Holocaust Survivor Prompts Walkout

Twelve members of the Bavarian state parliament walked out of a tribute to Holocaust victims this morning, when a Holocaust survivor accused the ‘Alternative for Germany’ (AfD) party of being one which “bases its politics on hate and marginalization.”

Members of the AfD party walk out of tributeMembers of the Bavarian state parliament walk out of tribute (Peter Kneffel/dpa via AP)


Speaking with the courage shown by many Holocaust survivors, Charlotte Knobloch called the AfD a party that:

“has downplayed the crimes of the Nazis and has close connections to the extreme right.”

Whilst that comment prompted AfD members to walk out, other members of the parliament rose and gave Charlotte a standing ovation. Concerns about the AfD are clearly widespread.

An article in the Financial Times last month revealed Charlotte’s concern that the real menace to Jewish life today comes from the likes of the AfD, and its increasingly brazen attempt to break long-standing taboos over the actions of the Nazis during the Holocaust. She said,

“When I speak about anti-Semitism I mean German anti-Semitism.
That is the one that weighs on me.”

Her views on Arab and Muslim hostility towards the Jewish community are that it simply reflects an upbringing in which they are taught to hate Israel, and consequently to hate Jews.

Charlotte was born in Munich in 1932. Her father was a Munich lawyer and Bavarian senator, while her mother was born a Christian but converted to Judaism upon marrying. Charlotte was saved from the Holocaust by the family’s former housekeeper, who took her to Catholic farmers in Franconia, who pretended she was their own illegitimate daughter.

UPDATE 24th January

Now Charlotte has told a local newspaper that since her speech on Wednesday she has received:

“coarse verbal abuse, threats and insults by email and telephone almost by the minute.”

She also said:

“The danger the [AfD] party and its supporters spell for our liberal democracy
has become more than clear and this shows more than ever that
the democrats in our country must stand united against them.”