For four years, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) has observed the youth organization of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) more intensively than ever. Would the Junge Alternative (JA) become more radicalized? Agitating against refugees and migrants? Propagating a national concept of society? Or devalue German nationals with a migration background as second-class citizens?
Targeted propagation of enemy images
The BfV’s answer to all these questions is yes. And that’s why the AfD offspring has now been upgraded from a suspected case to a right-wing extremist effort. The President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, justified this decision as follows: “The targeted propagation of enemy images and the stirring up of resentment in the population are generally suitable for preparing the ground for unpeaceful behavior towards those affected.”
At the same time as Junge Alternative, the “Institute for State Policy” (IfS) and the “One Percent” association were classified as right-wing extremist efforts. This increases the risk for all three groups of being observed by intelligence services. This includes, among other things, the possibility of monitoring people and their electronic communication in a targeted manner.
Anti-democracy ideologies and concepts
That was also possible before. But the probability that such methods will be used has become even greater with the decision that has now been made. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution not only focuses on violent extremists, “but also keeps an eye on those groups of people who constantly spread ideologies and concepts that are inimical to human dignity and anti-democratic,” emphasizes BfV boss Haldenwang.
The President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, accuses the JA of propagating enemy images
The three organizations, which are now being targeted even more, aimed at the exclusion of alleged foreigners and tried to “make these positions socially compatible,” the reason given for the intensified surveillance by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The next and final sanction would be a ban.
A party ban is difficult
The Federal Ministry of the Interior has already made use of this possibility several times with right-wing extremist organizations and associations. However, banning a party is much more complicated. The attempt to ban the right-wing extremist National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) failed in 2017.
Nevertheless, for the AfD, the classification of their youth organization as a proven right-wing extremist effort is an alarm signal. Because since March 2022, the BfV has also been able to monitor the entire party as a suspected case. On the other hand, she had unsuccessfully sued the Cologne Administrative Court. Shortly before, the then AfD chairman Jörg Meuthen had left the party.
Former AfD boss sees totalitarian traits
He justified his step by saying that the Alternative for Germany, founded in 2013, had developed very far to the right with totalitarian traits and was largely no longer based on the free-democratic basic order. A view that has long been shared by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
The security authority now considers the young AfD youth Junge Alternative to be even more dangerous: The popular understanding that clearly comes to light in the statements and announcements of the JA contradicts the popular understanding expressed in the Basic Law and is suitable for excluding members of supposedly other ethnic groups.
Blanket judgments about Muslims
Immigrants with a (supposedly) Muslim background in particular are said to have negative traits across the board: cultural backwardness and a disproportionately strong tendency towards crime and violence. And that just because of their origin and religion.
The Office for the Protection of the Constitution also has fundamental doubts about the AfD youth organization’s loyalty to the constitution. From the point of view of the BfV, evidence of this is a large number of defamation and disparagement of political opponents, but also of the state and its representatives. The YES is not about a dispute on the matter, but about a general disparagement of the democratic system in Germany. That is why the AfD offspring is now considered to be a right-wing extremist effort.