Future of the “junge alternative”: afd youth in trouble

According to a media report, the Junge Alternative is about to be re-established. Several youth state associations are being monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

One of the state associations of the Junge Alternative has already been dissolved: Lower Saxony Photo: dpa

The AfD’s junior association, the Junge Alternative, may be on the verge of dissolution. This was reported by Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND), citing AfD federal vice president Georg Pazderski and individual members from the federal executive committee of the youth organization. According to the report, the goal of the less radical members is to dissolve the existing JA and found a new youth organization, which would then be newly recognized as such by the parent party. The state associations that threaten the party would thus be excluded.

The reason is apparently not only the displeasure of some JA members who want to distance themselves from extreme right-wing connections, but also the fear within the parent party that due to the proximity to the extreme right by parts of its members, it will itself become an object of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. JA deputy leader Nicolai Boudaghi told RND: "If the JA harms the AfD, then it must go." AfD deputy spokesman Pazderski conceded that there was a possibility of replacing the junior association in its entirety or individual state associations. The federal association of the JA is currently officially recognized as a junior organization by the AfD. Thus, the party also has a problem if the connections between JAers and the extreme right become so obvious that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution targets them.

This is already the case today. Since the fall of this year, three state associations of the upstart organization have already been monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution: Bremen since August, Lower Saxony since September and Baden-Wurttemberg since November. The Lower Saxony state association was dissolved at the beginning of November after a majority of members voted in favor of it at the last federal congress in Barsinghausen.

The JA has been officially recognized as a youth organization by the AfD since November 2015. Before that, there had always been reservations about individual state associations, which were not completely eliminated even after recognition. At the end of 2017, the AfD Berlin had removed the board of the youth association, as one of the members, Jannik Bramer was re-elected to the board, although there were expulsion proceedings against him.

The three youth associations are not the only ones currently being monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. In Bavaria, three party members who are also members of the state parliament in Munich are also being monitored. In the case of the AfD Thuringia around Bjorn Hocke, it is known that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution is currently examining whether the state party will be observed. In addition, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution is currently obtaining documents from the individual state offices, which will help clarify whether the entire party will become a test case.

According to RND, the federal executive board of the parent party will discuss the matter next Monday. So far, the individual members of the party body hold back with statements in this question. The federal executive board of the Junge Alternative could not be reached until early Thursday afternoon either.