“Unchristian image of man”

Wheelchair users in front of a staircase © Daniel Maurer

Debate continues over AfD's controversial motion on severely disabled people in Germany. While the AfD defends itself, the Evangelical Working Group of the Union strongly condemns the inquiry.

The Evangelical Working Group of the Union (EAK) strongly condemned the question. It is a "shocking evidence of a deliberately staged taboo break and political irresponsibility, said the EAK Federal Chairman, Thomas Rachel, on Thursday in Berlin. The direct linking of disability with inbreeding as well as national origin and migration background reveals an abysmal and unchristian image of man of the AfD.

In the last week publicly become inquiry the AfD delegates wanted to know among other things, how many cases of the handicaps developed by marriage in the family have a migration background. The AfD parliamentary group had also asked how many of the severely disabled people living in the Federal Republic do not have German citizenship. Among others, the chairman of the German Ethics Council, Peter Dabrock, was outraged by this request. The members of the Wurzburg Alliance for Civil Courage have meanwhile filed criminal charges against AfD members of the Bundestag for incitement of the people.

Criticism of "nationalist-folkish ideology"

Rachel further explains that Christians, on the other hand, are aware of their special responsibility for the weak and the handicapped. CDU and CSU saw themselves in special way humans with handicaps connected and obligated. And further: "With great concern we criticize the stigmatization of people with disabilities by the AfD. This party reveals here a nationalistic-folkish ideology."

Meanwhile, the AfD's spokesman on church policy, Volker Munz, defended the request. The allegations made by Dabrock, according to which the AfD regards the disabled as a "social evil" and uses right-wing extremist ideas with its inquiry, are grossly untrue. The intention and the wording of the question do not indicate this in any way, Munz said in an interview with the "Tagespost" newspaper published in Wurzburg.

More than 94 percent of severely handicapped people are Germans

In its response to the inquiry, the Federal Ministry of Labor states in sobering terms that the number of severely disabled German citizens rose from 6.71 million in 2001 to 7.61 million in 2015. After that, especially the number of elderly people with a severe disability has grown strongly. The relative importance of congenital disabilities as a cause of disability has been declining for some time. According to the statement, more than 94 percent of severely disabled people are Germans. The remaining severely disabled people have a migration background. This ratio has remained about the same in recent years.

The top representatives of the two churches, Cardinal Reinhard Marx as well as Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm had also sharply criticized the request of the AfD. It is intolerable how a connection is created between migration, disability and incest, Marx said. An atmosphere is created "which is extremely alarming". Bedford-Strohm said, "Behind such inquiries are attitudes that are reminiscent of a time we think we have overcome. In the end, these are inhuman attitudes."

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