Nazi Accusations Cause Bavarian Deputy to Soar

Hubert Aiwanger
Leonhard Simon/Getty Images

Nazi Accusations Cause Bavarian Deputy to Soar

Bavaria’s Free Voters got a boost in the polls after reports that party leader Hubert Aiwanger was a big fan of Adolf Hitler as a youth. Aiwanger has been accused of carrying or even authoring an anti-Semitic pamphlet, making repulsive Jewish jokes, practicing Hitler’s speeches, and more. Even though the timing of the accusations just prior to elections is suspicious, the voters’ reaction is extremely concerning.

In the 1980s, 17-year-old Aiwanger was caught carrying a leaflet in his schoolbag that mocked the Holocaust and concentration camps. Last month, Aiwanger’s teacher shared the leaflet with Sueddeutsche Zeitung, starting off the accusations. Aiwanger admitted that he carried the leaflet but claimed he did not write it and was disgusted by its contents. His brother stepped forward, taking blame for the leaflet.

But the accusations continued. Former classmates have stepped forward accusing him of giving the Hitler salute, putting swastikas in the school bathroom, carrying a copy of Mein Kampf, and making anti-Semitic jokes and racist sayings.

Given that the Bavarian elections will be held on October 8, the timing of the accusations appears to be politically motivated. But that doesn’t mean they are false.

Aiwanger’s own words appear to be the biggest condemnation. He said in an interview:

It certainly is the case that perhaps in adolescence this or that can be interpreted in one way or another, of what I am accused of here when I was 15 years old. But in any case I say, since adulthood, the last decades, [I am] not an anti-Semite, not an extremist, but a philanthropist.

This appears to be an admission that he was an anti-Semite and extremist in his youth. He also said he doesn’t remember doing what some accuse him of, but he admits he did some foolish things. Some wonder, Wouldn’t you remember giving the Hitler salute in school? Aiwanger’s initial and continued silence on the accusations, his memory gaps, his poorly worded apologies and explanations all give an awful impression for a high-ranking leader.

But Aiwanger recognized that the only way out of the accusations was to go on the offensive: He claimed a political campaign was being waged against him to force him out of office. The offensive worked.

Bavarian State Premier Markus Söder decided not to break up his coalition government with Aiwanger, but to keep him in office. A stunning 58 percent of eligible voters nationwide agreed with Söder’s decision, according to a survey conducted by opinion research institute Forsa for Stern magazine. In Bavaria, a whopping 73 percent agreed.

What’s more, Aiwanger’s party gained 4 percent in the polls after the brunt of the accusations became public. In a beer tent, a typical campaigning location for Bavarian politicians, an audience of 4,000 cheered for him. Such enthusiastic support for a politician is rare in Germany today.

There is a reason Aiwanger is soaring in popularity despite the accusations.

Many in Germany feel betrayed by the mainstream political parties and media. They have experienced years of coronavirus lockdowns, economic woes and rising uncertainty. Trust in the media is declining as trust in alternative sources is rising. What was once considered to be a scandal is now a badge of honor. Former taboos are met with resounding applause. The extreme is becoming mainstream.

This creates a dangerous political climate when citizens rely on their own perceptions. Critical thinking isn’t a bad thing in and of itself—but human history, and German history in particular, shows how easily the human mind can be swayed, deceived and led astray.

A specific Bible prophecy reveals that Germany will once again be led astray by a cunning leader. He will use the tensions currently building in Germany and the rest of Europe. Daniel 11:21 reads: “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.”

Our booklet A Strong German Leader Is Imminent notes about this leader:

He’s crafty and sly, with an engaging, attractive personality. The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary says “the nation shall not, by a public act, confer the kingdom on him, but he shall obtain it by artifice, ‘flattering.’” In other words, a deceived public, or a group of European leaders, likely invites this man into power.

Request a free copy of A Strong German Leader Is Imminent so you will recognize this leader when he emerges in the imminent future.