Udo Voigt

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Udo Voigt, 2018
Udo Voigt and David Duke , former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan
Udo Voigt as a speaker in front of the portrait of Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess , at a memorial march in his honor

Udo Voigt (born April 14, 1952 in Viersen ) is a German right-wing extremist politician of the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD). From 1996 to 2011 he was NPD party leader and from 2014 to 2019 a member of the European Parliament . Several criminal proceedings were conducted against him for glorifying National Socialism ; it is because of sedition convictions.

Origin and family

Voigt grew up as an only child. His father, who died in 2000, has been a role model for him since childhood. This, one of Nazism staunch soldier , was in the era of National Socialism member of the SA and later Stabsgefreiter the Wehrmacht . After he was released from Soviet captivity in 1949 , Voigt's father worked as a driver for the British Army on the Rhine .

Voigt, who now lives in Berlin-Köpenick, is married and has no children.

education and profession

After the technical college entrance qualification, obtaining the general university entrance qualification on the second educational path and a three-year apprenticeship from 1968 to 1971 as a metal aircraft manufacturer , Voigt studied aerospace engineering for two semesters at the Aachen University of Applied Sciences .

However, the study he broke in 1972 because of its convening for the Bundeswehr from where he called to 1984 time soldier served. As an officer candidate in the Air Force , he was trained at the Air Force Officer School in Neubiberg and the Air Force Missile School in El Paso , Texas . He was then used as a troop officer in the use of a security officer on a NATO firing range in Greece , as a fire control officer for an anti-aircraft missile battery and as a combat control officer in an anti-aircraft missile unit in Freising . Most recently with the rank of captain , he had to leave the Bundeswehr on the basis of intelligence findings from the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD), which did not take him on as a professional soldier because of his refusal to end his active NPD membership . Voigt complained against it; however, the action was dismissed in 1984 by the Federal Administrative Court.

Voigt, who is not a military reservist , has been a member of the German Armed Forces Association (DBwV), the interest group of soldiers , since he was active in the armed forces . After the incumbent board gained knowledge of his membership in 2009, he repeatedly decided - with reference to the incompatibility with the statutes - Voigt's exclusion from the association, which, however, was successfully challenged by him, most recently at the end of 2010, by referring to the association's internal arbitration court for formal reasons.

Following his military service, he studied ten semesters of political science at the Munich School of Politics (HfP) from 1982 to 1987 . He completed his studies with a diploma in political science (Dipl. Sc. Pol. Univ.) At the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich (LMU), which has a cooperation with the HfP.

Voigt also carried out various activities as a small business owner , such as the owner of a textile cleaning company and a mobile home rental company .

Political party

Voigt joined the NPD in 1968 and was first from 1970 to 1972 in the district board of Viersen (North Rhine-Westphalia) and from 1978 to 1992 district chairman in Freising. Since 1982 a member of the Bavarian National Association of the NPD, he became a member of the Presidium of the regional party there in 1984. From 1986 to 1993 he headed the “ National Democratic Education Center ” in Iseo in Northern Italy. Also in 1986 he was elected to the national party executive committee of the NPD and in 1992 to the state chairman of the NPD in Bavaria. Four years later, Voigt successfully ran for the post of federal chairman of his party. At the NPD federal party conference, which took place in Bad Dürkheim in March 1996 , he was able to prevail with 88 to 83 votes as the successor to the previous NPD federal chairman Günter Deckert . The latter had been deposed in the fall of 1995 and was serving at the time of choosing a prison sentence for sedition . After Deckert had served his prison sentence in October 2000, he tried to regain the chairmanship that Voigt had lost. At a closed party convention of the NPD in March 2002 in Königslutter , however, Deckert had to admit defeat to Voigt with 42 to 155 votes. In October 2004 Voigt was confirmed in office at the national party congress of the NPD in Leinefelde, Thuringia, with over 87.8 percent of the votes (158 of 180).

Udo Voigt (top left) as a participant in a panel discussion at the “ Press Festival of the German Voice ” on August 5, 2006 in Dresden-Pappritz

As party leader Voigt repealed all incompatibility resolutions of the NPD and opened them up to neo-Nazis. He managed to lead his party out of the relative insignificance of the 1970s and 1980s. In East Germany in particular, the NPD established new networks. In doing so, she increasingly worked with non-party members of right-wing extremist youth culture and with free comradeships . In addition, Voigt managed to improve and deepen relations with right-wing extremist parties and groups abroad. On November 17, 2004, Voigt visited Alessandra Mussolini in the European Parliament in Strasbourg .

Against the background of the growing importance of the NPD and its more aggressive political orientation under party chairman Voigt, the federal government , the Bundestag and the Bundesrat initiated a prohibition procedure against the party in 2001 , which, however , was terminated by the Federal Constitutional Court on March 18, 2003 for formal reasons . Voigt rated this as a success for himself and his party. He therefore “thanked” the then Federal Minister of the Interior Otto Schily for the “campaign support”.

In 2002 Voigt took part in a discussion at an event organized by the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization, which was later banned by the Federal Ministry of the Interior . Voigt wanted to advance the alliance between right-wing extremists and Islamists .

In 2004 the NPD in Saxony was able to achieve high electoral successes in the local elections on June 13 and in the state elections on September 19. With 9.2 percent of the vote (an increase of 7.8 percentage points), the NPD was able to move into a German state parliament with twelve seats for the first time since the late 1960s. Against this background, Voigt announced the formation of a “popular front from the right” at the NPD federal party conference in Leinefelde a month later . Together with the German People's Union (DVU), a “joint list” was drawn up for the 2005 Bundestag election.

In fact, some DVU, DP , REP members and non-partisan citizens ran for candidates on the NPD's list. In the 2005 Bundestag election , the NPD gained 1.6% (2002 0.4%) of the second vote and 1.8% of the first vote . The NPD regards this result as a success.

For the election of the Berlin House of Representatives on September 17, 2006, Udo Voigt ran as the NPD's top candidate, but failed with his party at the five percent hurdle . In the election to the 55-member district assembly of the Treptow-Köpenick district on the same day, he won one of three NPD mandates and held the office of NPD parliamentary group chairman until 2011 .

At the federal party conference in Neuruppin, Voigt was replaced as party chairman on November 13, 2011 by Holger Apfel . Apple received 126 delegate votes compared to 85 for Voigt.

At the beginning of 2012, the NPD engaged Voigt as an advisor against an impending renewed party ban proceedings, which were rejected by the Federal Constitutional Court in January 2017.

The NPD federal party conference on January 18, 2014 in Kirchheim named Voigt the top candidate for the 2014 European elections . He prevailed with 93 votes against the incumbent party chairman Udo Pastörs , who received 71 votes. In the 2014 European elections in Germany , Voigt succeeded for the first time in the history of the NPD in winning a seat in a nationwide election. In the European Parliament , Voigt became a member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs .

Eu Parliament

As a member of the European Parliament, he called for the release of the imprisoned Holocaust denier Horst Mahler and proposed the Social Democrat Thilo Sarrazin as ECB bank supervisor . After the party only achieved 0.3% in the European elections in Germany in 2019 , Voigt also lost his seat in the European Parliament.

Criminal proceedings

In March 2003, the Stralsund Regional Court reopened an older court case against Voigt. He was accused of calling on young people to take part in an armed struggle against the political system in Germany during an election campaign in August 1998 in Greifswald, West Pomerania . On 25 August 2005 he was charged with sedition sentenced to four months in prison on probation. In the revision , however, the process was discontinued due to "excessively long proceedings".

After the state elections in Saxony and Brandenburg in 2004 , the right-wing conservative newspaper Junge Freiheit published an interview with Voigt under the headline Aim is to handle the FRG , in which Hitler called a "great German statesman " and the FRG an "illegitimate system". The Berlin public prosecutor's office then initiated an investigation into denigrating the state and its symbols.

At an NPD demonstration in Jena , Thuringia , on August 18, 2007, Voigt appeared as a speaker. The event (motto: "Away with the sedition laws - for freedom of opinion") was banned by the city of Jena on suspicion of a camouflaged Rudolf Hess memorial march after an actually planned event in Wunsiedel had not been allowed. The competent administrative court in Gera lifted the ban on the grounds that the city of Jena suspected that it was unfounded. Video recordings of the police meanwhile confirmed that Voigt wanted to propose Rudolf Hess for the Nobel Peace Prize during the demonstration , whereupon the police filed a complaint against Voigt. The accusation was: Glorification of National Socialism.

In March 2008, Voigt was charged with sedition in two cases and with insult. Voigt was accused of having released a planner for the 2006 World Cup , in which, according to the Berlin public prosecutor, the dark-skinned German national player Patrick Owomoyela was racially discriminated against. A jersey with the number 25 assigned at the time to Owomoyela was shown in the planner, along with the words "White - not just one jersey color". According to the indictment, the planner stated that this and other non-white players were unworthy to represent Germany as a national player. After the seizure of this planner, the NPD, headed by Voigt, had created a new one. In it, illustrated by the pictogram of a white and ten colored national players in front of the question "National team 2010?", An " foreign infiltration " of the national team was again denounced. At that time, both Owomoyela and the German Football Association took legal action against the NPD planner . In April 2009 Voigt was sentenced to seven months' suspended prison sentence and a fine of 2,000 euros, along with the NPD officials Klaus Beier and Frank Schwerdt . The Berlin Regional Court upheld the appeal of the defendants on March 9, 2011 and acquitted the defendants. The court saw the offense of sedition as not fulfilled, on the one hand, because it lacks the character of an appeal and, on the other hand, the title of World Cup planner is ambiguous and can also be understood as a criticism of manipulation and corruption in football. In addition, according to the court's assessment, the content of the World Cup planner was subject to the fundamental right of freedom of expression. The court also denied an insult due to the lack of defamation of the player concerned. The public prosecutor appealed against the judgment. The Court of Appeal recognized “errors in the evidence” during the appeal and referred the proceedings back to the Regional Court, where the process was reopened in February 2014. In May of that year, he was sentenced to one year suspended prison sentence. The two co-defendants, Klaus Beier and Frank Schwerdt, each for seven months. Voigt and Schwerdt were also sentenced to pay 2,500 euros to Deutsche Sporthilfe, and Beier to 2,000 euros. Both the defendants and the public prosecutor examined the possibility of an appeal. Further information is not yet known.

On October 11, 2012, the Berlin Regional Court sentenced Voigt to ten months' probation and a fine of 1,000 euros. The indictment accused was according to a report by Spiegel Online on glorifying the exploits of the Waffen-SS and sedition in a speech in March 2010 and in a political advertisement for the federal election of 2011. The Federal Court of the revisions Voigt and co-defendant Uwe Meenen against that judgment now as unfounded discarded. It is Voigt's first final conviction for sedition.

Media appearances

On March 15, 2007, the ARD television magazine Panorama showed secret footage of a meeting to honor fallen SS members in Budapest , which Udo Voigt had attended. There were anti-Semitic and racist attacks at the accompanying music event . The NPD cadre members Norman Bordin and Matthias Fischer could be seen on the show with “Heil-Hitler” shouts. In an interview, Udo Voigt then described the Hitler salute as a "peace salute", which should be allowed 60 years after the end of the war.

On December 10, 2007, the television magazine Report Mainz broadcast an interview that Voigt had given Iranian journalists. With reference to the Holocaust , he had asserted: “Six million cannot be right. A maximum of 340,000 could have perished in Auschwitz . Then the Jews always say: Even if only one Jew perished because he is a Jew, that is a crime. But of course it makes a difference whether we pay for six million or for 340,000. And then at some point the uniqueness of this great crime - or allegedly great crime - is gone. ” The then chairman of the Interior Committee of the German Bundestag , Sebastian Edathy , announced that he would file a criminal complaint against Voigt.

Regarding the presidential elections in Iran in 2009 , Voigt said that in Iran "the electoral process was different from what the western world and its Jewish lobby would like ... Iran is not Germany either, where democracy and human rights are trampled on often enough".

The so-called “hotel judgment” has also been the subject of lively public debate: In March 2012, the Federal Court of Justice ruled that hotels may ban right-wing extremists such as Voigt from staying at the hotel. However, the condition for this is that the booking must not be confirmed yet.

During the war in Ukraine , Voigt appeared with Nick Griffin , Roberto Fiore and other representatives of the extreme right in St. Petersburg in March 2015 and criticized the EU sanctions against Russia .

In May 2020 Voigt took part in a demonstration against the corona policy in Berlin wearing a T-shirt that read " No to compulsory vaccination " .


Web links

Commons : Udo Voigt  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Peter Blechschmidt: You can't get rid of him . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , November 30, 2011.
  2. Eckhard Jesse (2005): The up and down of the NPD, in: From politics and contemporary history, 42/2005
  3. Toralf Staud : Bald with parting , Zeit Online , December 16, 2004.
  4. spiegel.de
  5. "Welcome to our nationally liberated zone"
  6. spiegel.de
  7. Animal-free agriculture, parental salary, lazy quota
  8. ^ Stephan J. Kramer : A neo-Nazi guards civil rights? That's disgusting!
  9. ^ Konrad Litschko: NPD before the European elections: The long death of the NPD. www.taz.de, May 22, 2019
  10. NPD boss suggested Hess for the Nobel Peace Prize - complaint for sedition Sueddeutsche.de , August 24, 2007.
  11. NPD boss Voigt sentenced to seven months , faz.net April 24, 2009.
  12. Landgericht Berlin: Appeal judgment against those responsible for the NPD World Cup planner (PM 26/2011)
  13. beck-aktuell.beck.de
  14. Controversial World Cup planner: NPD European election top candidate Voigt for incitement to hatred in court , Endstation-rechts.de February 27, 2014.
  15. ↑ Incitement to the people: One year on probation for NPD European top candidate Voigt , Endstation-rechts.de May 13, 2014.
  16. ^ Punishment for top NPD people Sueddeutsche.de May 14, 2014.
  17. ^ Risky research - secret recordings of NPD officials Panorama , March 15, 2007.
  18. Interview by NPD leader Udo Voigt with Iranian journalists triggers outrage , SWR.de - Report Mainz , December 10, 2007.
  19. ^ Reinhard Mohr: A Slibowitz on Ahmadinejad. www.spiegel.de, June 27, 2009
  20. Udo Voigt has to stay outside , Spiegel online , March 9, 2012.
  21. ^ European Far-Right Politicians in Russia to Support Putin . New York Times March 22, 2015, viewed March 22, 2015
  22. Ronen Steinke: How rights are using the corona crisis www.sueddeutsche.de, May 19, 2020