AfD politician quoted SA slogan: Tough investigations against Höcke

AfD politician quoted SA slogan: Tough investigations against Höcke

The AfD politician used the SA slogan “Everything for Germany” in a speech in 2021. Criminal lawyers criticize that there are still no charges.

Björn Höcke giving a speech in December 2022 in Zwickau

Often flirting with Nazi rhetoric: right-wing extremist Björn Höcke (AfD) Photo: Bodo Schackow/dpa

BERLIN taz | Two criminal law experts criticize the tough investigations by the public prosecutor’s office in Halle against Björn Höcke, the head of the AfD in Thuringia. The public prosecutor’s office has been investigating the right-wing extremist for around 19 months because he used the banned SA slogan “Everything for Germany” during an election campaign speech in May 2021 in Merseburg, Saxony-Anhalt. Charges have still not been brought. Höcke’s immunity was granted canceled in November 2021since then nothing has happened in the process.

When asked by the taz, former BGH judge Thomas Fischer described the duration of the proceedings as “unusual” and “worrying”. When asked by the taz, the criminal law professor Mohamad El-Ghazi from the University of Trier is “surprised” that the public prosecutor’s office has not come to a final decision in the proceedings after more than a year and a half.

The public prosecutor’s office in Halle, on the other hand, dismisses multiple queries. Prosecutor Dennis Cernota told the taz: “I can assure you that the investigations will be carried out with due diligence as quickly as possible.” Information could only be given once the investigation has been completed. A “serious prognosis about the further duration of the procedure is currently not possible”.

The case doesn’t seem too complicated: Höcke is not only considered “right-wing extremist” by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and, as a former history teacher, repeatedly flirted with Nazi rhetoric, consciously tested boundaries and attempted revisionist discourse shifts. In speeches he posited that internal party opponents would have to be “sweated out”.referred to the Berlin Holocaust Memorial as “Memorial of Shame”called for a “180 degree turnaround in memory policy” or spoke in speeches by “Tat Elite”, as the SS called themselves. The list could be extended almost indefinitely.

Higher Regional Court Hamm has already ruled on the SA slogan

In addition, there is already one Judgment of the Higher Regional Court of Hamm from 2006 on the same issue. The court convicted one person for using the exact slogan “Everything for Germany”. And that too scientific service of the Bundestag sees “the use of the phrase ‘Everything for Germany’ in the context of a speech at a meeting” as a “criminal statement” – “since it was the slogan of the SA”.

Ex-BGH judge Fischer says that Höcke considers himself a historically educated person, so it is obvious that he used the license plate consciously, which makes the process punishable. “For reasons of plausibility, it is obvious that he used the password intentionally.” Nevertheless, this must be proven to him, although Höcke cannot simply excuse himself by saying that he does not know the password.

But there is even more evidence that Höcke should know the SA slogan: the Saxon one was already printing in 2017 AfD politician Ulrich Oehme the SA slogan “Everything for Germany” on posters during the federal election campaign. After a criminal complaint and media reports, he pasted over the posters.

The criminal proceedings against Oehme at the Chemnitz public prosecutor’s office were nevertheless discontinued in April 2018 after he denied having known that the sentence was an SA slogan, as the taz now says. According to the public prosecutor’s office, it was not possible to prove to the accused “that he knew that the slogan ‘Everything for Germany’ was that of a banned Nazi organization, especially since it was not a well-known slogan of National Socialist organizations and was also derived from it the wording shows no connection to the Nazi regime,” senior public prosecutor Ingrid Burkhard told the taz.

“Neither complex nor difficult”

With regard to Höcke, Mohamad El-Ghazi also refers to this case: “I think it is very unlikely that Mr. Höcke could have missed that the AfD candidate Ulrich Oehme campaigned in Saxony in 2017 with the same slogan of the SA. There was extensive media coverage of this.” In view of this “precedent,” El-Ghazi expects the judiciary to reject a possible admission by Höcke that he did not know the historical dimension of the slogan he used as a protective claim. In addition, Höcke is a history teacher.

According to El-Ghazi, criminal investigations can sometimes drag on for years, but viewed from the outside, the present proceedings offer little reason for this. “The facts relevant to criminal law are neither complex nor is the legal situation difficult,” says El-Ghazi. He also referred to the decision of the Hamm Higher Regional Court that the slogan “Everything for Germany” was a slogan of the SA – “this classification is unanimously agreed in the criminal law literature”.

According to El-Ghazi, the dissemination and public use of this slogan is just as punishable as the use of the Hitler salute or other well-known Nazi slogans. He thinks it is possible that the public prosecutor’s office is “too cautious”.

The use of signs of unconstitutional and terrorist organizations is punishable Clause 86a with a prison sentence of up to three years or with a fine. Slogans can also be used as identifiers. Höcke and the AfD Thuringia did not comment on the taz request.

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