PEGIDA wants Muslims, refugees in Nazi camps
The German far-right anti-Islam movement PEGIDA has come under investigation after one of its speakers suggested that the country must reopen Nazi-era concentration camps and house Muslims and refugees there.
“We are investigating the case on suspicion of incitement to hatred,” Lawrence Haase, the state prosecutor for the eastern Germany city of Dresden, said on Tuesday, the DPA reported. “We are checking the criminal relevance,” he noted.
The probe was launched a day after the city hosted a thousands-strong rally marking the first anniversary of the movement’s establishment, where German-Turkish writer Akif Pirincci told the crowd, “Of course, there are other alternatives, but the concentration camps are unfortunately out of service.”
The movement’s founder Lutz Bachmann later apologized for Pirincci’s remarks on his Facebook page, attempting to deflect the wave of strong reactions sparked by the comments.
This is not the first time the movement has been hit by a scandal.
The controversial picture of the PEGIDA founder, Lutz Bachmann, posing as Adolf Hitler
PEGIDA is a German acronym which stands for the “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West.”
Wooing supporters for its anti-Muslim and anti-asylum-seeker agenda, PEGIDA began to launch rallies last October and managed to attract thousands of supporters across the country.
The scandals and other sources of infamy prompted a mass resignation by its leaders, which caused the group to almost disappear from the German political arena earlier this year.
It has, however, staged a comeback as the country faces an influx of refugees fleeing conflicts in different parts of the world.