Sept. 24 (UPI) — Protesters in Germany took to the streets of Berlin, Cologne and Hamburg to make their views known after the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party won more than 13 percent of the vote in Sunday’s federal election.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was relected to a fourth term but her election victory was also marked by a relatively strong performance of the national AfD in the polls, Al Jazeera reported.
According to Deutsche Welle, about 700 protesters assembled on Berlin’s Alexanderplatz Sunday evening, carrying umbrellas and anti-AfD signs while chanting, “Racism is not an alternative,” “AfD is a bunch of racists,” and “Nazis out!”
The gathered crowd also shouted, “The whole of Berlin hates AfD,” the German news service reported.
Vor der #afd Wahlparty erste #noAfd Proteste. @WDR pic.twitter.com/2RM7ofEJKA- Rupert Wiederwald (@Rupert74) September 24, 2017
AfD now holds 23 out of 160 seats in the Berlin city parliament.
The party with far-right nationalist views was founded in 2013 and holds an anti-immigration stance.
AfD also has called for a “review” of how Germany should publicly memorialize the Nazi period.
Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s anti-immigration National Front, congratulated her “allies” on Twitter, and said, “This is a new symbol of the awakening of the European people.”
Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said Nazis are back in Germany.
“Seventy years after the end of the war, neo-Nazis are again sitting in the Bundestag,” Asselborn told DPA.
Merkel has allowed nearly a million refugees, many from the Middle East, to resettle in Germany.