AfD leading candidate breaks off interview
Ten minutes took an interview between the ZDF and AfD politician Björn Höcke, then he breaks off the conversation – and threatens the ZDF.
BERLIN taz | The Thuringian AfD chairman Björn Höcke has canceled a TV interview with ZDF. Last Wednesday Höcke had come to Erfurt for the appointment. In conversation with ZDF journalist David Gebhard it should go to Höckes language as well as the national political importance of AfD. But the conversation lasted only ten minutes, then called Höcke and his spokesman to start the interview from scratch because the AfD politician had the questions “strongly emotionalized”. When ZDF journalist Gebhard refused to do so, Höcke broke off the interview.
At the beginning of the interview, the ZDF AfD politician confronted Höcke with videos in which to see his party colleagues. AfD deputies were quoted by Höcke. They should guess whether they were from Adolf Hitler's “Mein Kampf” or from Höcke himself. None of the interviewees wanted to commit themselves.
After about ten minutes, AfD spokesman Günther Lachmann spoke from the background to word and demanded to start again with the record – but the ZDF refused. For minutes there was a verbal confrontation between Höcke and Lachmann on the one hand and the ZDF journalist Gebhard on the other, until Höcke broke off the interview.
“Pay attention. We finish the interview. We do not know what's coming. Then it is clear that there will be no interview with me for you, “said Höcke. When Gebhard asked if this was a threat, Höcke initially replied that it was “just a statement because I am only a human”. On further demand Höcke stated: “Maybe I will also become an interesting personal, political person in this country. Could it be. “One comes into the sensitive area of freedom of the press, if one should ask the questions so often, until Höcke was satisfied with the answers, Gebhard tried to explain.
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Excerpts of the interview showed the ZDF on Sunday in the program “Berlin directly”. Further interview records and a transcript of the interview were published on the Internet.
The German Journalists Association protested against the threat Höckes. Federal Supreme Leader Frank Überall said that Höcke had “opened another dark chapter in the disturbed dealings of the AfD with press freedom in general and critical journalists in particular”. He supports the termination of the interview with Höcke. He also warned that Höcke had crossed the threshold from democracy to fascist fantasies.
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