Germany's Pegida rocked by fresh scandal

2015-10-20 21:28
In Dresden, Germany, protesters attend a demonstration of Pegida marking the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group. (AP)

In Dresden, Germany, protesters attend a demonstration of Pegida marking the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dresden - Germany's anti-foreigner Pegida movement was rocked on Tuesday by a fresh scandal with a speaker under investigation for incitement after he lamented the closure of concentration camps at a rally organized by the group.

"We are investigating the case on suspicion of incitement to hatred," said Dresden state prosecutor Lawrence Haase on Tuesday. "We are checking the criminal relevance," Haase said.

In a speech to a Pegida rally on Monday in the eastern German city of Dresden marking the anti-Islam and anti-foreigner movement's first anniversary, German-Turkish writer Akif Pirincci lashed out at both Muslims and refugees.

"Of course, there are other alternatives, but the concentration camps are unfortunately out of service," Pirincci told the rally of between 15 000 and 20 000 people organised by Pegida, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West.

Pegida almost disappeared from German political life earlier this year amid a series of scandals and a mass resignations by its key leaders.

But the group has suddenly been given a new lease of life as a result of the surge in the number of refugees into Germany from war-torn parts of the world such as the Middle East and Africa.

Pirincci's speech, however, appeared to be too much even for Pegida supporters with the movement's co-founder Lutz Bachmann apologising for Pirincci's remarks on his Facebook page.

Inviting Pirincci to appear at the Pegida rally was a "serious error," wrote Bachmann, who turned off the microphone during Pirincci's speech, which seemed to shock some of those attending the event.

Like Gauleiters

A crime and murder-mystery writer, Pirincci has emerged in Germany as a regular critic of migration, gays and Islam.

Born in Turkey, Pirincci in his speech also compared Chancellor Angela Merkel's refugee policy with the forced resettlements carried out during Hitler's Germany. Pirincci emigrated to Germany with his family in 1969 at the age of 10.

His speech resulted in the publisher Random House pulling his books from their programme.

Pirincci's speech came amid warnings from analysts and political leaders of the recent radicalisation of Pegida as a result of Merkel's liberal asylum policy.

After calling for dialogue with Pegida supporters in the early months after it appeared on the national political stage, Germans have more recently set about attacking the organization, describing it as a Nazi group that people should avoid.

"Pegida has become right-wing populist and is open in part to outraged radical right-wing movements," German Vice Chancellor and Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel told the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung. Gabriel also at one point met with Pegida supporters in Dresden.

In his speech at Monday's rally, Pirincci said today's politicians were "increasingly like Gauleiters [regional Nazi Party leaders] acting against their own people," adding that any Germans concerned about the current situation should leave the nation.

Read more on:    germany  |  migrants

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.