A right-wing politician in Germany elicited gasps from a studio audience Sunday when she voiced her prediction that Chancellor Angela Merkel would eventually have to flee for her own safety from Germany to South America over public anger at her liberal migration policy.
The statement from Beatrix von Storch — a representative of the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany Party — evoked the memory of Nazi war criminals who fled to South America in the 1940s to escape prosecution for war crimes.
Beatrix von Storch was asked on a television talk show about her Facebook posts earlier this month in which she accused Merkel of “ruining our country like no one since 1945″ — another Nazi reference. Von Storch wrote that she was “taking bets that Merkel will leave the country when she steps down — for security reasons.”
The English-language website The Local reported Monday that von Storch drilled down further on her prediction when challenged by the host on the Facebook posts.
“I mean that she should go into exile to Chile or South America,” von Storch said.
The Local observed, “There were audible gasps from the audience at Storch’s remarks.”
The Local noted that Adolf Eichmann was one of the key figures behind the Holocaust who lived secretly for years in South America following World War II.
Germany drew more than 1 million asylum seekers just last year, straining government resources and evoking a public backlash, especially following reports that Middle Eastern men had sexually assaulted German women during New Year’s Eve festivities. Von Storch has also accused Merkel of plunging the country into chaos, with citizens now looking to arm themselves following the group sexual assault reports from the city of Cologne and elsewhere.
The German news agency DPA, quoting the newspaper “Bild am Sonntag,” reported Sunday that von Storch’s party had climbed to 10 percent of public opinion polls for the first time.
Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party fell two points to 36 percent.