In view of the intra-party deliberations on a possible dissolution of the ethnic "wing" around the Thuringian nationalist Bjorn Höcke AfD chairman Jörg Meuthen has spoken out in favor of ending the movement. This is reported by the German Press Agency (dpa) and the AFP news agency, citing party circles. Accordingly, a decision on the future handling of the "wing", which was recently adopted by
Protection of the constitution is observed to be taken this afternoon.
As dpa breaks, Meuthen's idea rose to approval from many participants in a current meeting of the Federal Executive Board. However, the question of how and when this should be done has been discussed very controversially and heatedly. While some of the participants argued for a breakup, others spoke in favor of weakening the wing. The intention of the supporters of a dissolution is that the wing members remain in the party.
The background of Meuthen's proposal is the action by the constitutional protection against the "wing", which it accuses of anti-constitutional efforts. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) had to do this last week
declares that the wing is a "proven extremist endeavor" that
is directed against the free democratic basic order. The critics of the wing within the AfD now fear that the
whole party soon from the protection of the constitution as a suspected case
could be classified. This would pose a problem especially for the officials organized in the AfD, including many police officers and soldiers. The officials who are supporters of the "wing" are already under pressure due to the observation of the constitutional protectors.
The nationalist group is a loose association of around 6,000 AfD members, which itself does not have its own membership structure, but rather manifests itself through regular meetings at state and federal level. When voting, it plays a key role in determining the composition of AfD committees.
Next to Höcke is Brandenburg AfD country chief Andreas Kalbitz, who too
is part of the federal executive board, the most important leader. Kalbitz is also under pressure inside the party because of its connections to the later banned neo-Nazi organization HDJ. If membership could be demonstrated, the party leadership could decide to expel him from the party. Because the HDJ is on a list of organizations that make membership in the AfD impossible.
The wing emerged from the signatories of the Erfurt resolution of 2015, which had turned primarily against the course of the then party leader Bernd Lucke. In the meantime, most of the East German state associations have been politically and personally penetrated by the "wing". They are also opposed to disbanding the grouping. However, the Eastern State Associations only make up about 20 percent of the members and party delegates.
The West German associations, on the other hand, are more "wing" -critical. The state associations in Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg recently made clear demands to suppress the influence of the "wing". These demands are also driven by fears that the AfD could lose heavily in the upcoming state elections in West German states from 2021.