Alexander Gauland

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Alexander Gauland
MdB
Gauland2014 (cropped).jpg
Leader of the Alternative for Germany
Assumed office
2 December 2017
Serving with Jörg Meuthen
Preceded by Frauke Petry
Leader of the Alternative for Germany in the Bundestag
Assumed office
28 September 2017
Serving with Alice Weidel
Preceded by Office established
Member of the Bundestag
for Brandenburg
Assumed office
24 October 2017
Personal details
Born Alexander Eberhardt Gauland
(1941-02-20) 20 February 1941 (age 77)
Chemnitz, Saxony, Nazi Germany
Political party Alternative for Germany
Other political
affiliations
Christian Democratic Union (until 2013)
Domestic partner Carola Hein
Children 2
Alma mater University of Marburg

Alexander Eberhardt Gauland (born 20 February 1941) is a German politician, journalist and lawyer who has served as Leader of Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the Bundestag since September 2017 and Deputy Leader of Alternative for Germany since July 2015. He has been a Member of the Bundestag (MdB) since September 2017. Gauland is a leading politician of the German political party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). He was the party's co-founder and is its federal spokesman and the party leader for the state of Brandenburg.[1]

Biography[edit]

Gauland was born in 1941 in Chemnitz, a city that became part of East Germany in 1949 and was renamed Karl-Marx-Stadt. After graduating from high school in 1959, he emigrated to West Germany. He studied political science and law at Marburg, where he also received his doctorate.[2]

In 1972 Gauland entered the Federal Press Office and worked as the Director of the Office of the Mayor of Frankfurt am Main for 10 years.[1]

Afterwards he became the head of a department of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety in Bonn and Member of the Hessian Prime Minister´s cabinet.[1]

From 1991–2006 he worked as an editor of the local newspaper Märkische Allgemeine in Potsdam.[1]

Founding the AfD[edit]

On the morning of 25 March 2010 German Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly assured that there would be no direct financial aid to Greece, but reverted that statement hours later by agreeing with the leaders of the Euro countries to send the first of many "rescue packages" to Greece. Gerd Robanus, Assessor in the Federal Executive of the CDU-Business Association cited this as the reason for founding the "Election Alternative 2013" together with Alexander Gauland, Konrad Adam and Bernd Lucke.[3]

In February 2014 Gauland received about 80 percent of the vote during an Extraordinary National Congress in Diedersdorf, becoming chairman of the Brandenburg County Association of the right-wing Alternative for Germany.[4]

Landtag of Brandenburg[edit]

The AfD earned a voting share of 12.2 percent in the Brandenburg state election, 2014 for the first time. On Tuesday, 10 July 2014 Gauland opened the inaugural session of the Landtag of Brandenburg:[5]

As part of this speech, after quoting Edmund Burke, Gauland wished the other members of parliament "all the strength and the courage, to tackle the tasks now ahead of them, in the interest of the voters and in the interest of the common good".[6]

Political affiliation and ideals[edit]

Before becoming an AfD founding member Gauland was member of the CDU. In 2012 Gauland became involved in the Berliner Kreis ("Berlin circuit"), a loose association of federal and state politicians within the CDU, which has been trying for years to make the CDU conservative again, because they consider that under Angela Merkel's leadership it has moved away from these ideals.[7]

Alexander Gauland said he can not detect any right-wing extremists or radicals at the PEGIDA-Demonstrations. Gauland said: "I do not see right-wing extremists. I see citizens who demonstrate out of concern about developments in Germany, who are afraid. But I haven't seen any right-wing extremists, and we are not the allies of the right-wing extremists, but we are the allies of the people who have these concerns."[8]

Controversies[edit]

In May 2016, Gauland reportedly made comments about Bayern Munich and German national team footballer Jérôme Boateng in a conversation with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS, Sunday edition of Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper). FAS cited Gauland, "people like him [Boateng] as a footballer, but they don't want to have a Boateng as a neighbour". A controversy arose about this sentence. Gauland defended himself, saying he was fooled by the newspaper and it had been a background discussion, which was classified as confidential and thus not intended for publication. The newspaper refuted this. Gauland added that the effect of the statement – which in his words was meant descriptive – was distorted by the headline of the newspaper, "Gauland insults Boateng" ("Gauland beleidigt Boateng"). The newspaper had no audio recording of the statement, but independently written memos of two journalists. While Boateng himself said he was "saddened" by the statement of Gauland, the German federal government said it was "a vile and sad sentence" ("ein niederträchtiger und ein trauriger Satz").[9] But also the FAS was criticised for making "mistakes".[10]

In September 2017, a video emerged of Gauland in which he said that Germany should "be proud of" its soldiers in both world wars and people should no longer "reproach" Germans for World War Two. He was quoted as saying: "If the French are rightly proud of their emperor and the Britons of Nelson and Churchill, we have the right to be proud of the achievements of the German soldiers in two world wars". In response, Germany's justice minister tweeted that the statements showed that Gauland's AfD was on the extreme right.[11] Gauland's comment was defended by numerous right-leaning supporters both publicly and on social media. This recent controversy did appear to affect popularity, as the AfD party won a significant number of seats comparative to the last election, when they failed to pass the 5% hurdle. [12]

Position in the AfD[edit]

He is the AfD's state chairman of Brandenburg and was one of two leading figures in the Bundestagswahl 2017.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Gauland's life companion Carola Hein is editor of a local newspaper, the Märkische Allgemeine, which he had previously edited.[14]

As a 26-year-old man, Gauland suffered from depression. He also suffered a heart attack in 2007, and has been taking medication to lower his blood pressure ever since.[15]

Gauland is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.[16] His daughter from a prior marriage is a Protestant pastor and publicly distanced herself from her father's statements on refugees in 2016.[17]

Selected publications[edit]

Journal articles[edit]

  • Gauland, Alexander (1973). "Die Völkerrechtliche Souveränität im Fall der Aufnahme von Staaten in die UNO". Die Öffentliche Verwaltung. 

Books[edit]

  • Das Legitimitätsprinzip in der Staatenpraxis seit dem Wiener Kongress (= Schriften zum Völkerrecht, Band 20.). Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1971, ISBN 3-428-02569-5. (Diss., University of Marburg, 1970)
  • Gemeine und Lords. Porträt einer politischen Klasse (= Suhrkamp-Taschenbuch, 1650). Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt 1989, ISBN 3-518-38150-4.
  • Was ist Konservativismus? Streitschrift gegen die falschen deutschen Traditionen. Westliche Werte aus konservativer Sicht. Eichborn Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1991, ISBN 3-8218-0454-8.
  • Helmut Kohl. Ein Prinzip. Rowohlt Verlag, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-87134-206-8.
  • Das Haus Windsor. Orbis Verlag, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-572-01124-8. (Licensed by Siedler Verlag, Berlin 1996)
  • Anleitung zum Konservativsein. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart u. a. 2002, ISBN 3-421-05649-8.
  • Kleine deutsche Geschichte. Von der Stauferzeit bis zum Mauerfall. Rowohlt Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-87134-582-1.
  • Die Deutschen und ihre Geschichte. wjs verlag, Berlin 2009, ISBN 3-937989-56-0.
  • Fürst Eulenburg – ein preußischer Edelmann. Die konservative Alternative zur imperialen Weltpolitik Wilhelm II. Strauss Edition, Potsdam 2010, ISBN 978-3-86886-018-4.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Bewerbungsprofil für Kandidaten für die Landtagswahl 2014 in Brandenburg Alexander Gauland" (PDF). Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  2. ^ "Interview: Alexander Gauland über Themen und Ziele der AfD". 16 September 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  3. ^ "Euro-Politik: Enttäuschte CDU-Politiker gründen Wahlalternative – WELT". DIE WELT. Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  4. ^ Germany, Märkische Allgemeine, Potsdam, Brandenburg,. "Einzug in den Potsdamer Landtag ist oberstes Ziel – Gauland neuer Chef der Brandenburger AfD – MAZ – Märkische Allgemeine". Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung. Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Brandenburgs AfD-Chef Gauland eröffnet Landtag – WELT". DIE WELT. Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "Eröffnungsrede von Dr. Alexander Gauland – Alternative für Deutschland". www.afd-brandenburg.de. Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  7. ^ Hähnig, Anne (20 November 2014). "Alexander Gauland: Verbannt aus dem Salon". Retrieved 29 May 2017 – via Die Zeit. 
  8. ^ tagesschau.de. "AfD sieht keine Neonazis bei "Pegida"". tagesschau.de. Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  9. ^ Gauland rechtfertigt sich für Boateng-Äußerungen, Die Zeit, in German
  10. ^ Bei Gauland hat die "FAS" Fehler gemacht, Die Welt
  11. ^ "Storm over 'pride in WW2 soldiers' remarks in Germany". BBC News. 16 September 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2017. 
  12. ^ Jill Petzinger, ed. (24 September 2017). "Populist Problem: German voters put a far-right party into parliament for the first time since the Second World War". qz.com. Quartz. Retrieved 9 January 2018. 
  13. ^ Kate Brady, ed. (24 September 2017). "AfD's unlikely duo: Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel". dw.com. Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 9 January 2018. 
  14. ^ Twiehaus, Jens. "Journalistin im Wahlkampf: CDU im Büro, AfD zuhaus". Retrieved 29 May 2017 – via taz.de. 
  15. ^ "Sechs Wochen in Bonner Klinik: Gauland spricht über Depressionen". 5 October 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2018 – via n-tv.de. 
  16. ^ Gauland, Alexander in: Norbert Beleke (Hrsg.): Wer ist wer? Das deutsche Who’s Who. 42. Ausgabe 2003/2004, Schmidt-Römhild, Lübeck 2003, ISBN 3-7950-2036-0, S. 411.
  17. ^ See: „Wir können uns nicht von Kinderaugen erpressen lassen“. Zeit Online, 24. February 2016.

External links[edit]