German nationalist leader seeks renewed use of Nazi-era term

A leading member of the nationalist party Alternative for Germany is facing fierce criticism after calling for a racially charged term once favored by the Nazis to be rehabilitated.

By: AP | Berlin | Published:September 12, 2016 6:37 pm
germany, germany politics, germany Frauke,  AfD, Alternative fuer Deutschland, Alternative for Germany, germany nazi, nazi, nazi era, Frauke Petry, Frauke, Petry, angela markel, latest news, latest world news File Photo: Feb. 22, 2016, Frauke Petry, Chairwoman of the AfD, Alternative fuer Deutschland (Alternative for Germany), party addresses the media during a press conference in Berlin. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn,file)

A leading member of the nationalist party Alternative for Germany is facing fierce criticism after calling for a racially charged term once favored by the Nazis to be rehabilitated. Party co-chairwoman Frauke Petry said in an interview published Sunday that words such as “voelkisch” should be given “a positive connotation.”

Frequently used by the Nazis, the term refers to people who belong to a particular race. Petry’s remarks to weekly newspaper Welt am Sonntag prompted a swift backlash from politicians, commentators and historians. They warned that her party is trying to legitimize ideas that once were at the core of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi ideology.

In an editorial Monday, daily Neue Westfaelische called Petry’s comments “disgusting,” while Green Party lawmaker Volker Beck described them as “dangerous arson.”