Debate on the fall of the Berlin Wall: Fierce failure of the AfD against Angela Merkel

When Ralph Brinkhaus, the Union faction leader, was the first to speak, it looked like a routine debate. The man from North Rhine-Westphalia gave a speech in which was included in the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, what was expected on such a day by a CDU politician.


"Silent Heroes" of the "peaceful revolution" went to the "happiest day in our history", to the dead on the wall, to the GDR as a "dictatorship" and "injustice". Even a humble reference to the "breaks" in the biographies of the East Germans was not lacking, that was the "big mistake of this reunion," according to Brinkhaus.


It quickly became clear: 9th November remains a difficult German date that reaches into the present day – the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Hitler-Putsch, the November Revolution and the Pogrom Night. The CDU politician also reminded on 9 November 1938, spoke of a "symbol of the million-fold murder of Jews, perpetrated by Germans".


Most of all, this gray November day is about the opening of the GDR border three decades ago. An event that is celebrated on Saturday near the Bundestag with a big party. There was much talk of the joy of the fall of the Berlin Wall – but little to be felt.


Rather, the debate acted like a seismograph of German mood, it was about placard attacks and interpretations of history.


Gregor Gysi, once a lawyer in the GDR, in the late autumn of 1989 one of the leading representatives of the SED / PDS, as the former ruling party in the democratic final phase of the sinking state was temporarily called, fought under desperate AfD interjections against the concept of "injustice" , Yes, there had been "governmental injustice" in the GDR, admitted Gysi, but the term injustice state, the former Attorney General of Hesse, Fritz Bauer, "rightly coined for the Nazi dictatorship."


 CDU politicians Michael Kretschmer and Angela Merkel: speeches "reminiscent of the Nazis" "/> <span class=

Photo: Jörg Carstensen / dpa

CDU politician Michael Kretschmer and Angela Merkel: speeches "reminding of the Nazis"


Occasionally, some speeches and their set pieces reminded of recent rallies in the East German state election campaign. FDP General Secretary Linda Teuteberg, born in the East seven years before the fall of the Wall, wished for instance "no teachings from the successor party to the SED". Similarly, she had recently expressed in Thuringia. After all, she reminded that even the "tormentors" of 1989 were freed and had "freedom and the rule of law" got.


It was, once again, the right-wing populist AfD, who used the date as an occasion to deliberately trigger indignation in plenary. Your group vice Tino Chrupalla – born Saxon and the fall of the Wall 14 years old – drove a very rude attack against Angela Merkel. Male himself for AfD-ratios.


In allusion to her time in the "Free German Youth" (FDJ), the 44-year-old made her a perpetrator in the SED state, underlined his question with conspiracy theories, as they circulate in the AfD environment: "I regret that she does not tell us what strategies of domination and decomposition she learned from the FDJ at the time, how to keep a people at bay with propaganda and agitation. " As loud "Pfui calls" rang out from the other groups, Merkel spoke in the third row of the government bank with a CDU Secretary of State – looked up briefly and did not show anything else.


Chrupallas's attack was a prime example of a problem faced by the other parties again and again since the arrival of the AfD: how to respond to such provocations?


SPD speaker Katrin Budde, also East Germans, initially ignored the attack. Shortly before closing, however, she took the East Election campaign of the AfD on the grain ("Complete the turning point"), the term led back to his father, the last Secretary General Egon Krenz.


Those who use the word stand "not in the tradition of the peaceful revolution, but in the tradition of the SED," Budde cried. Her words acted like a verbal liberation, to the delight of all the other factions.


Once again, the AfD stylized itself on this day victim. Group Vice Leif-Erik Holm, also East German, protested against attacks by the left to build new walls. "You're responsible for the wall dead," he shouted. It makes a difference whether one locks in with his citizens or controls "who we let into the country".


Green parliamentary group leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt, active in the GDR protest movement in autumn 1989, countered coolly that the AfD could say what it wanted, even in parliament. But she had to endure, "that we clearly state her hatred, that we oppose to her contempt for humanity the dignity of every single person."


It was then the Saxon CDU Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer, once himself a Member of Parliament in the Bundestag, which attacked the AfD the hardest.


For the past two years he has been in the plenary chamber for the first time, being "shocked by speeches that remind me of Nazis". Clearly, he turned to the AFD that "all" bear responsibility, who applauded and cheered "for these unspeakable, slanderous, contemptuous, hate-filled speeches".


Against Helmut Kohl, the Chancellor of German Unity, the Saxon turned to the AFD, "are you poor figures".

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