One has to ask who the constitutional lawyer for the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is, when Frauke Petry (AfD Sachsen) quotes sentences out of context to support the use of weapons at Germany’s borders to discourage refugees from entering.
Beatrix von Storch (AfD European Parliament) is indeed a lawyer. She took Petry’s statement and responded truthfully to a question put to her on social media: Does ‘Ultima Ratio’ mean that women and children can also be fired at as a deterrence? Her short, tactless answer was – ‘Ja’. Without further comment. Another day, another (bull)shitstorm for the media and the AfD.
The following day, two statements were issued. One from von Storch, claiming that her Ja-Wort was regarding the ‘mothers’ part’ of the question. Sure, in front of the kids, go for it. Somehow she didn’t foresee that this response caught her a little short in the humanity stakes.
Petry (with backup from Meuthen, fellow AfD chef) claims that the AfD does not advocate the use of weapons against ‘peaceful people’. Whether refugees coming over the border are included in that definition, is up to voters and AfD members to decide. In any case, many media commentators and some politicians see this discussion as another taboo breaker in the discourse surrounding the obligations of civil society and political sovereignty.
The continued marches by Legida, the emergence of the Offensive für Deutschland (OfD) and recent attacks on refugee accommodation in Leipzig over the weekend have led Leipzig Police Commissioner Bernd Merbitz to proclaim a climate of political violence, reminiscent of the Nazi era. This statement comes not from a politician seeking to score points in the lead-up to state elections in March. This statement comes from a man who has to manage the limited resources of the police to keep the peace. It is a cry for help.
The question remains: Where will this help come from? Especially when certain politicians keep throwing militant terms into the public discourse, in an attempt to cynically radicalise between 10–20% of susceptible voters for electoral purposes.