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  Anti-Semitism row splits Germany's AfD populist party
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Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Jul 06, 2016 02:32pm
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News DateWednesday, July 6, 2016 08:30:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionThe right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which is surging in opinion polls, has been split by a row over anti-Semitism prompted by the views of one of its lawmakers.

Thirteen of AfD's lawmakers in a state parliament have formed a new bloc, Alternative for Baden-Wuerttemberg.

The dispute erupted over statements by one legislator, who had suggested the Holocaust was given too much attention.

As other MPs were unable to eject him from the party, they formed their own.

The row has also engulfed the AfD's national leadership. Its Eurosceptic, anti-migrant message has propelled it to third place in opinion polls, behind the two parties in Germany's governing coalition.

Wolfgang Gedeon was one of 23 AfD representatives elected to Baden-Wuerttemberg's state parliament in March, after the party took 15.1% of the vote.

In written comments, he had referred to the Holocaust as "certain misdeeds". He has also suggested Holocaust denial - illegal in Germany - was legitimate.

The leader of the AfD in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Joerg Meuthen, who is also the party's co-leader nationally, had tried to get Mr Gedeon expelled from the AfD's fraction, but failed to get the two-thirds majority of his MPs required.
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