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AfD Foundation: The sponsored disaster


The AfD-affiliated Desiderius Erasmus Foundation could get access to tax money because of a vague voluntary commitment by the Bundestag. There is a threat of a dismantling of democratic structures, paid for by democracy itself.

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Erika Steinbach, Chair of the AfD-affiliated Desiderius Erasmus Foundation:

Photo: Matthias Balk / dpa

It is now a well-established pattern: experts warn of a disaster. Politicians are alarmed, but are secretly hoping that things won't turn out that bad and are playing down the threat. If the disaster then occurs, the authorities react in a surprised, hesitant and uncoordinated manner; immense damage is caused, especially by waiting. Afterwards, those responsible express their deeply felt regret, promise to learn from the experience and appoint councils of experts - who then warn again in vain next time.

This pattern is evident not only in dealing with storm surges, pandemics or in Afghanistan, but also in the field of political education. Right-wing extremists are apparently trying to shoot civil society ready for attack, wanting access to the control points of public decision-making by infiltrating trade unions, associations and foundations. The accolade would be public money: a dismantling of democratic structures, paid for by democracy itself!

In this context, experts have been warning against the AfD-affiliated Desiderius Erasmus Foundation for years.

She is preparing to become one of the big players in the field.

It networks different right-wing milieus, offers a broad network of resources and personnel, appears to the outside with an emphatically honest and bourgeois appearance - and, due to the vague voluntary commitments of the Bundestag, could soon have access to taxpayers' money in the millions.

A disaster with an announcement.

Nevertheless, politicians fail to formulate a clear socio-political position and take on a role that is capable of acting.

Without this kind of social disaster control, they are jeopardizing the foundations of our democracy and yes, human lives too.

The promotion of political foundations is not regulated by law in Germany

The political foundations of the parties actually stand for the opposite. Through their work, they should keep the active democratic debate alive, ensure social diversity and prevent extremism. However, the funding of political foundations is not regulated by law in Germany. The budget committee of the Bundestag grants them a total of a three-digit million sum annually, without any further substantive examination.

Currently, those foundations usually benefit from funding whose party is entering the Bundestag for the second time. This also applies to the AfD for the first time. The foundation of a party that is actively driving society apart, which is in part monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, could be financed with state funds regardless of its program. No matter where exactly the money goes, no matter what inhuman positions it gives weight.

The Erasmus Foundation was founded in 2017, in 2018 it was recognized by the AfD as a party-affiliated foundation, its chairman is Erika Steinbach. Numerous prominent actors from the AfD environment are represented on the foundation's board of trustees, who have so far excelled with a lot - but not with the prevention of ideologies of inequality. Even before Walter Lübcke was murdered, Erika Steinbach was creating an atmosphere against the Kassel district president in the social media. Often enough, she leaves racist and extremist comments on her Twitter timeline uncommented. The deputy chairman of the foundation, Klaus Peter Krause, published an article with conspiracy ideological considerations on Corona and quoted from a manifesto of some Catholic dignitaries operating with conspiracy myths,who warn of forces that Corona wanted to use for the establishment of a "tyranny" or "world domination".

Krause explains: "This means the so-called New World Order, or NWO for short." NWO is an internationally known anti-Semitic code. If one calls the foundation member Sebastian Wippel a "fascist", this is covered by the freedom of expression according to a court order. In 2016, Wippel caused outrage when, in a speech in the Saxon state parliament, he blamed Angela Merkel's policy for Islamist terrorist attacks in the country and added: "Unfortunately, it did not affect those responsible for this policy."

Members of the foundation's board of trustees have also attracted attention with problematic statements in the past. Karlheinz Weißmann, as far as we know, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees, has been a pioneer and agitator of the so-called New Right in Germany for years. Marc Jongen, member of the Board of Trustees of the Erasmus Foundation and AfD party philosopher, claimed in the Bundestag that the German memory policy was aimed at "breaking the Germans' will to exist as a people and nation." Member of the Board of Trustees Angelika Barbe recently took part in the Corona protests, where she compared the mask requirement with the compulsion of Jews to wear the yellow Star of David during the Nazi dictatorship. It is currently not possible to check whether the people are still performing their functions:The foundation is no longer as informative as it was a few months ago. The problematic personalities in the board of directors and the board of trustees are probably so many that the foundation has now removed the relevant area from its homepage. The foundation left a request from SPIEGEL on this matter unanswered.

Political lack of plan in social disaster control

There are also known connections to the “One Percent” initiative, the right-wing extremist Identitarian Movement, the Institute for State Policy, which is classified as a suspected case, and Götz Kubitschek's Antaios publishing house. In its currently sparse program, the Erasmus Foundation has already had a speaker from the ranks of the right-wing libertarian Atlas Initiative, the founder of which is aiming for a right-wing revolution and, for example, wants to deprive social welfare recipients of the right to vote. Steinbach complained in a press release that "... the opponents of our foundation put us in the AfD boat ... (try)." But why do so many functionaries work in the Desiderius Erasmus Foundation,who at the same time hold a party function like in no other political foundation in Germany? Finally, it should be noted that it became known at the beginning of the year that the protection of the constitution wants to monitor the AfD with intelligence means.

The state is currently promoting democracy education and the prevention of extremism and radicalization with large sums. If the AfD Foundation is co-financed from the same budget that promotes these programs, it is like a bridge that is built on one side while it is torn down on the other. The fact that political Berlin has barely reacted to warnings from civil society so far shows the lack of plan in politics, including when it comes to social disaster control.

Additional funds for events, endowed professorships, research projects and publications would enable the Erasmus Foundation to spread its ideas even more than before at universities and colleges. She plans to expand a political academy and a political advisory service, a network of foreign contacts and, last but not least, a funding agency that will award study grants. In the future, their anti-democratic stance would seep into society: academics - teachers, lawyers, medical professionals - whose worldview is largely shaped by the fact that only certain people are allowed to belong to society, while others are allowed to belong to it must be removed. Depending on the discipline, the right-hand twist can even affect entire age groups.

How many announcements does such a catastrophe need? And why are politics, and especially the governing parties, acting so hesitantly? In contrast to climate change, which has actually presented us with unprecedented challenges in recent decades, since the experiences of the twentieth century we have been able to predict with great accuracy where a society is developing in which individual people and groups are denied the right to exist. When asked about the risk, political actors answer that there is either no need for action or no action. The AfD is a democratically elected party, and the funding of its foundation is inevitable in accordance with custom.

This misjudgment is based on the assumption that the activities of the AfD represent just another political position within our pluralistic spectrum. Right-wing extremism, however, is not an opinion, but an existential threat to our democracy and our entire social coexistence. A draft for a »defensive democracy law« developed by the Anne Frank educational institution shows the legal scope for action with which generally binding criteria for foundation funding can be established - just one possible among many viable options. But even legal constructions can only make a difference if the political will is there. Something has to happen before the next federal budget is put together. If you only want to learn from it after this catastrophe,is complicit in her.

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2021-10-16

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