Germany: AfD press spokesperson fired after claiming to be of "Aryan" origin and espousing fascism
The populist, right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has fired one of its press spokespeople. According to Zeit Online, party spokesperson Christian Lüth engaged in a private communication in which he called himself a person of "Aryan" origin and a "fascist", after which the communication was leaked to the public.
"Yes, he has been fired," Tino Chrupalla, the co-chair of the AfD, confirmed to the German media on Monday. Lüth had worked as the spokesperson for the party faction in the Federal Assembly and was close to another co-chair who is one of the most prominent faces of the party, Alexander Gauland.
Spiegel Online reported as of Monday that Lüth had not yet received official notice of his dismissal. The party removed him from the press spokesperson role after excerpts of his private communications with a woman were publicized.
Zeit Online reported that in that exchange, Lüth called himself a person of "Aryan" origin and a "fascist". He referenced his grandfather, Corvette Captain Wolfgang Lüth, who was a submarine commander during the Second World War.
The 43-year-old had worked for the AfD since its inception in 2013. He had been a spokesperson for its faction in the national legislature since 2017, when the party was first elected to the Federal Assembly.
AfD is currently Germany's biggest opposition party; the country is governed by a grand coalition of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel. There have long been disputes within the AfD between its leadership and ultra-right forces.
An extremist subgroup within the party calling itself Der Flügel ("The Wing") decided to dissolve itself at the end of March. The group came under pressure after it was revealed that German counter-intelligence was investigating them.
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