Distancing, silence, appeasement: The AfD reacted so differently to the Reich citizens’ raid
An ex-AfD MP was also arrested during the raid on suspected Reich citizens who are said to have planned a coup d’etat. While the party leadership distances itself from her, prominent AfDler react less clearly.
According to the AfD, the party leadership knew nothing about possible activities of the former member of the Bundestag Birgit Malsack-Winkemann in the so-called Reich bourgeois milieu. “Like most citizens, we only learned about the case from the media today,” said a joint statement by co-chairs Tino Chrupalla and Alice Weidel on Wednesday.
They added: “We condemn and strongly oppose such efforts.” Now the results of the investigation have to be awaited. The AfD chairmen, who had repeatedly criticized the protection of the constitution in the past, said: “We have complete confidence in the authorities involved.”
AfD parliamentary group is silent
On the Homepage of the AfD parliamentary group other topics are at the forefront: health policy, organic food and digitization (status: 9.12.2022, 9.45 a.m.). A statement on the Reichsbürger raid or an explicit distancing from the arrested ex-AfD member of the Bundestag Birgit Malsack-Winkemann: none.
Beatrix von Storch distracts
The deputy parliamentary group leader of the AfD, Beatrix von Storch, tried a diversionary maneuver on Twitter. In two almost identical tweets, she calls for similarly large-scale raids against clan crime and against the “Last Generation”.
Björn Höcke writes about staging
Björn Höcke, state spokesman and parliamentary group leader of the AfD Thuringia, linked the article “Nancy Faeser and the operetta putsch show how weakened our democracy is” on his Telegram channel. Höcke himself writes: “Longer but very readable article that puts the events surrounding the ‘walker putsch’ into perspective. […] There is no doubt that the screw was overturned with this staging. I have the feeling that [sic!] now everything is happening very quickly.” Exactly what Höcke means by “everything” is not clear. But his readership will certainly understand him.
The article mentioned on the right-wing conservative news site “Tichys Insight” speaks in the opening credits of a “childish staging” of the raid by Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD), puts the coup d’état in quotation marks and draws the conclusion that the behavior of the authorities and the media shows “how endangered our democracy really is.”
The media already knew about the Reichsbürger raid
In fact, the accusation of staging cannot be dismissed out of hand. Like the Berliner “Daily mirror” reports, an unusually large number of people knew something was about to happen days before the raids. Whether this was good press work by the investigating authorities or an artificial upgrading of the action, the public will probably only know for sure after the court proceedings against the group.
However, Höcke has already made up his mind: Those arrested should not be taken seriously, and the raid was exaggerated. In contrast to the statement by Chrupalla and Weidel, this does not read as full trust in the authorities involved. More as if some in the AfD were closer to the attitude of those arrested than democrats would like.