News that Nigel Farage is to speak at a far-right rally today after accepting an invitation from the granddaughter of one of Hitler’s former ministers has led to a predictable response from his detractors.
Farage is attending a Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) rally inside the Spandau Citadel, a renaissance fortress in Berlin, this afternoon.
According to AfD MEP Beatrix von Storch - a descendent of Hilter’s finance minister, Lutz von Krosigk - Farage will speak about “developments in the European Union, Brexit, direct democracy”.
The news prompted the same comparisons made during the Brexit campaign when Farage was accused of inciting racial hatred in an attempt to sway voters.
Farage’s use of a ‘breaking point’ poster was compared to ‘Nazi propaganda’ and an Auschwitz documentary.
One of the more subtle reactions came from deputy leader of Labour MEP’s, Richard Corbett, who said: “Now that he thinks he’s secured Brexit, Farage no longer hides his true colours.”
Von Storch, who is holding the event, is a leading member of the anti-immigrant party and had been a member of Farage’s group in the European Parliament.
She was expelled from the European Conservatives and Reformists Groups in April last year after urging European border guards to use firearms to deter illegal immigrants, including women and children. The remark, she later conceded, was a “tactical mistake”.
In her Facebook post, von Storch said that Farage had been so impressed with the AfD’s campaign that he had accepted “without hesitation” her invitation to appear at a campaign rally. The group hope to enter Germany’s parliament for the first time in federal elections on September 24.
The Guardian reported that protesters were planning to organise a counter-rally, as they often do when the AfD hold events, but none had been registered with Berlin police.
The newspaper said Farage’s invitation to the event had been welcomed by the majority of users on AfD’s social media channels with the politician being praised for being “straight-down-the-line” and a “fiery” speaker.
Some party supporters, however, did express concerns, noting that he had “bowed out” after the EU Referendum and let others proceed with Brexit.
“Is Nigel Farage really that helpful for our campaign given that the coverage is already so negative?”