The far-right German political party "Alternative for Germany" has begun the dismissal process for one of its members, regional lawmaker Jessica Biessmann, who posed in front of wine bottles featuring pictures of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, German news agency DPA reported Wednesday.
The photos of member of parliament (MP) Biessmann, which were posted on social media, sparked a roar of disapproval among Germany Party members, who petitioned to the German Federal Intelligence Service to investigate the matter.
In response, Biessmann said the photos are a decade old. "Hitler wine" bottles are available for purchase in Italy, but publicly displaying Nazi symbols is illegal in Germany.
There have been calls for Germany’s domestic intelligence agency to monitor the Alternative for Germany party over extremism concerns.
Additionally, daily newspaper Thüringer Allgemeine reports that Björn Höcke, a senior AfD member in Thuringia, a state of Germany, quit after photos surfaced showing him posing behind a swastika table cloth while visiting Hitler-related sites in 2015.
These are only a few scandals associated with the Alternative for Germany party. back in February, the party also distanced itself from a member who reportedly called a German official a 'coward' and 'traitor' for the failed 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler.
The daily Die Welt reported that Lars Steinke, head of the party's youth wing in Lower Saxony state, posted a comment on his private Facebook page slamming Col. Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, and describing the assassination plot as "a coward's shameful attempt to save his own skin."
Asked to comment on the report, Steinke told Reuters: “It was a non-public statement so you won’t find anything here.”
According to Die Welt, Steinke argued that "the war was—contrary to today's propaganda—not a war primarily against Hitler, but against Germany and the German people," and that Stauffenberg was "no hero."
AfD co-leader Alexander Gauland described Steinke’s comments as groundless idiocy. “Stauffenberg is a hero of German history. Steinke has disqualified himself from the AfD. He should be excluded,” said Gauland.
The anti-immigrant AfD became the third largest party in the national parliament after elections in September. It won around 13 percent of votes, benefiting from concerns about the arrival of more than a million migrants since mid-2014. Questionable comments about the Nazi era by prominent members, and the leadership's handling of them, have been a recurring issue for the party.