The Church defends itself against Nazi comparisons by the AfD-affiliated mayor

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Written By Maya Cantina

The Protestant church community in Pirna, Saxony, has responded loudly MDR plain words against one Facebook-Contribution from AfD-close to Mayor Tim Lochner. The non-party politician made a provocative comparison on the social network after the community raised a rainbow flag at St. Mary’s Church to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and the local Christopher Street Day. Lochner drew a parallel with the swastika flags that hung on the church during the Nazi era.

According to MDR reports, the raising of the rainbow flag at St. Mary’s Church is also a response to the fact that it has not been allowed to fly on the masts of the Pirna city council since Lochner’s term of office. In a now-deleted post, Lochner pointed out alleged historical connections and called on the church to take a stand.

Lochner describes St. Mary’s Church as a “state church”

In his Facebook post, which has already been deleted, but “Sächsische.de‘, he wrote: ‘God gave the German people a leader, God gave this people Adolf Hxxler.’ That is a quote from a book of the Protestant Church in the Lochner library.

He continues: “If we investigate very deeply, we will find evidence that flags with crosses and hooks also hung on St. Mary’s Church. The same church is welcome to comment on this. Show attitude. If not, flying the rainbow flag becomes a compliant symbol and cheap political interference. In short, it was a state church, it is a state church. As long as Antifa flags and rainbow flags are waved together at demonstrations, I consider the CSD a political organization. My demand for neutrality compels me not to let this flag fly.”

Church responds to mayor’s allegations

The parish responded to these allegations with a Statement on their website. The church council described Mayor Lochner’s comparison as “difficult to bear and substantively incorrect” and emphasized the Protestant Church’s commitment to openness and tolerance. Raising the rainbow flag is an expression of solidarity with ‘people who are still under pressure’.

The community appealed to the mayor to seek direct dialogue: “From our self-image, we want to ensure that a friendly, calm and approachable discussion culture arises here among people, in which people can enjoy discussing substantive differences. “, the statement further reads.

Lochner is the first AfD mayor in Germany

Tim Lochner was appointed national in December 2023 first AfD mayor elected. The independent master carpenter ran as a candidate for the AfD and received 38.54 percent of the votes in the second round. Lochner clearly had the upper hand over his opponent Ralf Thiele among the Free Voters (around 23 percent). The CDU candidate Kathrin Dolinger-Knuth was in third place with about 20 percent.

Lochner is a member of the AfD faction in the city council, but is not a party member himself. The 54-year-old already contested the mayoral elections in 2017, but clearly failed against the previous incumbent Klaus-Peter Hanke (independent), who did not participate in the last elections due to his age.



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