European elections in Bonn

"Die Rechte" party election posters cause controversy

Um diese Plakate der Partei "Die Rechte" ist ein Streit entbrannt.

Controversy has flared up around these posters from the party “Die Rechte”.

Bonn. Jewish communities consider the slogan “Stop Zionism: Israel is our misfortune! Put an end to it!” inflammatory. The national security services have reached a different conclusion.

“Die Rechte” (the Right) party election posters in Bonn have enraged one GA reader. They contain the slogan “Stop Zionism: Israel is our misfortune! Put an end to it!” which the party, which is being monitored by the Federal and State Offices for Protection of the Constitution in North-Rhine Westphalia, is using to canvass for votes in the European elections.

On Friday, the city received a citizen’s complaint, which, according to Stefanie Zießnitz from the press office, will be passed on to police for further examination. According to information from the Bonn security services, there have so far been no complaints from their jurisdiction about the posters, their spokesperson Frank Piontek said.

The posters with the above-mentioned wording and another slogan, which reads “We don’t just hang posters” have already led to discussions in other places and in several federal states and led to investigations by state security agencies.

The Jewish community of Westphalia-Lippe has filed a complaint of incitement to hatred in Dortmund. However, the national security agencies there, as well as the public prosecutor’s office, have found the slogans to be compatible with freedom of expression. The Jewish community takes a different view.

The background is the similarity to a sentence of Heinrich Gotthard von Treitschkes. The German historian wrote in an essay in the 19th century: “The Jews are our misfortune.” The anti-Semitic weekly newspaper “Der Stürmer” used this expression to stir up hatred against Jews during the National Socialist era. Michael Rubinstein, head of the state association of Jewish communities in the North Rhine area told the GA that they were in contact not only with the public prosecutor’s office in Dortmund, but also with the one in Cologne about the posters. “We don’t accept the assessment of the national securities agencies that these statements are protected by freedom of expression.”

“Die Rechte” party has its headquarters in Dortmund. Piontek explained that as the Jewish community in Dortmund had lodged another complaint in connection with the election posters, “ another criminal examination is still pending.” When asked why “Die Rechte” had modified a statement used by the “Stürmer”, Sascha Krolzig from the party responded: “This is your personal interpretation, which we do not adopt.”

Original text: Philipp Königs. Translation: kc