BERLIN - A far-right party has sent letters to 30 politicians of foreign descent who are candidates in Germany’s national election on Sunday, telling them to leave the country.
The move by the National Democratic Party has shocked some of the candidates and prompted prosecutors to open an investigation “based on suspicion of racial incitement,’’ Berlin prosecutor Michael von Hagen said yesterday.
A spokesman for Berlin’s state government, Richard Meng, called the campaign “disgusting.’’
The National Democratic Party is a marginal force at national level - it has no seats in the German Parliament and is not expected to win any on Sunday. However, its activities, including alleged hate crimes against foreigners and Jews, have long been a cause for concern.
The official-looking letter was sent out by the Berlin branch of the National Democratic Party to politicians of Turkish descent among others, offering them “details of your journey home.’’
Purporting to be an “announcement by the commissioner for the repatriation of foreigners,’’ it said that they “will be repatriated to their countries of origin’’ under a five-step plan. It added that immigrants would be excluded from the German welfare system and should “look for accommodation and work in their home countries now.’’
Ozcan Mutlu, a lawmaker in Berlin’s state legislature who is of Turkish descent, said he was shocked when he received the letter on Saturday. “I have a German passport; Germany is my home country; where do they want me to go to?’’ Mutlu said.
The government tried in 2003 to ban the party, which it accused of inciting hate crimes against foreigners and Jews.