A Germany neo-Nazi today took a seat on the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, outraging the parliament’s German Socialist president Martin Schulz, who said: “There is no place for racists and anti-Semites in this house.”
Udo Voigt, a former leader of the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NPD), became the first member of his party to take a seat in the parliament when the NPD took one per cent of the vote in Germany in May.
According to Euractiv, the German intelligence services classify the NPD as “a far right extremist party.”
A spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel has labelled the NPD “an anti-democratic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-constitutional party.”
Voigt, the son of a Wehrmacht officer, has praised Hitler as “a great statesman” and suggested that Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy führer who flew solo to Scotland in 1941 in an attempt to negotiate peace, should win the Nobel peace prize. He has demanded the return of German land lost after the Second World War.
Voigt has also claimed that “no more than 340,000” Jews died in the holocaust. According to the Guardian, “In 2012 a Berlin court handed Voigt a 10-month suspended sentence and a fine of €1,000 for glorifying the actions of the Waffen-SS at a party meeting in 2010.”
Although Voigt is not a member of any of the groups formed in the parliament by MEPs from at least seven different countries, and which dominate speaking time in the chamber and membership of committees, a certain number of committee seats are allocated for independents such as Voigt.