Bundestag deputy Claudia Roth is used to hate attacks. The Green is currently being compared with NSDAP MPs because she is said to have turned away in an AfD speech.

By Patrick Gensing, https://8infx.com

"In disgust, Claudia Roth turns away from Alice Weidel, who is currently speaking in the Bundestag. It is turning away from reality, it is ignorance of the actual task." With this tweet, Axel Weber landed a hit: 166 other profiles shared the text with a photo of Claudia Roth, who actually sits facing away from the lectern in the Bundestag. The image is spreading rapidly in social networks, the AfD district association Rottweil / Tuttlingen comments on Facebook: "A Green Woman Roth’s understanding of democracy".

In the comments, hatred and malice are poured out over Roth. "See that as an act of courtesy by Claudia Roth. She certainly didn’t want to induce nausea in Frau Weidel," wrote one commentator. One Albrecht A. says: "For people like Roth, madhouses were built in the past, today they pamper foreign rapists and murderers and the madmen sit (upside down) in the Bundestag."

The "Journalistenwatch" page wrote: "Roth turned her parliamentary chair around and demonstratively showed Alice Weidel her back during her speech." In doing so, she showed an anti-democratic attitude and contempt for democracy. The page "AfD Freunde Kinzigtal" goes one step further and equates Roth in a montage of pictures with NSDAP MPs in 1931.

"Turned over to speak to MPs"

Roth herself says that she turned around briefly during the speech to speak to another MP. The available video recordings from the plenary hall confirm this representation: On the existing shots during the Weidel speech you can see Roth sitting with his face towards the lectern.

There is also a short shot of Roth talking to another member of parliament, half-turned, and then turning away – for a moment, as she emphasizes.

It is the moment that is now circulating as a screenshot on social networks. In all other shots, Roth looks in the direction of Weidel – but that is not mentioned, but rather gives the impression that Roth demonstratively turned away for a longer period or even during the entire speech.

A banner that doesn’t exist

Weidel’s speech was also about Roth. The AfD parliamentary group leader claimed that "a Bundestag vice-president is running behind a banner saying ‘Germany, you lousy piece of shit’ – and everyone supports this by being elected Bundestag vice-president – like Claudia Roth." The AfD group does not respond to a request from the ARD fact finder when and where this should have happened.

The claim that Roth had chased a corresponding banner is probably based on an incident from November 2015: In Hanover, an alliance had called for a demonstration against the planned AfD federal party conference. But while the number of participants from the middle-class spectrum fell short of expectations, numerous autonomous participants took part and sat at the head of the procession.

According to media reports, the autonomists chanted "Deutschland verrecke!" or "Never again Germany". In addition, "Germany, you lousy piece of shit" was heard from a loudspeaker. Roth stated that she had not heard the slogan.

Politicians expressed their anger about the course of the protest march, Roth was heavily criticized: The CSU accused her of contributing to the radicalization of society. Massive insults followed under a CSU Facebook entry. Bavarian Greens filed criminal charges. The CSU deleted threats, but to this day it is claimed, for example, that Roth ran behind "banners like ‘Germany – you lousy piece of shit". Since then, right-wing populist blogs have been asking whether Germany is a "lousy piece of shit" for the Bundestag Vice-President.

Since then, it has repeatedly been claimed that Roth walked behind a corresponding banner. The Green politician told the ARD fact finder that there are even callers or authors of e-mails who are convinced that they had seen corresponding photos from Hanover.

Possibly there was a mix-up: Because a recording from 1990 is circulating on the Internet when Roth is said to be behind a banner – with the slogan: "Never again Germany! Against the annexation of the GDR! Against German nationalism!"

There is no question that the Greens supported the radical left protests against reunification and new nationalism almost 30 years ago. And the former Green Jutta Ditfurth told the ARD fact finder that the photo was real. However, Roth had nothing to do with the "Radical Left" alliance.

Steinbach: Roth "shows solidarity" with a slogan

Roth is now Vice President of the Bundestag – and this is what bothers political opponents: The former CDU member of the Bundestag Erika Steinbach recently even returned her Bavarian Order of Merit. She stated that the CSU had no problems with awarding Roth with the medal – although they "showed solidarity with the unbelievable slogan ‘Germany, you lousy piece of shit" – which is not true at all.

Steinbach received a warning from Roth in June 2017 received because of spreading a wrong quote. "We should orient ourselves more closely to Islamic values. The Koran offers the solutions we need to effectively prevent sexual assault on women," was the alleged quote from Roth, which she is said to have uttered in the context of the mass sexual assault in Cologne – which was not true. In addition, there are other false quotes from her.

In June 2017, in the middle of the election campaign, a fake Twitter profile emerged. Roth told the ARD fact finder that there had been forgeries several times, but "the accuracy with which this account is tweeted has a whole new quality".

Arguable politician

For years, Roth has been an extremely contentious politician who herself hands out vigorously. In 2007 she described the Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa as a "crazy, divisive Oberfundi". At that time, a church representative countered that Roth’s choice of words was reminiscent of the Nazis’ propaganda campaign.

Today, on the other hand, a quick turn around in the Bundestag is enough to be associated with Nazi methods – thanks to deliberately misleading representations on social media. Compared to the ARD fact finder, Roth says that hateful comments and targeted campaigns have "long since become part of everyday life".