Germany’s far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) on Monday said disciplinary measures would be taken amid pressure brought by a top official’s improper remarks on Berlin’s Holocaust memorial.

“The Federal Executive Board (of AfD) concludes that the statements made by Bjoern Hoecke in his Dresden speech on January 17 hurt the image of the party. The board therefore considers it necessary to initiate particular disciplinary measures,” an official statement said.

“At present, the board is examining all legal and political aspects that need to be considered,” the AfD added.

Hoecke, leader of the AfD branch in central Germany’s Thuringia state, said last Tuesday that the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe located in the center of Berlin was a “monument of shame.”

“Germans are the only people in the world who plant a monument of shame in the heart of the capital,” Hoecke was quoted as saying by the newspaper Die Welt.

In his speech made to young AfD members in Dresden, capital city of the German state of Saxony, the official also urged for “a 180 degree turnaround” in Germany’s policy on its history.

Such remarks triggered widespread criticism in Germany, while Hoecke later claimed that his speech was deliberately misinterpreted and that he was only trying to ask how Germans view their country’s history.

There is also criticism of the AfD as some doubted the unspecified “disciplinary measures” would be effective, letting Hoecke easily walk away from responsibility.

The AfD was formed only three years ago on a Eurosceptic platform but has gained strength as the loudest voice protesting German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcoming of one million asylum seekers in 2015.

Data released Tuesday by the INSA institute showed the AfD currently enjoying a support rate of 14.5 percent. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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