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Björn Höcke in 2015
1 April 1972|
Lünen, Westphalia, Germany
Höcke was born in Lünen, Westphalia. His grandparents were expelled ethnic Germans. After his Abitur at the Rhein-Wied-Gymnasium Neuwied in 1991, he served in the Bundeswehr and went to law school at the University Bonn, which he did not finish.
After curricular activities in various schools he worked as a senior teacher at the Rhenanus School in Bad Sooden-Allendorf. In addition to education policy, family policy is one of his main interests.
He is married and has four children.
As one of the founders of AfD Thuringia, he became Member of the Landtag of Thuringia, the state assembly of the federal state of Thuringia in Germany during the 2014 Thuringian State Elections. Höcke is the speaker of the parliamentary group of the AfD and he is the spokesman of the Thuringia Landesverband (English: regional association) of his party. He is said to be part of the "national-conservative wing" of the AfD.
Along with the opposition leader of Saxony-Anhalt, André Poggenburg, Höcke is one of the initiators of the "Erfurter Resolution", whose former leader and co-founder Bernd Lucke, was forced to resign.
Höcke regularly serves as main speaker for nationalist rallies organized by party organizations of the AfD.
Höcke is an advocate of the heterosexual elementary family, particularly a three-child-family. He demands an end of "society experiments" that undermine what he deems the "natural gender order". He encourages the extension of child tax credit.
He advocates a reduction of comprehensive schools and a specific schooling of outstanding students as well as a creation of schools that particularly support special needs children. He opposes sexual education in elementary schools and wants to "stop the dissolution of the natural polarity of the two genders".
Höcke supports the position of Thilo Sarrazin and is viewed as controversial for his criticism of multiculturalism and Islam. His opinions have been observed by media and social scientists as right-wing populist, identitarian, and nationalist.
Political scientists such as Gero Neugebauer and Hajo Funke have commented that Höcke's opinions are close to the National Democratic Party of Germany and deem his speech pattern to be völkisch, racist and fascist. At a demonstration in Erfurt he said:
- "Die Syrer, die zu uns kommen, haben immer noch Syrien. Wenn wir – durch die Syrer – unser Deutschland verloren haben, dann haben wir keine Heimat mehr".
- "The Syrians who come to us still have their Syria. But if we – through the Syrians – lose our Germany, we will not have a homeland anymore".
Abolishing §§ 86 & 130 StGB
In a 2014 email to party colleagues, Höcke advocated the abolition of sections 86 and 130 of the German Criminal Code. Section 86 prohibits the spread of propaganda by unconstitutional organizations. Section 130 criminalizes 'incitement of hatred towards other groups of the population' (Volksverhetzung). 'Ethical unsound persuasions' can't be 'avoided by legal measures'.
Allegations of antisemitism
Höcke gave a speech in Dresden in January 2017, in which, referring to the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, he stated that "we Germans are the only people in the world who have planted a memorial of shame in the heart of their capital," and suggested that Germans "need to make a 180 degree change in their commemoration policy". The speech was widely criticized as antisemitic, among others by Jewish leaders in Germany, and he was described by his party chairwoman, Frauke Petry, in response as a "burden to the party". As a result of his speech, the majority of leaders of the AfD asked in February 2017 that Björn Höcke be expelled from the party. The arbitration committee of the AfD in Thuringia is set to rule on the leaders' request.
- Polke-Majewski, Karsten (18 February 2016). "Mein Mitschüler, der rechte Agitator" – via Die Zeit.
- "Fraktionsvorsitzender der AfD Björn Höcke besucht seine Heimatstadt Neuwied". Der Lokalanzeiger. 24 April 2015.
- "AfD Kandidat Höcke im Interview: Drei-Kinder-Familie ist politisches Leitbild". Thüringische Landeszeitung. 21 July 2014.
- "AfD-Rechtsaußen Höcke ist von ganz alter Schule". Die Welt. 2 November 2015.
- "Landtagswahl 2014: Welche Koalitionen sind in Thüringen möglich?"". Thüringische Landeszeitung. 16 July 2014.
- "AfD Vorstand Thüringen".
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- "AfD Alternative für Deutschland co-founder resigns over 'xenophobic' power grab". The Local. 9 July 2015.
- "AfD fordert Aussetzung des Schengener Abkommens". Die Zeit. 27 August 2014.
- "Kandidaten Bundestagswahl 2013". wen-wählen.de. 2013.
- "Natürliche Geschlechterordnung". Die Tageszeitung. 17 September 2014.
- "AfD will sich mit rechten Thesen profilieren". Der Tagesspiegel. 31 July 2014.
- "Welche Rechten stecken hinter dem schwarzen Haken?". Die Welt. 3 November 2015.
- "Hessen will AfD-Politiker Höcke nicht mehr unterrichten lassen". Der Tagesspiegel. 18 January 2016.
- "Eindeutig rechtsextremistisch". Handelsblatt. 2 October 2015.
- "Die AfD hat sich rechtsradikalisiert". Deutschlandfunk. 23 October 2015.
- Höcke sorgt erneut mit Äußerungen für Wirbel In: Focus vom 29. Mai 2015
- Neuer Beleg für NPD-Nähe von AfD-Landeschef Höcke In: MDR.de vom 29. Mai 2015. at the Wayback Machine (archived May 30, 2015)
- "AfD-Mann Höcke löst mit Kritik an Holocaust-Gedenken Empörung aus". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). January 18, 2017.
- Matthias Kamann (January 19, 2017). "Was Höcke mit der "Denkmal der Schande"-Rede bezweckt". Die Welt (in German).
- "AfD-Chefin Petry: "Höcke ist eine Belastung für die Partei"". Junge Freiheit (in German). January 18, 2017.
- "Germany's right-wing AfD seeks to expel state leader over Holocaust remarks". Deutsche Welle.
- "For One Far-Right Politician, Forgetting Germany's Past Just Got Harder". The New York Times. December 25, 2017.
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