Holger Apfel - Saxony
Holger Apfel

Holger Apfel (born 29 December 1970 in Hildesheim) is Deputy NPD chairman and second-in-command under Udo Voigt. Apfel has a long history of activism with the NPD, starting in the 1980s when he was active in the NPD's youth division. On September 19, 2004 Apfel led the NPD in the eastern state of Saxony to its biggest electoral success, winning 9.2% of the popular vote and twelve seats in the Landtag. He called the result "A great day for all Germans who still want to be Germans". Since entering the Landtag, Apfel and his NPD faction have been the cause of vocal opposition and controversy.

Shortly before the anniversary of the World War II Dresden bombing in 2005, Apfel made international headlines by theatrically framing it as morally equivalent to the Holocaust. The NPD asserted that it was upset that a moment of silence was being held for the liberation of Auschwitz yet none was being given for the bombing of Dresden (the anniversary of both events falling relatively close to each other). Apfel and the NPD fraction walked out during the moment of silence for Auschwitz, an act that received widespread condemnation in Germany.

Apfel, a trained publishing executive who heads the NPD's group of eight deputies in the regional assembly of Saxony, has gained a reputation for his bluntly provocative rhetoric, but the so-called free forces are no longer acceptable even to him. In December 2007, he issued an unmistakable warning to Udo Voigt that "a few hundred idiots nationwide are destroying the work of the last few years" and are "driving the biggest possible nail into our coffin regarding possible proceedings to ban the party."

The party, Apfel added, is on a "sectarian course," while the NPD party leadership's financial situation is "shit." The NPD politician has declined to comment on his e-mail correspondence with Voigt.

Apfel is not Voigt's only critic from Saxony, an NPD stronghold. Referring to the party's public image, Jens Pühse, a member of the party's executive committee, recently wrote, in a letter to the NPD chairman: "We appear to have chosen the proverbial elephant in a china shop as our role model." Pühse added that efforts within the leadership to develop the NPD's position are being "torn apart" at grass roots level. Voigt was apparently annoyed by this "condescending advice," especially coming from Saxony, where the parliamentary leadership "can't handle its own affairs and hardly leaves the office anymore." Pühse promptly responded: "If you are serious about the things you write, the breakup of the party will be only a matter of time."

Röbel, Sven. Internal NPD Documents Reveal Chaos: Germany's Right Wing Extremists in Disarray. Spiegel Online.

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