In late May, the German MPs from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party visited the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, where they met with “colleagues” from the unrecognized “NKR”. The fact that Bundestag MP Stefan Keuter was among the guests invited by Armenian nationalists to the occupied territories, suggests that they are brought together by “common values” – extremism, populism, militarism … The German magazine Stern reports in its article about the guest of the separatist regime’s leaders.
At the district court Wuppertal the AfD-MP Stefan Keuter is involved in a law suit against a blogger. Now a witness has strongly accused the politician. He claims that Keuter called him “Judensau (Jewpig)” and greeted him with the phrase “Heil Hitler”. On the website Abakus-News, events unfolding around the AfD are sometimes harshly criticized. The operator of the website is a former member and was even claimed to be on the right edge of the party. Today he is free to speak his mind.
In March, Abakus-News reported on the case of AfD member of parliament, Stefan Keuter. The blog took up revelations of the stern and the research center Corrective and wrote, among other things, that Keuter zealously sent Nazi images via Whatsapp. Keuter did not like what he read about himself on Abakus. At least the MP from Essen called on the operator of the website to refrain from making several statements. Because he refused to do so, the district court Wuppertal now deals with the matter. For the trial, the blogger appeared in person. Keuter was represented by an AfD politician who is a lawyer and also works in his office in the Bundestag. The deputy, one can say, missed a lot.
Leading up to the story: Hitler clips and swastikas
Last fall, the stern and the research center Correctiv had uncovered which kind of images were sent by Keuter. A party friend of his, who also headed his office in the Bundestag, received a photo of a shower in which white, red and black tiles formed a swastika. Keuter also sent a photo of Adolf Hitler in Vienna and the image of a tealight pyramid with a Hitler figure on top with the subtitle “First Christmas decoration stands”.
Again and again Adolf Hitler – the member of parliament Keuter also sent a photo of a boy who has turned his back on an almost naked woman and looks spellbound to a TV, where Hitler can be seen. Another photo sent by Keuter showed a neo-Nazi wearing a scene-typical T-shirt with the back print, “must also say DOLF.”
Keuter at that time provided a justification for sending the neo-Nazi pictures: “As part of his political activity”, the employee to whom the pictures had been sent received from him “documents for archiving, evaluation and political classification”. Keuter explained himself so in front of the AfD parliamentary group – and thus was actually cleared. But then the stern and Corrective reported that the AfD man had sent his party friend footage with right-wing content, including a film montage in which Hitler moves to techno music even before the federal election in September 2017. Keuter stuck to his statement that he sent the Hitler techno video “for documentation purposes”. Since then, every AfD politician could happily send Hitler pictures with this justification.
In court, a second recipient has now been named
The judge in Wuppertal first dealt with the claim that Keuter has been spreading Nazi images for years. “Due to urgency without hearing” (letter of his lawyer), the deputy wanted to see this statement prohibited in public. Yet, the suing blogger now presented Keuter’s former office manager as a witness, who has also received Nazi images from Keuter. The man is an AfD member and is already involved in another lawsuit against Keuter.
He had received 48 pictures with Nazi or racist content from Stefan Keuter via Whatsapp, the witness said. Some of the messages he still has on the phone. 48 Pictures: The amount of right-wing footage that was sent surprised many observers of the trial. People were also surprised that the accused blogger was able to name another AfD member who has received such pictures from Stefan Keuter. So far, the public only knew of his former office manager.
He stated in the district court Wuppertal, that he has already received Nazi images from Keuter before he became his office manager. An instruction to archive them, however, he had never received. The pictures were also received without citations and almost always without comment. Basically, the office manager could have only archived them under the category “Keuter, Stefan”.
Started the “Horst-Wessel-song”, called him a “Judensau”
During the trial, the witness assumed that Keuter was either supportive of the content and the statements in the images or found them funny. He supported this argument by citing events that occurred during his work at the Bundestag. Once, when he refused to implement one of Keuter’s statements, he incensed him with the title “Judensau (Jewpig)”. Keuter had also used the phrase “Heil Hitler” and the appropriate gesture to salute people while hacking his heels in a military fashion.
On the phone, Keuter had often declared himself with “Reich Chancellery Hitler”. In the evening after a few alcoholic drinks he sometimes started to sing the Horst Wessel song (marching song of the former Nazi militia SA). After a joint visit to an AfD event in the city of Emmerich, Keuter had forgotten a box in the car which clearly contained medals on which swastikas and the imperial eagle were to be seen. Keuter’s lawyer did not comment on these statements of the witness during the trial.
“I am gonna shoot you”
It was not surprising that AfD member Keuter contradicted the statements. At the trial, his memories seem to differ often from those of his office manager. At the end of October 2018, the two met in Berlin for an appointment at the Labor Court. It came to an agreement, and Keuter later claimed in a long e-mail to the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) that his former employee had whispered to him, “I am gonna shoot you”, while they were leaving the courthouse.
As a witness in court, the ex-office manager described the end of the hearing differently. He had left the hall at that time together with a photojournalist, but he did not even get past Keuter.
It is undisputable, after all, that Keuter also wrote to the BKA that the former office manager had told him that he had been able “to collect several functioning long and short arms along with ammunition” and that he was hidding “1 KG of TNT explosives” in the basement of his house. The office manager denied in court that he ever said that. During that time, the police headquarters Duisburg took up a criminal complaint from Keuter. The officials searched the former office manager’s house for weapons and explosives. Though nothing was found.
But why did AfD man Stefan Keuter ask the district court in Wuppertal to prohibit the blogger from saying that he had reported his former office manager to the police? The criminal complaint is publicly available, prepared and issued by the Police Headquarters Duisburg. Keuter is mentioned in the report as the filing person. Keuter’s lawyer pointed out that her client had not signed the complaint. The authenticity of the e-mail, which he wrote to the BKA and which was also presented to the court, was not denied by her.
In mid-June, the judge in Wuppertal wants to rule on whether the blogger must refrain from statements about the MP Stefan Keuter.