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Bavarian official has no recollection of youthful antisemitism

There are calls for Hubert Aiwanger, the deputy prime minister of Germany’s largest state, to resign.

A Jewish graveyard in Bavaria, Germany. Credit: Andreas Zerndl/Shutterstock.
A Jewish graveyard in Bavaria, Germany. Credit: Andreas Zerndl/Shutterstock.

Former classmates of Bavaria’s deputy prime minister say that when he was a teenager, Hubert Aiwanger distributed an antisemitic leaflet, often flashed Nazi salutes, impersonated Hitler and told bigoted jokes.

Hubert Aiwanger
Hubert Aiwanger, deputy prime minister of Bavaria, Germany’s largest state. Credit: Raimond Spekking/Wikipedia.

Aiwanger, an official of Germany’s largest state, calls efforts to oust him a smear campaign. “It’s getting more and more absurd. Another person claims I had Mein Kampf in my school bag. Who comes up with such nonsense!?” Aiwanger posted in German on X (formerly Twitter). In another post, he wrote that smear campaigns backfire.

Aiwanger says that he does not remember doing Nazi salutes and hasn’t engaged in antisemitic behavior since “coming of age decades ago.” He also doesn’t recall distributing antisemitic leaflets. Aiwanger’s brother has since said that he authored the pamphlet.

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