Björn Höcke, leader of Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), has shown his love for Third Reich terminology as well his overblown ego once more. In an interview conducted by German public television broadcaster ZDF, Thuringia’s lead AfD candidate was confronted with video clips showing reactions of members of his own party to his direct quotes.
But the result was that his party members attributed his words to none other than Hitler himself.
Hitler or Höcke?
This is extremely telling with regard to his rhetoric. And indeed, Höcke loves nothing more than using phrases which were popular during the National Socialist (NS) regime. Phrases such as “Lebensraum” (living space), “entartet” (degenerate), “Volksverderber” (someone corrupting the nation), “rassenbiologische Grundlage” (race-biological foundation) and “Volksgemeinschaft” (ethnic community).
And Höcke’s own party members mistook these quotes as coming from Hitler.
Höcke’s initial reaction to those clips was to bemoan that his party members clearly didn’t read his own book if they attributed his words to Hitler. He then went on to defend his despicable, and in some cases unconstitutional rhetoric, by criticising the limitations Germany’s attempts to come to terms with this dark chapter of its history put on acceptable language.
When he realised he wasn’t convincing his interviewer he abandoned the interview and threatened “massive consequences”. When asked what those consequences might be, he insinuated there might be a time ahead when he will hold more political power.
This statement is a good reminder of what a future would look like with fascists in political power. The threat is very real. This is true for Germany’s AfD which, as previously reported, saw significant gains in recent elections. And it is just as true for Ireland, where the National Party is currently on a massive canvassing spree.