The far-right German party Alternative for Germany (AfD) compared themselves to Jews during the Holocaust in a Facebook post after an organization said it would refuse to hire party members.
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“There continues to be more bans on AfD members working. Are you excited to already be wearing the blue star?” the now-deleted post on AfD's Facebook page read, referring to the yellow star Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust.
“We know: We will have to wear the star as a mark of honor! To the bitter end!” they wrote.
Their comments came as a reaction to the announcement by the Worker’s Welfare Institution (AWO), a welfare organization that helps disadvantaged people with worker’s rights issues, that said that AfD’s principles were not compatible with its own ideas and that it would therefore not hire members of the party, or those similar to it.
A local newspaper obtained a screenshot of AfD’s Facebook post, dated March 5, from before it was removed from the party's page.
The AfD's traces its growth to economic issues related to the Eurozone crisis. However, after its founder Bernd Lucke resigned in July 2015, the party's official line shifted to attacking refugees and migrants rather than economic policies.
In a draft of the AfD manifesto due to be published on April 30, the party calls for a ban on Muslim minarets and public calls to prayer, and rejects the circumcision of boys as "serious violations of fundamental rights.”
The AfD campaigned heavily against Merkel's liberal immigration policies, which have seen some 1.1 million register as asylum-seekers in the country in 2015.
Last Sunday, the ultra-nationalist party dealt Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union a hard blow by gaining seats in three state legislatures across the country.
Observers regard the vote for the AfD as an indication of rising anti-migrant frustrations across the country - a phenomenon shared by other European countries and the U.S.