A 'Nazi renaissance' in Berlin?

Jewish leaders warn that Germany is experiencing a "Nazi renaissance" after right wing party gains more seats in local elections.

Yoel Domb ,

AfD leaders celebrate in Berlin
AfD leaders celebrate in Berlin
Photo: Reuters

The ultra right wing "Alternative for Germany" (AfD) party has succeeded in netting 25 out of the 160 seats in the elections held yesterday for the Berlin State parliament. A Jewish leader from Bavaria warned that Germany is experiencing a "Nazi renaissance."

The party has succeeded in electing delegates to 10 out of the 16 German states which make up the German Federation.

The party runs on an extreme right wing platform - opposing Germany's immigration policy and unenthusiastic about Germany's membership in the EU. It came under strong accusations of anti- Semitism this year when a member of the Baden- Wurttemberg parliament said that "too much attention" is given to the Holocaust, which he called "specific invalid actions." His words led to attempts to dismiss him and to a split in the Baden-Wurttemberg party faction.

The Social Democratic party maintained its lead in the Berlin parliament with 21.6% of the votes as opposed to Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats who garnered only 17.5% of the votes.

The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Yozef Schuster, said to reporters that the results were very worrying. The previous head of the council, Charlotte Knobloch, who heads the Jewish communities of Munich and Bavaria, called on the democratic parties of Germany to "utilize the time left until the next elections in 2017 in order to curb the Nazi renaissance."

Knobloch, who survived the Holocaust as a child hiding in Bavaria, termed the AfD party a "Party which incites horribly against minorities and wants to give legitimacy to National Socialist terminology and expressions. It cannot genuinely distinguish itself from Neo-Nazis and from Holocaust deniers. Its successes in local elections are a real nightmare."