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    Bjoern Hoecke, chairman of the Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) in the German state of Thuringia, leaves after a press statement in Erfurt, central Germany, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017

    German Far-Right AfD Party Votes to Expel Regional Leader Over Holocaust Remark

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    Two-thirds of members of the German right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD) voted for explusion of one of the party’s regional leaders who previously said that Germany needed a fundamental turn of its policy regarding World War II and the Holocaust, according to local media.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Members of the German right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD) voted on Monday to expel one of the party’s regional leaders who previously said that Germany needed a fundamental turn of its policy regarding World War II and the Holocaust, local media reported on Monday.

    On January 18, Bjoern Hoecke, the AfD leader in the state of Thuringia, said Germany needed a "180-degree turn of the political memory" and criticized the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, calling it a "memorial of shame."

    Two-thirds of the leaders of the party voted for Hoecke’s expulsion, with nine votes in favor and four against, the Spiegel said, adding that the party’s leader Frauke Petry was among those who supported the expulsion.

    The world-famous Holocaust memorial opened in 2005 in Berlin to honor millions of Jews who perished in the Holocaust during World War II. The memorial site is covered with 2,711 concrete slabs.

    The AfD won 14 percents of the votes during the September local parliamentary election in Berlin and became the fifth most popular party with 25 seats in the Berlin state parliament. According to the latest polls, in the federal election of September 2017 AfD is expected to gain about 12 percent of the votes and become the third-largest party in the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament.

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