Internal chats: In the AfD engine room


Status: 20/05/2022 06:02

Over 40,000 internal chat messages from AfD MPs who: NDR and WDR available exclusively, they reveal a devastated self-image and radical ideas of the AfD parliamentary faction.

Christian Basl (WDR), Sebastian Pittelkow (NDR) and Katja Riedel (WDR)

It allows the deepest to date A glimpse into the interior of the first right-wing populist and partly right-extremist faction that has returned to the Bundestag since the 1960s: the so-called ‘chatter group’, as they call themselves, a top-secret group of internal chats from the AfD’s first parliamentary group. At least 76 of the 92 AfD deputies wrote there regularly until the federal elections in 2021. Over 40,000 posts have been left NDR and WDR leaked.

A leak reveals a secret chat group of AfD MPs

Jennifer Johnston, NDR / Sebastian Pittelkow, NDR / Katja Riedel, WDR, tagesschau24 15:00, May 20, 2022

Chat rooms offer an exclusive look into the engine room of right-wing populism. Many Members chatted almost every day. Her statements shed light on what really happened behind the scenes of the first AfD parliamentary group in the Bundestag and show how party members think and talk when they think no one is listening to them. In the chat you can see with what arrogance the faction started: “We are the last chance this country has, and I mean it very seriously !!!” (27/07/2019).

subversive rhetoric

The secret posts also contain numerous radical, racist and offensive statements: “Merkel rat at the top! This traitor to the people belongs in prison for life! ” (10/07/2019). There is also a clear subversive rhetoric in the group: “We will have to wait for the old regime to end economically and the sparks fly from Austria, Italy, France etc. This will come and we will have to stand up for the merciless struggles that will also follow the preparation. (…) ”(16/06/2019).

When asked, Weidel said in an interview WDR and NDRthat such statements are unacceptable to them. If she knew about it, she would take action against him.

directional battles

Years of internal party battles between the far-right and more moderate wings are also passing through the chat group. A member of parliament asked on November 8, 2019: “We need a directional decision. Do we want to be a National Socialist party or a liberal-conservative party … “. And the second: “We have to ask ourselves if we want proven Nazis in the party and then in leadership positions. I do not want this. I reject the ideology and cult of leaders that are deeply represented by Höcke and Kalbitz. ” (April 17, 2020).

The power struggle between the two camps culminated in the spring of 2020. On the day the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution qualified the then “wing” for proven extremist aspirations, Joana Cotar, from a more moderate camp, wrote: “I am not surprised that you now walk like this. We pulled the plug too late. (…) the wing made VS a lot easier. ”

When asked by a leading wingman what that meant, she added: “Shut up when you have to. (…) Is it so hard not to talk about the Third Reich? ”. Confronted with this in an interview, Cotar says she would prefer a “clear statement” by the party leadership: “it doesn’t work that way, you hurt everyone.”

Other pages should be presented

Politicians from other parties were regularly exposed to nasty insults. When the CDU homosexual politician Jens Spahn was briefly discussed in the media on July 16, 2019 as a possible new defense minister, it was said: “Okay, another defense minister.” And shortly thereafter: “Thanks to the Bundeswehr Spahn, she would go back to sniffer loaders …”. The then Minister of State Michael Roth, a member of the federal government, was a “disgusting pauper”, SPD politician Johannes Kahrs “radically bad opening the anus.”

Sebastian Pittelkow, NDR, on research on the AfD chat group

tagesschau24 15:00, 20/05/2022

The chats also reveal how AfD MPs devised strategies in the digital back room to paralyze the plenum and show it to other parties: night sessions, roll call votes at inappropriate hours, and other parliamentary instruments they use to irritate. They write that they want to “torture” others with a “penetration strategy”. The leader of the parliamentary group, Alice Weidel, on request, denies the planned procedure.

Sharp criticism of the faction leadership

Two years after the AfD entered the Bundestag with 12.6 percent. voices, such voices grew in the chat: “The party, which was founded to protect our country, is slowly escaping from under our ass!” (2019/10/07). “And this chaos store wants to save Germany?” (March 5, 2019). Another put it: “As for the shame of others, the Party made me extremely resilient.” (March 6, 2019).

About nine months before the federal election in 2021, the leader of the Cotar party, who fought Weidel for the best candidate in the election at the time, wrote: “ONCE he went in the same direction. That’s it. Voters have no idea what to expect when they vote for the AfD … ”(01/05/2021). In an interview with Cotar, he underlines the harsh criticism of the leadership of the parliamentary group, which is still in office NDR and WDR: “It’s basically a lack of leadership in the faction, the courage to act and make yourself unpopular.”

Others also brutally attacked the faction leaders in the chat group: it was a “sleeping deck” that could do nothing. Someone asked: “… WHERE IS OUR CONCEPT, WHERE IS OUR STRATEGY?” If you ask these questions, you are obviously considered a traitor. ” (22/04/2020).

Weidel is not impressed

Another wrote about Weidel: “Mrs. Weidel can of course set priorities, but only when it comes to her own head.” (April 22, 2020). Despite countless negative statements, many members of the faction returned to the new faction in the fall of 2021 and re-elected Weidel as co-chairman.

Confronted with criticism from his own ranks, Weidel speaks in an interview WDR and NDR: “If you are in the front row of the AfD, it is perfectly normal. This doesn `t concern me”. There are always dissatisfied people. “They have to consider whether they are looking for another hobby instead of wasting time constantly typing in chat rooms. I would like there to be more involvement in parliamentary work, “said the chairman of the group, which is not itself a member of the chat group. was.

So she couldn’t read the sobering conclusion of some of her frustrated colleagues on June 26, 2020: “People … really … we should have ONE goal. The parliamentary group was once a beacon for the party. ” The colleague replies: “He’s still there, only the light is off,” and he winks.

AfD-Leaks – Secret chats of the AfD parliamentary group

Jennifer Johnston, NDR May 20, 2022 6:07 AM

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