefer at her prison address:

Monika Schaefer, Political Prisoner,

Stadelheim Prison

Schwarzenbergstr. 14

81549 München

Germany

AfD tries to shrug off leadership split after record gains

AfD co-leader Frauke Petry walked out of her party’s press conference this morning: she will sit as an independent

[spacer height=”20px”]Only a few hours after achieving record gains in the German general election, the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD – Alternative for Deutschland) had its first setback.

Co-leader Frauke Petry stunned a press conference this morning by announcing she was quitting to sit as an independent in Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag.  Mrs Petry then walked out, refusing to answer any questions.

This is partly the old story of ego overtaking party commitment. Mrs Petry rapidly became the best known public face of AfD after ousting the party’s founder Bernd Lucke in July 2015, and she might have started to believe she was bigger than the party.

Commentators also need to be more careful in referring to ‘moderate’ and ‘hardline’ factions in AfD. Mrs Petry herself was considered an ‘extremist’ when her faction took over the party two years ago.  Most of AfD’s founders had been interested mainly in reforming the EU, and were a very moderate version of UKIP. Mrs Petry and her allies were unafraid of using hardline anti-immigration rhetoric.

This paid off as German voters revolted against conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door policy on ‘asylum seekers’.  At one stage AfD was polling close to 20% and began winning seats in regional parliaments (Landtag) across Germany.[spacer height=”20px”]

AfD’s candidate for Chancellor, 72-year-old former CDU official Alexander Gauland (right) was unimpressed by Mrs Petry’s behaviour this morning

[spacer height=”20px”]However Mrs Petry – while happy to use extreme language about immigration and especially about Islam – was very nervous about offending Germany’s small but noisy Jewish population, and wanted to avoid challenging taboo subjects connected to her country’s 20th century history.

Last year she refused to join the witch-hunting of AfD activist Wolfgang Gedeon for his historical views, but we can now see that this was more about her personal rivalry with Gedeon’s arch-critic Jörg Meuthen. Today it is Mrs Petry who styles herself the ‘moderate’, and Mr Meuthen who remains loyal to the party leadership.

Notably she refused to back the leader of anti-Islam group Pegida when he proposed that circumcision of children should be banned until they reach 18 and can decide for themselves. AfD’s draft manifesto in 2016 supported this policy, but Mrs Petry and her allies blocked it, realising that the policy would be seen as anti-Jewish as well as anti-Muslim.

In April 2017 she told German newspaper Die Welt that her party “is one of the few political guarantors of Jewish life, also in times of illegal, anti-Semitic migration to Germany”.[spacer height=”20px”]

Thuringia Landtag member Bjorn Höcke (centre), one of AfD’s most prominent spokesmen, seen here with Alexander Gauland and Frauke Petry, who later tried to have Höcke expelled from the party

[spacer height=”20px”]By this time Mrs Petry was engaged in an internal battle within the party to enforce a policy of genuflecting to the national religion of ‘Holocaustianity’. She tried to get one party official, Bjorn Höcke, expelled from AfD – not for ‘Holocaust denial’, but for a speech in which he called the Berlin Holocaust memorial a “monument of shame”, and an interview in which he told the Wall Street Journal: “The big problem is that one presents Hitler as absolutely evil. But of course we know that there is no black and no white in history.”

After failing to enforce a rigid party discipline on such matters, and partly because she was expecting her fifth child, Mrs Petry stepped down earlier this year as AfD’s candidate for Chancellor.  In July there was even a serious attempt to block her from standing as a party candidate for the Bundestag, partly because of her “divisive” behavious but also because she face criminal charges for alleged perjury, connected with the running and financing of AfD in her home region of Saxony.

Even during the election campaign Mrs Petry was seen as a troublemaker, particularly hostile to party co-founder Alexander Gauland, the 72-year-old candidate for Chancellor, who upset her by referring to fellow Germans’ “right to be proud of the achievements of the German soldiers in two world wars.”[spacer height=”20px”]

AfD’s leading candidates at the Bundestag election – Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel – celebrating their record high vote last night

[spacer height=”20px”]At this morning’s press conference Mrs Petry did not expand on her reasons for quitting the party.  She seems to have the backing of a small faction in the north-eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, where four fellow MPs elected yesterday as AfD candidates say they will also now sit as independents.

However the vast majority of the party is likely to view this morning’s outburst as petty and divisive, motivated by personal spite and vanity.  Mrs Petry has almost certainly consigned herself to political oblivion.  In particular it is difficult for her to sustain the argument that her line is the only “pragmatic” one, after AfD has just secured the best election result it could reasonably have hoped for.

AfD achieved 5.9 million votes (12.6%) and will have 94 seats in the new Bundestag. This is up from 2 million votes (4.7%) at the last general election in 2013, when the party fell just below the 5% threshold so had no seats. AfD’s results were especially outstanding in parts of the former East Germany – becoming the largest party in the region of Saxony (which includes the cities of Leipzig, Dresden and Chemnitz). AfD polled almost 670,000 votes (27.0%) in Saxony, ahead of Merkel’s CDU on 26.9%.[spacer height=”20px”]

AfD activists celebrating at their election night party

[spacer height=”20px”]One unfortunate side-effect of AfD’s success is that the vote for Germany’s traditional nationalist party the NPD fell to 176,715 (0.4%), from 560,828 (1.3%) in 2013. Therefore the NPD has fallen below the 0.5% required for state funding, which would be a serious financial blow were it not for the fact that the Bundestag had already voted three months ago to cut off state funding of the NPD even if it qualified!

The best NPD constituency result was 2.0% in a Mecklenburg-Vorpommern district close to the Polish border in the far north-east; the party also managed 1.9% in several constituencies in Thuringia and Saxony. NPD polled 1.1% (28,434 votes) in Saxony as a whole, and 1.2% in Thuringia.

 

German nationalists win Bundestag seats with record high vote

AfD candidate for Chancellor Alexander Gauland has led the party into the Bundestag for the first time with more than 80 MPs

The German anti-immigration party Alternative for Deutschland (AfD – Alternative for Germany) has won seats for the first time in the country’s national parliament, the Bundestag, polling 12.6% of the nationwide vote.

German general elections are a combination of Westminster-style constituencies (where an MP is elected first-past-the-post) and a proportional list-based system.  Voters choose both an MP for their locality, and express a preference for a party. After each directly elected MP has been chosen, the rest of the Bundestag is drawn from various party lists so that its final composition matches the proportion of votes for each party (with a threshold of 5% of the national vote, below which a party gets no MPs at all).[spacer height=”20px”]

Frauke Petry, co-leader of Alternative for Germany, has won her constituency in Saxony and will be one of a projected 88 AfD MPs.

[spacer height=”20px”]AfD’s co-leader Frauke Petry has won her constituency in Saxony, top of the poll with 37.4% and gaining the district from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling CDU.  Two of Mrs Petry’s AfD colleagues in neighbouring Saxony districts were also directly elected – and at 2 a.m. German time came the sensational news that AfD is now the largest party in Saxony as a whole with almost 670,000 votes (27.0%) in this region of former East Germany! At a press conference the morning after this stunning result, Frauke Petry unfortunately distracted from the party’s success by announcing that she would not sit with AfD in the Bundestag. She then walked out of the press conference leaving party colleagues surprised and embarrassed. The party will hope not to be blighted by further displays of political immaturity.

AfD’s 12.6% vote was a significant improvement on polls at the start of the campaign that had put the party below 10%. This will make AfD the third largest party in the Bundestag: they are now projected to have 88 MPs but the precise total will depend detailed calculations not yet complete, due to the electoral system. Conservative Chancellor Merkel and her ex-coalition partners, the social-democratic SPD, have each polled lower than expected. Merkel will now struggle to form a viable coalition government, and will have to enter talks with both the liberal FDP and the Greens.[spacer height=”20px”]

Exit poll shows that AfD is now the most popular party among male voters in the former East Germany

[spacer height=”20px”]Merkel’s CDU/CSU polled 33.0%, down 9% from the previous election in 2013.  The SPD was second on 20.5%, down 5.2% and a record postwar low, despite having enjoyed a brief boost in the polls earlier this year. AfD were third with 12.6%, up 7.9%. The liberal FDP (on various occasions postwar coalition partners with either CDU/CSU or SPD) will be back in the Bundestag with 10.7% (up 5.9%) after losing all their MPs in 2013. The Left Party (ex-communists and left-wing former SPD members) managed 9.2% (up 0.6%) and the Greens are similarly almost unchanged from last time with 8.9% (up 0.5%).[spacer height=”20px”]

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pro-immigration policies have cost her party millions of votes

[spacer height=”20px”]A few days ago in one of his final campaign speeches, AfD’s lead candidate Alexander Gauland said that Germans had the right to be proud of their soldiers’ record in the two 20th century world wars:

“If the French are rightly proud of their emperor and the Britons of Nelson and Churchill, we have the right to be proud of the achievements of the German soldiers in two world wars.”

Many journalists worldwide have been writing that AfD will be the first “far right” party to gain seats in the postwar German Bundestag.  However the Guardian’s Berlin correspondent Philip Oltermann points out that at the very first Bundestag election in 1949 the Deutsche Rechtspartei (DRP – German Right Party), sometimes known as the German Conservative Party (DKP), won five seats.

This party suffered various splits, with some of its MPs joining the Socialist Reich Party (SRP) which was banned in 1952.[spacer height=”20px”]

Ace fighter pilot and postwar nationalist politician Hans-Ulrich Rudel (third from left) at a social event in Munich, September 1968, with (left to right) Freda Jones, Ursula Rudel, John Tyndall, Beryl Cheetham, Savitri Devi and Joe Jones

Some others then joined the Deutsche Reichspartei (German Reich Party, or German Empire Party, confusingly also abbreviated as DRP) which developed links with Sir Oswald Mosley and included Luftwaffe ace Hans-Ulrich Rudel among its members.  This DRP never won Bundestag seats, though did win representation in the Rhineland-Palatinate Landtag.
 
The NPD of course never won a Bundestag seat, though again winning various Landtag seats, and polling a peak of 3.6% at the 1969 Bundestag election.
 
The Deutsche Partei (German Party, DP) was a more respectable version of nationalism and had Bundestag seats from 1949 to 1961: indeed the DP was a coalition partner with the conservative CDU and CSU until 1960.
 
In 1960 the DP merged with the GB/BHE (a party representing Germans expelled from the eastern territories) to form the All-German Party (GDP), but this new merged party failed to win Bundestag seats at the 1961 election, and quickly faded, with several of its leading activists co-founding the new NPD in 1964.
 
Schönhuber’s Republikaner (Republican) party, which had its big success at the 1989 European election with 6 MEPs, never entered the Bundestag: its best result was 2.1% in 1990.  At the founding of the Republikaner in 1983 as a split from the Bavarian conservative CSU, they had two Bundestag MPs (who had been elected as CSU) but by the time of the next Bundestag election in 1987 these two had quit the party and Schönhuber decided the party was too weak to contest those elections.

Thirty years on, German politics has been transformed. Today’s front pages convey the liberal establishment’s horror.[spacer height=”20px”]

German election campaign livens up with frontrunner Merkel under pressure

Martin Schulz (left) failed to achieve the debate victory he needed to revive the SPD’s challenge to German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel remains a strong favourite to secure re-election when her fellow countrymen go to the polls on 24th September.  In 2015 Merkel’s decision to admit well over a million asylum seekers seemed to be not only a catastrophe for Germans but a political disaster for Merkel herself. Her conservative CDU-CSU [the CDU operates in most of Germany but has a longstanding partnership with the Catholic CSU in Bavaria] was losing votes to a new anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) throughout late 2015 and 2016.

Then at the start of this year the SPD (German equivalent of the Labour Party) started to take a lead in opinion polls after selecting former European Parliament president Martin Schulz as its candidate for Chancellor.

However once the campaign got under way many voters, especially in the more prosperous western areas of Germany, began to turn back to Merkel partly out of fear that the SPD would form a coalition government including the neo-Marxist Left Party (Die Linke) as well as the Greens.  The Left Party includes former leaders of the Communist Party that ruled the former East Germany until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

A further complication is that former SPD Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has taken a position on the board of the Russian state oil company Rosneft, raising suspicions among journalists hostile to Putin.

The TV debate on September 3rd between Merkel and Schulz was seen as the socialist opposition’s last chance to revive their campaign.

However Schulz failed to make significant progress in the debate and seems headed for certain defeat.

Frauke Petry, co-leader of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany, decided earlier this year not to be AfD’s candidate for Chancellor

Meanwhile AfD has suffered internal strains, with co-leader Frauke Petry deciding not to be the party’s candidate for Chancellor.

In recent days Merkel has tried to take her campaign to eastern areas that remain hostile to her immigration policy.  The Financial Times this weekend describes a disastrous Merkel campaign event in Bitterfeld, an industrial town in Lower Saxony where AfD remains strong.  Some predict that while AfD’s nationwide vote will be under 10%, it could poll closer to 20% in the East (outside the capital Berlin which remains a leftist stronghold).

AfD has not resolved internal debates over how to deal with present-day Germany’s tyrannical laws that dictate not only what can be said on racial matters, but how scientists, historians, lawyers and ordinary citizens can discuss issues of 20th century history.

Germany’s main nationalist party the NPD will be fielding candidates in most of the country both at constituency and list level. (The German election system is partly based on Westminster style constituencies but with a ‘top-up’ element based on party lists, to create a Parliament that represents the percentage votes achieved by each party, with a 5% threshold required to obtain any MPs.)

Ursula Haverbeck in discussion with her lawyer Wolfram Nahrath during court proceedings in November 2016

Recently the 88-year-old Ursula Haverbeck was given a two-year sentence for ‘Holocaust denial’ after questioning the increasingly discredited official version of history that dictates 6 million Jews were murdered, supposedly mainly in homicidal gas chambers during the Second World War.

German prosecutors and government representatives refuse to answer Frau Haverbeck’s questions as to how, where and on whose orders such supposed mass killings took place: instead of answering such questions they bring further criminal charges. However contrary to some reports Frau Haverbeck is not presently in a prison cell, as despite court verdicts and sentences there are still appeal processes going on.

Meanwhile the 81-year-old lawyer Horst Mahler remains imprisoned near Berlin on similar charges, having been handed back to German custody in June by the Hungarian government. Mahler had been released from a 12-year prison sentence on health grounds after becoming critically ill and having a leg amputated, but prosecutors ordered his return to prison earlier this year.

Berlin march calls for release of documents on Rudolf Hess murder

[spacer height=”20px”]H&D‘s assistant editor Peter Rushton addressed a rally in Berlin on Saturday 19th August, calling for the release of official British documents reporting on the death of Rudolf Hess, thirty years ago this week.

More than 1,000 demonstrators marched in the Spandau district of Berlin, close to the site of the infamous prison where Hess was incarcerated until his death aged 93 in 1987. By then he had been in Allied prisons since 1941, when he flew to Scotland in an effort to negotiate peace between Britain and Germany.[spacer height=”20px”]

The memorial stone at the spot where Rudolf Hess’s plane crash-landed in 1941. This stone was erected by British nationalists Tom Graham, Wallace Wears and Colin Jordan, but was later smashed by communists.

[spacer height=”20px”]Officially this death was recorded as a suicide: despite Hess’s advanced age and physical infirmity, he was ruled to have hanged himself from a window latch with an electrical cord. His family commissioned independent medical advice which drew attention to evidence that Hess had been murdered. (British historian David Irving has since revealed a conversation with the Berlin prosecutor Detlev Mehis, who admitted that the murderer was U.S. serviceman Tony Jordan.)

Two Foreign Office files containing the official investigation of Hess’s death by the Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch – FCO 161/69 and FCO 161/70 – remain secret, under a regulation normally used for sensitive intelligence material.

Marchers this weekend came from many parts of Germany and included representatives of numerous parties and groups.  The event was chaired by the NPD’s national organiser Sebastian Schmidtke and speakers included the NPD’s Dr Olaf Rose (a former member of the regional parliament of Saxony) as well as H&D‘s Peter Rushton and international guests from France and Finland.

German media admitted that this was the largest nationalist event in Berlin for many years. ‘Antifascists’ failed to prevent the march and failed to drown out the speakers.[spacer height=”20px”]

Rudolf Hess (right) with Adolf Hitler and fellow National-Socialist leaders

[spacer height=”20px”]’Antifascist’ arson attacks damaged signalling equipment on railway lines near Berlin, which meant that hundreds of marchers were unable to reach the city. Around 250 comrades including NPD vice-president Thorsten Heise from Thuringia held a spontaneous demonstration in the Falkensee district, after the railway arson prevented them from reaching Spandau.

Due to the many oppressive laws in modern Germany, marchers and speakers at this weekend’s event were severely restricted in what they could say, or what symbols could be displayed.

However we were able to convey a clear message that murder can never be forgotten, and that justice demands the full disclosure of the true circumstances surrounding the incarceration and murder of Rudolf Hess.[spacer height=”20px”]

This photograph of Hess was taken secretly in the grounds of Spandau Prison, where he died in August 1987

Click here for the full text of Peter Rushton’s speech in Spandau.

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