German Far-right Party Considering Expelling Members Who Attended neo-Nazi Festival

The Alternative for Germany party's leadership in northwest steps down after reports that two members and a party employee attended a neo-Nazi party where some participants displayed support for Hitler

Bjoern Hoecker, leader of the Alternative for Germany, AfD, in German state of Thuringia, participates in a commemoration march in Chemnitz, eastern Germany, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018
Ralf Hirschberger,AP

The far-right Alternative for Germany party is considering expelling three members who attended a neo-Nazi festival as it tries to avoid surveillance by the country's domestic intelligence agency.

German news agency dpa reported Monday that the party's regional leadership in the northwestern city of Osnabrueck has stepped down after media reports that two of its members and a party employee took party in the 'Shield and Sword' festival.

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The event drew hundreds of neo-Nazis to the eastern town of Ostritz in April, with some participants openly displaying their support for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

Alternative for Germany, which won almost 13 percent of the vote in last year's national election, recently urged members not to associate with extremists after authorities said they were putting two youth branches under observation.