The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) should be outlawed and its leadership imprisoned in order to deprive millions of Germans of the chance to vote for the party, the founder of a German refugee rescue organization has claimed.
Axel Steier, the founder of the sea rescue Mission Lifeline NGO, made the disturbing remarks in a social media post on Thursday. He proposed that such a drastic measure was necessary for the sake of humanity.
“In the country of the perpetrators, it should not be taboo to ban the AfD and imprison the leadership, even if this deprives 20-40 percent of German voters of their opinion,” Steier posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“The persecution of Nazis is still a service to all of humanity,” he added.
His remarks come just days after the far-left Antifa activist group posted the personal addresses of dozens of AfD candidates vying for election in the German state of Hesse. The self-proclaimed anti-fascists were accused of inciting violence against public figures.
“Together with you, we want to challenge them for the spaces in which they move as a matter of course, feel unmolested, and think they are safe,” the group said in a statement following the launch of a website dedicated to targeting AfD politicians.
Steier’s remarks are the latest in a long list of left-wing activists and many mainstream politicians attempting to discredit the anti-immigration party which is currently surging in polls across the country.
On Thursday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz used a visit to an AfD stronghold in East Germany to further attack the party, warning attendees of the rise of the ‘far-right’.
“I wouldn’t go as far as saying that democracy is being undermined, but there are definitely enemies of democracy,” Scholz said. “We won’t be able to avoid taking a stand and saying that we’re defending democracy and the freedom we’ve achieved.”
This was followed by remarks from center-left President Frank-Walter Steinmeier who said that “no responsible voter” should vote for the party which he claimed is advocating the “brutalization of our society and the undermining of free democracy”.
“We must not encourage the business of fear-mongers in this society any further,” he added.
Despite the ramping up of rhetoric from the German establishment, the AfD remains increasingly popular among voters, reaching record highs of 23 percent in recent polls. The party’s opposition to the liberal mass migration policies adopted by successive German federal governments in the last two decades is understood to be a driving factor in its growing support among many working-class Germans disillusioned with the country’s direction of travel.