Chancellor Scholz reminds the Nazi era urging voters to reject the far right

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Sticker of ethno-nationalist Identitarian movement at AfD Bavaria banner.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz evoked Germany’s Nazi past on Wednesday as he urged voters to reject the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which currently stands second in most national polls.

Hundreds of thousands of Germans have been joining rallies across the country to demonstrate against the AfD in the wake of a report that two senior members of the party were involved in discussions about the mass deportation of citizens with foreign backgrounds (otherwise known as remigration).

At a special Bundestag session marking the Holocaust, Scholtz told the parliament’s lower house that it was essential democrats stood together to stop the rightward shift in the country’s politics. “The word ‘remigration’ is reminiscent of the darkest times in German history,” he declared. “Those who remain silent are complicit,” he added, making it vital that voters recognise the AfD for what it is.

While the protests may have caused AfD’s support to slip marginally, as reflected in a poll published this week, the far-right party’s heavy emphasis on migration remains second in most polls ahead of this year’s European elections.

An animated Scholz warned MPs that the idea of “Dexit” (Germany leaving the EU) raised by AfD co-leader Alice Weidel would result in “the greatest destruction of prosperity that could happen to Germany and Europe”.

He argued that in an increasingly complex world and given what might happen in the U.S. election, “the European Union must become all the stronger” to the point where it entails a banking and capital market union.

Support for Social Democrat Scholz and his cumbersome three-way coalition with the Greens and pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) currently hovers around record lows.

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