Defeat in court: no money for the AfD foundation

Defeat in court: no money for the AfD foundation

In Saxony-Anhalt, the AfD fails with a lawsuit for state subsidies. These were denied due to the lack of separation between the party and the foundation.

Martin Reichardt sits in front of AFD campaign posters

No money for the AfD – Martin Reichardt’s lawsuit was dismissed Photo: Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert/dpa

Defeat in court for the AfD in Saxony-Anhalt: At least for the time being there is no money from state funds for a party-related club. The state association had sued the chairman and member of the Bundestag Martin Reichardt in order to receive funding from the state center for political education – for the political educational work of their Friedrich-Friesen-Stiftung e. V. The Magdeburg Administrative Court decided on Thursday to dismiss the lawsuit, as there is no legal basis for funding.

The State Center for Civic Education had previously rejected applications for funding for the years 2021 and 2022. The foundation, which is legally a registered association, cannot prove sustainable educational work, argued the state headquarters. She referred to the administrative regulations. Apparently there is already a lack of separation between the foundation and the party.

The twelve members of the association, all men, are connected to the AfD in different ways, including as members of parliament. AfD member of parliament Hans-Thomas Tillschneider is said to be heavily involved. In a report on the AfD, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution mentions the Russia friend almost a hundred times.

The office address of the AfD state office and that of the foundation is the same. You share a mailbox on Schönebecker Strasse in the state capital.

No entitlement to funding

The administrative court in Magdeburg said in a press release on Thursday that according to the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) of January 22, 2023, state funding for party-affiliated foundations requires a legal basis. However, there is currently no such thing, so that the plaintiff is currently not entitled to the funding he is seeking, according to the court. Karlsruhe had on the occasion of a lawsuit by the AfD-affiliated Desiderius Erasmus Foundation included in this argument.

The few events that the “Friedrich-Friesen-Foundation eV” of the Saxony-Anhalt regional association has offered so far are said to have been hardly general public, and the number of participants not particularly large. Nevertheless, the AfD sought state funds early on.

The founding members came together on July 10, 2017 in the dignified ambience of the Ratskeller in Magdeburg. “The foundation was the first attempt by the völkisch-nationalist network around the former AfD parliamentary group leader Andre Poggenburg to acquire state funds,” says David Begrich, right-wing extremism expert of the association “Together – Network for Democracy and Cosmopolitanism” in Saxony-Anhalt.

On August 31 of that year, it was registered as an association at the district court in Stendal, and on October 4 it was recognized as an AfD-related foundation by the state association. On November 21, the Magdeburg tax office recognized the non-profit status of the association.

On the association’s website, the “Friedrich Friesen Foundation e. V.” the rapid structure development. The alignment is already indicated by the first six members. They were not only employed by the AfD parliamentary group or by members of parliament, they also belonged to the extreme right-wing fraternity “Germania Marburg”, which is a member of the extreme right-wing umbrella organization “Deutsche Burschenschaft” (DB). This includes Andreas Graudin, who was deputy chairman when the foundation was founded and is now its chairman.

In self-portrayal, the club is moderate

The party’s first chairman, now a member of the state parliament, Jan Moldenhauer, was one of the signatories to the “Erfurt Resolution”. With the resolution, the Thuringian AfD state chairman Björn Höcke and the co-founder of the “Institut für Staatspolitik” (Ifs), Götz Kubitschek, wanted to emphasize in 2015 that “countless members” see the party as a real “patriotic” movement of “free speech” against “Gender mainstreaming, multiculturalism, arbitrariness in education” – and not that the party should come closer to the established parties.

Since it was founded, the “Friedrich Friesen Foundation e. V.” between AfD parliamentary group, IfS, Junge Alternative and Identitarian movement, says right-wing extremism expert Begrich. In self-portrayal, the association tries to be moderate. The purpose is “to impart knowledge about liberal conservative values” and the “promotion of the democratic state and the identity of the German people on the basis of its humanistic German heritage”.

But the namesake also points to a radical, patriotic course. Friesen belonged to the nationalist gymnastics movement around Friedrich Ludwig Jahn. The gymnasts also founded the “German Confederation” in 1810. During the Napoleonic occupation, the secret society wanted to promote an armed uprising and “moral renewal” among the people.

In GDR historiography, the Magdeburg native was portrayed as a freedom fighter in an abbreviated form. In Magdeburg there is a memorial for the Frisian who died in 1814, and a street is named after him.

The Ministry of Education, which is responsible for the foundation funding, does not want to comment on the court’s decision. The verdict will only be available in 14 days, says a spokesman for the ministry of the taz. The decision is not yet final.

Source link