Leading German far-right politician charged over using Nazi stormtrooper slogan

Far-right politician Bjoern Hoecke, Thuringia's AfD parliamentary group leader, speaks at the special plenary session of the Thuringia state parliament in Erfurt, Germany, January 20, 2021.  (Michael Reichel/ dpa via AP, File)
Far-right politician Bjoern Hoecke, Thuringia's AfD parliamentary group leader, speaks at the special plenary session of the Thuringia state parliament in Erfurt, Germany, January 20, 2021. (Michael Reichel/ dpa via AP, File)

A prominent figure in the far-right Alternative for Germany party has been charged over his alleged use in a 2021 speech of a slogan used by the Nazis’ SA stormtroopers, German prosecutors say.

Prosecutors in the eastern city of Halle say that Björn Höcke was charged with public use of a symbol of an unconstitutional organization. Höcke, an influential figure on the hard right of Alternative for Germany, heads his party’s branch in the neighboring eastern state of Thuringia.

Höcke is accused of ending a speech to some 250 people in Merseburg, in May 2021, with the words “Everything for Germany!”

Prosecutors charge that he was aware of the origin of the phrase as an SA slogan. In a statement, they said Höcke’s lawyers had denied that his words had any “criminal relevance.”

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