Hans-Georg Maaßen, the president of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), met with former Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Frauke Petry several times in 2015, advising her how to avoid nationwide surveillance of the AfD by the German secret service and having her party designated as “right-wing extremist.”
This was revealed in a recently published book, Inside AfD, by AfD dropout Franziska Schreiber. The 28-year-old author was a close colleague of Petry’s and was chairperson of the AfD youth organization Junge Alternative in Saxony.
“Petry informed me later that Maaßen had told her what the AfD had to do to evade surveillance by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which he had not wanted himself,” writes Schreiber. “They both seem to have developed a certain sympathy for one another.”
Maaßen is said to have advised the AfD leader to expel Björn Höcke, a representative in the state parliament of Thuringia associated with the AfD’s ethnic nationalist wing. In December 2015, shortly after meeting with Maaßen, Petry did in fact call for Höcke’s resignation and prepared expulsion procedures against him. According to Schreiber, she did this “at the urgent advice” of the chief of intelligence.
The BfV has in the meantime indirectly confirmed that Maaßen met with Petry. One generally conducts conversations with representatives of all parties, a spokesperson told the Süddeutsche Zeitung, not denying that the meetings took place. He did, however, deny that Maaßen advised the AfD or recommended the expulsion of specific leading members.
That there were close relations between Maaßen and Petry was already known long before the publication of Inside AfD. The news magazine Der Spiegel reported in early 2016 that they had “at Petry’s request” met several times in the fall of 2015. The magazine referred to “several AfD politicians,” including Petry.
Is anyone else getting a 1930s vibe from all this?