Political Disarray

Anti-Immigrant Movement's Future Uncertain, Ex-Leader Says

Interior designer Thomas Tallacker. Source: Facebook
Interior designer Thomas Tallacker.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    In an interview, a former organizer of a controversial German anti-immigration movement said the group’s future was uncertain after a series of departures.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The founder of Pegida quit last week after photos of him posing as Hitler went viral.
    • Five organizers resigned Wednesday blaming public hostility and media harassment .
    • Pegida’s demonstrations once attracted 25,000, but have since waned.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

One of the former leaders of a German anti-immigrant group said Thursday that the controversial movement, in disarray after a series of top-level departures, had been hijacked by neo-Nazis and faced an uncertain future.

“I don’t know what is going to happen with the movement,” said Thomas Tallacker, a founding member of Pegida, which stands for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident. Mr. Tallacker, who has a small interior design business in Meissen, a town near Dresden, resigned from Pegida this week.

He was one of four top-level Pegida organizers to step down, citing media harassment and the actions of the group’s founder, Lutz Bachmann, who was driven out after impersonating Adolf Hitler on his Facebook page.

“It depends on how the remaining members of the panel react and who they decide they want to address,” Mr. Tallacker said in an interview with Handelsblatt Global Edition.

The other leaders to resign on Wednesday included Kathrin Oertel, who had become the public face of Pegida after the departure earlier this month of Mr. Bachmann.

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