Politicians and Jewish organizations have condemned a new Jewish group affiliated with the far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD).
The group, Juden in der AfD ("Jews in the AfD," or JAfD), is preparing for a launch event on October 7 in the city of Offenbach, in spite of a number of scandals in which prominent AfD figures questioned Germany's remembrance culture about the Holocaust. In June, co-leader Alexander Gauland dismissed the Nazi era as a "speck of bird shit in over 1,000 years of successful German history."
The group's announcement drew baffled reactions from Jewish community leaders. "The AfD is and remains a party in which anti-Semites feel more than comfortable," Charlotte Knobloch, former chairwoman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told the Bild newspaper. That "Jewish people can justify their membership in such a party to themselves" is "completely baffling," she said.