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Far right leader calls Nazi era 'bird shit' in otherwise glorious German history

Alexander Gauland, co-faction leader of the Alternative for Germany, AfD at the federal parliament Bundestag, attends a congress of the party's youth organization ' Junge Alternative', 'Young Alternative', at Seebach, Germany, Saturday, June 2, 2018.
(Alexander Prautzsch/dpa via AP)

The Nazi era was a “bird shit” in an otherwise glorious German history, the leader of the far-right populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD) stated on Saturday.

Addressing the youth wing of the part at a conference in the state of Thuringia, Party front man Alexander Gauland called to shift focus away from “those damn 12 years” of the Third Reich.

In his remarks Gauland first acknowledged the current generation’s obligation to remember the Nazi period, saying that “only those who commit themselves to history, have the strength to shape the future.”

“Yes, we are responsible for the 12 years,” he continued, stressing that “we have a glorious history - and that, dear friends, lasted longer than the damn twelve years.”

“Hitler and the Nazis are just bird shit in more than a 1,000-year-old successful German history,” Gauland said as his comments were met with applause.

His statement was immediately condemned by all other political parties. “50 million dead in WW2, the holocaust, total war - and to call it all ‘bird shit’, that's such a slap in the face of the victims and a relativization of what happened in the name of Germany,” Secretary-General of the ruling CDU party, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, told the daily Die Welt.

“It’s a shame that such types sit in the German Bundestag,” noted SPD secretary general Lars Klingbeil, accusing Gauland of belittling Nazism.

Green party leader Katrin Göring Eckardt also voiced her outrage over this insult to the survivors and their relatives. “Our history has shown how nationalism and hate can lead to the abyss,” she told the Funke media group.

“Any politician who deliberately tries to minimize the Nazi dictatorship and the Holocaust gives an indication of how sinister the visions he has for Germany are,” added Marco Buschmann of the liberal party FDP.

Gauland made similar remarks during a party rally in September, also in Thuringia.

“We don’t need to be reminded of those 12 years. They no longer affect our identity today. […] This is why we have the right to reclaim not only our country, but also our past.”

5,000 AfD supporters marched last weekend towards Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate in protest of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policies, especially on migration. They chanted “Merkel must go,” “end station for multiculturalism” and “we are the people.” 13 counter demonstrations were held at the same time, attended by 25,000 protesters.

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