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Thursday 11, January

Secret far-right conference: AfD politicians discuss plans for “Remigration”

High-ranking AfD politicians, CDU members, neo-Nazis and wealthy businesspeople listened to secret plans for deporting foreigners.

The conference took place in a villa on Lehnitzsee, outside Potsdam. Photo: IMAGO / Funke Foto Services

Thursday 11, January

Secret right-wing conference exposed in Potsdam

Last November at a fancy villa on Lehnitzsee just outside Potsdam, a group of AfD politicians, CDU members, neo-Nazis and wealthy businesspeople met secretly in order to hear plans drawn up for how the right could take power in Germany – and deport millions of people from migrant backgrounds. This news was reported by the investigative journalism centre, Correctiv, who were able to secretly film the meeting and send an undercover reporter to observe the proceedings on-site.

The details of their scheme are shocking. Drawn up by key speaker, the far-right activist Martin Sellner, a central aspect of the plan was the idea of “Remigration”, that is, deporting foreigners who have already settled in Germany. Exactly who should be targeted for this place was spelled out in three groups: asylum seekers, foreigners with the right to remain and “unassimilated citizens”. According to Sellner, it was this last group who represent the biggest problem. “It’s not just that these strangers live here,” Sellner is quoted as saying. “They vote here, too.”

One of most grotesque aspects of this plan was the idea to build a “model state” in North Africa, housing around two million people. This proposed city would include opportunities for sport and education but, more importantly, it would be a place to “move” people. What about German citizens who support refugees? Well, they could move there, too.

The personal invitation sent to attendees of this meeting asked each of them pay a “minimum donation” of €5,000 – but advice was also given for those present to talk to the organisers one-to-one to find the best, most discreet way to donate funds. Some of the businesspeople present included Hans-Christian Limmer (investor in the Backwerk franchise as well as the burger chain Hans Im Glück). Christian Goldschagg (founder of Fit-Plus) was also listed on documents as among the financial supporters, though he has since denied it.