Prominent figure in German far-right party on trial over alleged use of Nazi slogan

(18 Apr 2024)

Halle, Germany – 18 April 2024
1. Various of motorcade carrying Bjoern Hoecke arriving at court in Halle
2. Motorcade entering court building

Halle, Germany – 18 April 2024
3. Hoecke with legal counsel entering courtroom
4. Close up of Hoecke
5. Hoecke in courtroom

Halle, Germany – 18 April 2024
6. Protesters chanting "All together against fascism"
7. Banner showing Hoecke with Nazi salut
8. SOUNDBITE (German) Sven Bergmann, protester:
"I hope he gets the maximum penalty, whatever it will be, and I hope that with it a sign will be sent. We have elections and maybe the last of the supporters will understand now what kind of person or party this is."
9. Protesters
10. Protesters outside the court building
11. SOUNDBITE (German) Lennard Giessenberg, protester:
"We must not tolerate slogans of which we know that they are leading us in the wrong direction historically. That is why I am here and I want to say that it is right that he is here and I want the same to be true for others of his kind and that we must not tolerate it."
12. Various of protesters
13. Police vans parked in front of court building
14. Court

One of the most prominent figures in the far-right Alternative for Germany party is on trial Thursday on charges of twice using a Nazi slogan, months before a regional election in which he is running to become his state’s governor.

Bjoern Hoecke is the leader of the regional branch of Alternative for Germany, or AfD, in the eastern state of Thuringia and a powerful figure on the party’s hard right.

At the trial at the state court in Halle, he is charged with using symbols of unconstitutional organizations.  

He is accused of ending a speech in 2021 with the words “Everything for Germany!”

The trial also includes a recently added second count that he repeated the offense in December.

AP Video shot by Fanny Brodersen and Pietro De Cristofaro
Production Kerstin Sopke


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