A populist far-right politician is the front-runner in a mayoral race Sunday in the German city of Nordhausen, best known as the location of the Nazi concentration camp Mittelbau-Dora.
Joerg Prophet of the Alternative for Germany party, won 42.1% of the vote in the first round of the election earlier this month. His opponent, independent incumbent candidate Kai Buchmann, had just 23.7%.
The prospect of a far-right mayor holding a revisionist version of Germany’s Holocaust past has not gone unnoticed by Holocaust survivors and people who work in Germany to combat discrimination.
Jens-Christian Wagner, director of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation, told AFP that an AfD mayor would not be welcome at commemorative events.
Agence France-Presse reports that Prophet posted in a blog in 2020 that the Allied forces liberated Mittelbau-Dora because they were interested only in the site’s rocket and missile technology.
“Everything I hear,” Wagner said, “suggests that Prophet will be elected not despite such historical revisionist positions, but precisely because of such positions.”
The AfD party’s popularity has been growing, especially as thousands of migrants have sought asylum in Germany recently. Migration is AfD’s signature issue.
AfD’s growing popularity has presented a dilemma for other political parties that must decide whether or how to cooperate with the controversial party.
Information for this report came from The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.