Björn Höcke

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Björn Höcke is the chairman of the right wing party Alternative für Deutschland in the state parliament of Thuringia, Germany.[1] He is one of the central figures of the German new right.

The former teacher is known for his extreme right wing views and casual use of Nazi-inspired language. He is frequently in the headlines for espousing racist nationalist views and is considered extreme even by his racist party's standards[2][3] - so much so that he is, in fact, under surveillance by the Verfassungsschutz,[4] an agency founded for the protection of the constitution (but itself under fire for several high profile affairs, most famously the NSU scandal).[5] In July 2021, the AfD won a lawsuit against the provincial association of Thuringia for them having slandered Höcke by declaring him publicly to be a case for examination.[6]

Early Life[edit]

Höcke was born on April 1st 1972 in Lünen. His grandparents were refugees from East Prussia after the second world war, an irony that is lost on him considering his anti-immigration views. The rot of his racist nationalist fervor started early through family ties, with his father being an anti-communist, anti-semite who complained of the unifcation of Germany as "the end of the German people". Höcke claims that his early views were also shaped by then chancellor Helmut Kohl, whom he admires.[7]

Positions[edit]

Since Höcke is very visible in German politics and says way too many things that are intentionally designed to be offensive, here are just some snippets on what he believes or claims to believe.

LGBT+ and family values[edit]

Höcke naturally dislikes the LGBT+ community and frequently resorts to scare-mongering. Any effort to educate on sexuality or gender is inheritly trying to sexualize children, to recruit them to homosexuality or to dissolve the "natural" order and the integrity of the "traditional" family. Any attempt to even study the idea of gender is considered taxpayer guzzling state ideology that is harmful to society. His prefered idea of a family consists of man, woman and three children. Höcke posits that there is a "natural" polarity between man and woman that excludes any other gender and on which the sophistication of humanity is supposedly built on.[8] As usual, he draws comparisons between Trans and mental illness. Classy.[9][10]

Race[edit]

Höcke claims that "Africans" have evolved to multiply in greater masses while "Europeans" have evolved to optimally use their living space. Because of this, he claims that if this continues and that if Europe continues to allow migrants to enter, Europeans will soon be replaced or go extinct (Sound familiar?). Therefore he demands a complete closure of all the borders to African migrants. Similarly, he claims that there are several "very distinct peoples with unique identities" in the U.S. which in his opinion has lead to miscegenation. This "downfall" (literally "Abstieg" = "descent"), should be avoided in Europe.[11] He is totally, absolutely not a nazi though.[12] He also claims that multiculturalism or any sort of diversity is a form of destruction of what he calls "Leitkultur" (roughly "Leading culture") which he obviously thinks is exactly whatever he believes it is and should be predominant. According to his views, the cultural fabric of Germany is being destroyed through "mass import" by "multiculture-extremism". Of course, Höcke is very quick to use any sort of tragedy for his goal of stirring up hate on migrants.[13][3]

Climate Change[edit]

Höcke does not deny that the climate is changing, but he does claim that it is not man made.[14] He is for reforestation and better watering systems.[15]

Religion[edit]

Höcke claims to be a Christian though he does not seem to like the Bible for having too much desert and not enough forests in it.[16] He claims that there is an antagonism between Christianity and Judaism.[17] Being anti-American as well, he condones Wolfgang Gedeon‘s conspiracy theory that the U.S. is controlled by Jews and which also claims that the U.S. plans to annex the rest of the world by Islamising other Christian nations. This of course makes total sense because as we all know, nobody is as pro Islam and anti-Christian as the U.S.. It also makes total internal sense that a Jewish-controlled U.S. would try to spread Islam in Christian countries.[18] Höcke utilizes traditional stereotypes about Jews that you can think of but is careful not to directly name Jews.[19]

According to Höcke, Islam is not compatible with "European culture" and should be driven back to the Bosporus strait.[20] However he does sometimes allow for alibi-tolerance and say that Muslims who follow the law and integrate well into society have to be tolerated. Yet, he generally considers Islam violent and dangerous and claims there is systematic Islamization going on.[18] Some of his former students have said that he is a fan of Nordic-mythology and has claimed to believe in "the spirit of nature".[21]

EU[edit]

The EU is a neoliberal, globalising-agency led by George Soros. Former chancellor Angela Merkel is his client, and anyway, all the other parties and the EU are run by "elites" and "cartels".[22][19]

Historical revisionism[edit]

Höcke has demanded a "180% turn" on remembrance culture and has called the Berlin holocaust memorial a "memorial of shame". In a case of epic trolling, an activist artist group has rented the property beside Höcke`s home and built a small version of the Berlin memorial for him to enjoy.[23] Höcke has claimed that the bombing of Dresden had as sole goal the killing of as many people as possible and apparently hints at David Irving as his source though he doesn't explicitly name him. [24] He employs old canards like comparing victims of the NS with those of Stalinism even when he is on a visit to a concentration camp.[25] Colonization by the German Reich, in his view, wasn't completely negative - he claims it has helped enrich the enslaved colonized people. Because of this, he thinks that Germany should not have to give back stolen artifacts.[26]

Authoritarianism[edit]

Naturally, spoken like a true right-wing hypocrite, he claims that the "state" is indoctrinating children through school into believing certain ideas. At the same time, forcing his particular set of ideas onto the populace is okay because... well... he's a bigot. No surprise there. He says for instance that excursions to concentration camps with school are violating the schools supposed "neutrality". The teacher's union has publicly spoken out against him for his substance-free rants.[27][28]

Language[edit]

Höcke is arguably quite cunning in his use of language, as least if you consider the dog-whistling of ignorant people a form of wit. He employs a lot of Nazi-inspired language, sometimes making it just vague enough to be able to scream persecution if somebody points it out.[29] As usual for right-wing nutcases, he feels like he and the right are being persecuted when scrutinized.[30] Höcke tries simultaneously to flatter the far-right and the center-right by hiding some of the nasty ideas behind euphemisms or a a veil of "concern". However, it is quite clear that he aims to provocate in order to kickstart discussions on subjects to pull them into the spotlight.[31][32] A swiss News-Portal called "Watson" has posted a quiz where one can guess who has uttered certain statements, Höcke or Hitler, showing that there is some overlap and similarities in their rhetoric.[33]

Certified fascist[edit]

According to a court ruling, it is legal to call Höcke a fascist. This does not mean that the court deems him a fascist, only that the action of calling him a fascist publicly is not derogatory but an acceptable judgement based on things he has said and done which might be construed as "fascist". It's not an insult if it's true.[34]

References[edit]

  1. Björn Höcke Thüringer Landtag
  2. AfD-Spitze setzt Landeschef Höcke unter Druck Der Spiegel 24 April 2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 AfD's Björn Höcke: Firebrand of the German far right Deutsche Welle 7 February 2020
  4. Der Verfassungsschutz nimmt die Höcke-AfD unter die Lupe Neue Zürcher Zeitung 6 September 2018
  5. NSU-Prozess: Rolle des Verfassungsschutzes bleibt fragwürdig Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung 5 September 2014
  6. Bekanntgabe der AfD als Prüffall rechtswidrig Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen 12 July 2021
  7. Der wohl meistgehasste Politiker Deutschlands Neue Zürcher Zeitung 31 November 2017 (Archived from the original on 26 April 2019)
  8. AfD will sich mit rechten Thesen profilieren Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten 31 July 2014
  9. Höcke will Schwule und Lesben nicht akzeptieren queer.de 16 May 2018
  10. Kaum steht fest, dass Höcke in der AfD bleiben darf, macht er wieder Stimmung gegen Homosexuelle Der Spiegel 16 May 2018
  11. Der Volksempfänger Zeit Online 21 January 2019
  12. "Blanker Rassismus": Höcke und die Fortpflanzung der Afrikaner Süddeutsche Zeitung 12 December 2015
  13. Höcke nutzt Frankfurter Bahnhofsattacke für Forderungen Süddeutsche Zeitung 4 August 2019
  14. 250 Menschen gegen die AfD – Höcke leugnet Klimawandel Main Post 10 August 2018
  15. Höcke (AfD) will Thüringen an den Klimawandel anpassen COOLIS 16 August 2019
  16. Kommentar - Björn Höcke holzt die Bibel ab Deutschlandfunk 30 January 2019
  17. "Sie stellen einen Antagonismus dar": Wegen seiner Äußerungen und Auftritte: AfD berät über Björn Höckes Rauswurf FOCUS Online 18 December 2015
  18. 18.0 18.1 Björn Höcke und der Verschwörungstheoretiker Wolfgang Gedeon Thüringer Allgemeine 22 July 2016
  19. 19.0 19.1 So verbreiten Höcke und Co. antisemitische Verschwörungstheorien WELT 10 August 2020
  20. AFD: Höcke: Mit Islam soll am Bosporus Schluss sein Frankfurter Allgemeine 28 January 2018
  21. Wir haben mit einem seiner ehemaligen Schüler über Björn Höcke geredet VICE 25 January 2016
  22. Verfassungsschutz: Höcke-AfD verbreitet judenfeindliche Denkmuster RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland 10 August 2020
  23. Björn Höcke bekommt Holocaust-Mahnmal vor die Nase gesetzt Frankfurter Allgemeine 22 November 2017
  24. Leserbrief aus 2006: So tickte Björn Höcke als Lehrer Münchner Merkur 23 January 2017
  25. This Journal is itself center-right and is criticizing him for this: Die Stunde der „Neuen Rechten“ Cicero 29 June 2016
  26. So raffiniert wie zwielichtig Süddeutsche Zeitung 26 July 2018
  27. Thüringer Landesregierung und Lehrer distanzieren sich von AfD-Brief an Schulen Ostthüringer Zeitung 14 November 2018
  28. Lehrerverbands-Chef schreibt an Höcke: „Offen gesagt, fühlen wir uns genervt“ News4teachers 30 November 2018
  29. A left-wing journal: Die AfD gewinnt immer Die Tageszeitung 16 September 2019
  30. ZDF-Interview mit Björn Höcke in voller Länge Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen 15 September 2019
  31. Thüringen: Die Sprache von AfD-Chef Björn Höcke Frankfurter Allgemeine 29 October 2019
  32. Acht Zitate zeigen, wie gefährlich der AfD-Rechtsaußen wirklich ist FOCUS Online 24 January 2017
  33. Nach Interview-Eklat im ZDF: Höcke oder Hitler – wer hat's gesagt? Watson 16 September 2019
  34. Björn Höcke darf als "Faschist" bezeichnet werden Der Spiegel 28 September 2019