Tatjana Festerling

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Tatjana Festerling
Picture of Tatjana Festerling
Tatjana Festerling in 2015
Tatjana Schimanski

(1964-03-06) 6 March 1964 (age 55)
OccupationPolitical Activist
Known forMember of PEGIDA

Tatjana Festerling (née Schimanski, 6 March 1964, Wuppertal) is a German New Right politician who was a member of the organisation team of the political movement Pegida. She was expelled from the Pegida leadership for advocating that asylum-seekers should be shot if they attempt to cross the German border.[1]

Political activities[edit]

Festerling was a founding member of the Hamburg section of the Alternative for Germany (AfD).[2] She resigned from the party, after a looming threat of expulsion for her condoning action of the Hooligans against Salafists movement.

In 2015, Festerling joined Pegida and became the first-ever Pegida candidate to run for office. She contested for the mayoral election in the city of Dresden and gained 9.6% of the votes in the election held on 7 June 2015.[3][4] Der Spiegel had described Pegida's decision in 2015 to invite Festerling, a woman, to work with the party founder Lutz Bachmann as an adroit move.[2]

In June 2016, Festerling was dismissed from the Pegida leadership. Bachmann stated that her behaviour 'was injurious to the organisation' as the reason for her dismissal.[5]

In 2017 she was found guilty of Volksverhetzung in Dresden and send to prison for 120 days. Before she has to go to jail she left the country. She’s a persona non grata in Germany and migrated to Bulgaria in 2018.


Festerling trained in coaching and yoga and has two grown up children. She is an ultra-marathon runner and widely travelled.[2] In her spare time, she patrols the Bulgarian-Turkish border area together with local paramilitary forces.[1]


  1. ^ a b Huggler, Justin (4 July 2016). "Dutch Pegida leader and expelled German deputy hunt migrants on Bulgaria border". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Hebel, Christina (14 April 2015). "Dresdner OB-Kandidatin Festerling: Zu rechts für die AfD - für Pegida gerade recht". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  3. ^ Radau, Lars (7 June 2015). "Pegida-Kandidatin Festerling schafft fast zehn Prozent". Der Tagesspiegel. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  4. ^ Klaiber, Susanne (6 May 2015). "Ex-Pegida Frontwoman Kathrin Oertel Apologizes for Anti-Islam Statements". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Bachmann stellt Vertrauensfrage". Sächsische Zeitung. 20 June 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2016.