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Germany: AfD politician convicted over Holocaust remarks

August 18, 2023

In a Facebook post, the former Bundestag member for the far-right party had compared COVID measures with the persecution of Jews by the Nazis.

Image: Clara Molden/empics/picture alliance

A court in the German city of Munich on Friday convicted a politician from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party over remarks comparing a coronavirus vaccination campaign with Nazi-era anti-Jewish pogroms.

Florian Jäger, who served as a member of Germany's national parliament, the Bundestag, posted a video on his Facebook page in 2021.

In it, he claimed that the German government's COVID measures were comparable with the November pogrom terror campaign against German Jews in 1938.

What the court said about the AfD politicians remarks

The court ruled that the comments in question amounted to incitement and sentenced Jäger to pay a fine of €2,700 ($2,930). The amount was reduced from €5,400 due to the poor state of the politician's personal finances.

Senior prosecutor Andreas Franck, antisemitism officer of the Bavarian judiciary, argued in court that Jäger had intentionally sought to incite.

"As a politician, he knew exactly where the burning issues were," he said. "And with his video poured petrol on the fire."

"If the Holocaust is degraded to an arbitrary object of comparison for measures that are perceived as unwelcome, then the protection of Jewish people from anti-Semitic attacks, would also be dragged down," he added.

Jäger is currently the chairman for the AfD in the district Fürstenfeldbruck. He has one week to appeal the decision.

Dealing with the German far-right AfD on a local level

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ai/rt (dpa, AFP)