Judge Orders 'Hitler's Beer Hall' to Host Germany's Anti-immigrant Party Event

Judge orders owner of hall, where Hitler is thought to have made first speech, to honor contract signed with party, despite concerns over anti-AfD protests outside venue.

People hold flags in Erfurt, central Germany, Wednesday, March 16, 2016, during a demonstration initiated by the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party against the immigration situation.
Jens Meyer / AP

REUTERS — A Munich court on Thursday ordered the owner of a beer hall, where Adolf Hitler is thought to have made his first political speech, to allow the anti-immigrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD) to hold an event there. 

The AfD, whose events often attract protests by left-wing demonstrators, had reserved the Hofbraeukeller in the Bavarian city for Friday, where its supporters will hear a speech by leader Frauke Petry. 

But fearing anti-AfD protests outside the venue, hall owner Rickey Steinberg cancelled the event. 

The district court in Munich said on its website it had ordered Steinberg to honor the contract signed with the AfD and allow the event to go ahead. 

"I am obviously very sad that the judge doesn't see our security concerns," Steinberg was quoted as saying by German media. He will not appeal the decision. 

Police in Stuttgart earlier this month detained some 500 left-wing protesters who tried to break up the AfD's first full conference, where party members backed an election manifesto that says Islam is not compatible with the constitution. 

The arrival of the more than a million migrants in Germany last year has fueled the rise of the AfD, which entered three state parliaments in elections in March. 

The party, which is now represented in the assemblies of half of Germany's 16 states, also wants to ban minarets and the burqa.