At least one media source has drawn comparisons of the AfD to the Nazis because they want to hold an event at a Munich beer hall.
The anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany party (AfD) has been embroiled in a row over an event they want to hold at a beer hall in Munich. The event, in which AfD leader Frauke Petry was scheduled to speak, was planned to be held at the famous Hofbräukeller until the head of the beer hall decided to cancel the booking.
The AfD took the case to court claiming that they had already paid a €6,100 deposit and the court ruled Thursday that the event can go ahead as planned.
News website The Local took the opportunity to point out that former German dictator Adolf Hitler had also given a speech at the Hofbräukeller in 1919. In fact, it is said to have been the very first time the Nazi leader publicly spoke as a member of what was then the German Worker’s Party.
Founder of The Local, James Savage, took to Twitter on the subject saying, “German party accused of xenophobia holds a meeting in bar Hitler made famous. Really?” covering the story in their article, “Right-wing populists can use Hitler beer hall”. German news outlet Tagesspiegel also made the comparison saying, “what do Adolf Hitler, Alexander Gauland and Frauke Petry have in common? They all wanted to speak at the Hofbräukeller in Munich”.
The host of the Hofbräukeller , Ricky Steinberg, mentioned nothing of the links to Hitler when he gave an interview on why he had cancelled the event. Mr Steinberg stated that he had seen the huge protests that happened at the AfD conference in Stuttgart where left extremists fought with police and tried to prevent the AfD from attending.
Mr Steinberg said he was afraid that extremists may try to trash his establishment saying, “the thing was just too hot for me. We have many satisfied guests and I do not want to jeopardize that,” in an interview with ABC Online.
After the Munich courts decided in favour of the AfD Steinberg commented, “we’ve received [the injunction] from the court and are now examining legal options,” saying, “we’re very disappointed that the judges don’t see our security concerns”.
Petr Bystron of the Munich branch of the AfD was happy that the courts had came out in their favour, claiming that the entire incident was organised by the mainstream parties in an attempt to prevent the party from speaking.
While the Hofbräukeller is owned by the Free State of Bavaria, Mr Steinberg has maintained that the ruling parties had nothing to do with his decision to cancel the event.
The AfD has seen frequent comparisons to the Nazi party in the media because of their anti-mass migration views. In a bizarre April Fool’s joke, Germany’s Stern magazine published an article about a fake Amazon listing for a swastika shaped lamp saying it was “perfect for AfD supporters”.
The German ambassador to Canada also joined in on the comparison when he gave a lecture at a Canadian university saying, on the subject of the AfD electoral success, “we had neo-Nazi parties in the past that made it into some provincial parliaments but never ever has a right wing party actually been elected into the federal parliament”.