Germany: Number of potential right-wing extremists in Brandenburg increased by two-thirds

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In the federal state of Brandenburg, the number of potential right-wing extremists increased sharply last year. Partly due to suspicions in the ranks and adherents of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The data were provided by the Minister of the Interior of the state Michael Stübgen (CDU) and the head of the Land Office for the Protection of the Constitution of Brandenburg (Der Brandenburger Verfassungsschutz) Jörg Müller.

The quoted figure of 2,765 documents a two-thirds rise in the number of extremists in the federal state, the highest in the history of the state. In 2018, the number of potential right-wing extremists was estimated at 1,675. This indicator has been growing for the sixth consecutive year.

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution classified the AfD’s right-wing national “wing” in January 2019 as under suspicion of right-wing extremism. The “Wing” of the AfD and its youth organization Young Alternative (Junge Alternative für Deutschland. Head of the Federal Service for the Protection of the German Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz) Thomas Haldenwang) already received the status of “under suspicion” at the same time, that is, at the beginning of 2019, said, that he considers it proven that the AfD Wing conducts extremist activities directed against the free democratic rule of law.

Former head of the Brandenburg parliamentary group, Andreas Kalbitz, was one of the leaders of the AfD Wing (the most influential internal party group of nationalists), along with the head of the Thuringian parliamentary group, Björn Höcke. In May, Kalbitz was expelled from the party for hiding his previous membership in the right-wing extremist organization Heimattreuen Deutschen Jugend.

The head of the office for the protection of the constitution, Jörg Müller, said that the positions of expelled from the party recognized as a right-wing radical Andreas Kalbitz and the group “Flügel”, which announced its dissolution in late April, remain strong. Müller even voiced a new expression for the influence of “Flügel” – “Verflügelung” (inspiration). AfD parliamentary group chairman Alexander Gauland criticized the office’s decision to protect the constitution. The politician said that the decision on stricter control in Brandenburg, like all previous actions of this department in relation to the AfD, is illegal.

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