Björn Höcke sparks fury by calling for tradition to end and labelling Holocaust memorial a ‘monument of shame’
By Philip Oltermann
A politician from the rightwing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has broken with the country’s postwar political consensus by calling for a “180-degree turn” from the tradition of remembering and atoning for the Nazi era.
In a speech in a beer hall in Dresden, Björn Höcke, who leads the party in the eastern state of Thuringia, railed against Germany’s decade-long tradition of acknowledging the crimes of the National Socialist era, describing the Holocaust memorial in Berlin as a “monument of shame”.
“They wanted to cut off our roots and with the re-education that began in 1945, they nearly managed,” Höcke said. “Until now, our mental state continues to be that of a totally defeated people. We Germans are the only people in the world that have planted a monument of shame in the heart of their capital.”