Berlin, Germany – A long-standing member of the far-right Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) political party has been sacked amid reports of his inflammatory comments in which he allegedly said refugees and migrants could be “gassed”.
Christian Lueth, who has been with the AfD since the early days of its inception in 2013, was already suspended from his post as parliamentary spokesman after declaring himself a fascist in April.
The latest revelations date back to February when he met a right-wing social media influencer in what he believed was a confidential meeting at a bar in Berlin.
The conversation, however, was secretly being filmed for a documentary on the far-right in Germany that aired on September 28.
During the conversation, Lueth is reported to have said the AfD intentionally uses provocative tactics.
When asked if it was in the party’s interest that more refugees and migrants come to the country, he is reported to have said: “Yes, because the AfD does better. We could later shoot them all. That’s not at all the issue. Or, gassing, or whatever you want. It’s the same to me.”
Lueth was not identified in the documentary, but his name was published yesterday by German newspaper Zeit following their further investigations and what they say was “special public interest”. Lueth has yet to make a comment.
The AfD, which has peddled itself on anti-immigrant, nationalist agenda and is currently the largest opposition party in the German parliament, was quick to distance itself from the comments.
The co-leader of the AfD’s parliamentary group, Alexander Gauland, said: “The comments attributed to Christian [Lueth] are totally unacceptable and incompatible with the aims and policies of the AfD.”
Activists said while shocking, such comments from the AfD were not surprising.
Aicha, who did not want to give her real name for safety reasons, is a Berlin-based activist with the anti-fascist organisation, Migrantifa.
She said: “I’m not surprised because the policies of the AfD and other political parties that are moving more to the right, are already killing people. Nazis are regularly attacking people in our communities and our neighbourhoods.”
The development comes against a backdrop of continued right-wing violence in the country, including arson attacks against minority-owned businesses in Berlin during the summer, and six months after the racist attacks in Hanau, in which nine people were killed by a right-wing attacker.
“I think communities need to start protecting themselves from these threats as I don’t think that the state will be there to provide that protection, as it has proven over the last decades.
“Since our parents have been in Germany, we’ve been the subject of murder and degradation and exploitation. And even though some of us are not in the same position in society any more, we see new people coming who take that position within society,” said Aicha.