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Press Information published by the International Auschwitz Committee


Undignified and ignorant of history: AfD man elected as chairman of Gera city council

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Whilst at the Auschwitz Memorial, Christoph Heubner, Executive Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee commented on the election of the AfD representative Reinhard Etzrodt as chairman of Gera city council:

“Just a few months ago many Holocaust survivors cast their gaze with intense emotion towards Gera, where the city’s theatre staged a stunning production of the Auschwitz opera The Passenger by Miecczyslaw Weinberg and expressed its empathy for the victims and the survivors. The opera is based on a story written by the Polish Auschwitz survivor Zofia Posmysz. She quotes her main character Lisa, the former overseer in Auschwitz, with the words: “I was an honest German. I am proud, because I did my duty.”

But now it looks as if the time has come to add a new chapter to last year’s series of performances that were entitled Against Oblivion, because the election of the AfD representative Reinhard Etzrodt as the new chairman of Gera city council must sound like a sudden mockery to the ears of Auschwitz survivors.

It signals a collapse of credibility and a destabilization of democracy, when city representatives in a significant place like Gera elect an AfD member as their foremost representative, and one of the most important representatives of the city. For the people of Gera and for the city’s overall image, this is a disastrous signal, not least because the elected person brings in tow Höcke’s Thuringian AfD with its explicitly antidemocratic ideology and its murky brown context.

Holocaust survivors find it utterly inconceivable how on earth representatives of democratic parties can be so undignified and ignorant of history to participate in such perilous enterprises.”


For further Information

Christoph Heubner

Executive Vice President
International Auschwitz Committee
Phone ++ 49 (0)30 26 39 26 81