Posted on January 10, 2024

German Far-Right AfD Party Denies Backing Deportation of ‘Unassimilated’ Citizens

Samuel Osborne, Sky News, January 10, 2024

Senior politicians from a German far-right party reportedly met neo-Nazi activists to discuss a proposal to deport “unassimilated” immigrants – even if they had citizenship.

Investigative portal Correctiv said Roland Hartwig, the personal assistant to the leader of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, attended the meeting in a hotel near Berlin late last year.

The AfD’s official manifesto calls for the speeding up of deportations of declined asylum seekers and illegal immigrants. The party is surging in opinion polls, with the party vying with the opposition conservatives for first place in some surveys.

At the meeting, the Austrian leader of the far-right Identitarian movement, Martin Sellner, reportedly proposed a project of “remigration” which would see “unassimilated” immigrants forced to leave Germany even if they had citizenship.

The Identitarian movement, which was initially established in France, is an ethno-nationalist ideology asserting the exclusive rights of European people to Western culture and territory.

The idea for deportees to be sent to a “model state” in North Africa was also floated, Correctiv reported, citing hidden camera footage, accounts by attendees and reporters staking out the hotel.

Correctiv also said Mr Hartwig told participants the party was prepared to contribute financially to an agency for right-wing influencers to help mould youth opinion ahead of upcoming elections in Germany.

AfD confirms personal assistant to leader was at meeting

Responding to the allegations, the AfD said it had no plans to adopt a proposal to deport immigrants with German passports.

It confirmed Roland Hartwig, the personal assistant to the AfD leader Alice Weidel, was at the meeting, but said the reported proposals were not party policy.

“The AfD will not change its position on immigration policy, which can be found in the party program, because of an individual opinion of a speaker at a meeting that was not an AfD meeting,” the party told Sky News.

“Mr Hartwig was merely invited to present a social media project, which he is helping to develop. He did not develop political strategies there, nor did he ‘carry into the party’ the ideas of Mr Sellner on migration policy, of whose appearance he had no knowledge in advance.”

Sky News has contacted Mr Hartwig and other AfD members allegedly present for comment.

The AfD is under investigation by security authorities in several German states and risks being declared an extremist organisation by national authorities, which could lead to it being banned.

The party denies it is extremist or racist.