The new party's logo includes a blueberry, which was also adopted as a secret symbol by the Nazis in the 1930s.
Andre Poggenburg, former AfD leader in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, in the east of the country, resigned this week with sending an e-mail to the direction, in which he criticized the supposed movement of the party on the left.
"Unfortunately, developments within the AfD in recent weeks and months have shown that this is no longer my true political focus," he said in an e-mail accessed by the German news site Spiegel Online.
His new party is called Aufbruch der deutschen Patrioten, and Poggenburg has updated his profiles on social networks with party logos featuring a blueberry sporting a German flag. The flower was previously worn as a secret symbol identifying members of the then illegal Nazi Party in Austria in the 1930s. It was also the favorite flower of Kaiser Wilhelm – the last German emperor and King of Prussia – and became a symbol of Pan-German nationalism in the 19th century.
The flower was associated with German nationalism even before the emergence of the Nazi party, after the right-wing politician Georg von Schönerer encouraged his supporters to wear it in the late nineteenth century. Schönerer was a major representative of German nationalism and a fierce anti-Semite. He is considered to have a decisive influence on Adolf Hitler.
More recently, he was the chosen flower of the far-right party Freedom Party (FPÖ) in Austria before disappearing as a symbol of this group in 2017. And the leader of the FPÖ, the politician of the FPÖ, Norbert Hofer, Today Austrian Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology – was seen carrying the flower while he was campaigning for the presidency in 2016.
Poggenburg told the German newspaper Welt that he was not considering moving away from AfD's policy but "to stay with the successful positioning of the AfD there is about two years and not following the noticeable turn to the left. "
In the past, he strongly criticized his controversial remarks about immigrants in Germany. He resigned from his post as regional chairman of the state party of Saxony-Anhalt, in the east of the country, in 2018, after qualifying the Turkish population of Germany as "camel merchants" "and" non patriotic scoundrel ".
"These camel drivers should go where they belong, far, far beyond the Bosphorus, their mud huts and their polygamy," he told AFD members.
Poggenburg did not immediately respond to CNN's requests for comment.
Georg Pazderski, deputy chief of the AfD, told CNN that the party was not concerned about the resignation of Poggenburg. "It was a consistent move by Mr Poggenburg, I do not think Mr Poggenburg's resignation will hurt AFD in East Germany, it will be fine, this resignation shows that we are the only truly conservative party. in Germany and that people who do not agree with our Conservative course can leave. "
AfD spokesman Jörg Hubert Meuthen also welcomed the news. Addressing the German public radio Deutschlandfunk, he stated that Poggenburg's policy did not align with the party at large. "He said that it was legitimate to be part of the radical right … This is not a position we have," said Meuthen.
Poggenburg nevertheless accused the AfD of having violated the promises of his campaign. He told Welt that AfDs "are often no longer seen as a genuine patriotic alternative and have lost their credibility in this regard". Poggenburg also criticized what he considers to be hysteria at the heart of the party as to the possibility of being placed under police surveillance.
Poggenburg's intention to leave the AfD to form his own party was confirmed on Thursday when his political ally Egbert Ermer told Spiegel that "the political party's training project began today." 39; hui ". He said it would be an "average German movement", with branches in Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.