Tempers flared in the German parliament, in Berlin on Wednesday, after Christian Democratic Union MP Holger Stahlknecht reportedly blamed the Alternative for Germany party for the Halle shooting, accusing it of "mental arson." Stahlknecht's remarks prompted a heated response from AfD MPs.
"It is intolerable what leading representatives of our state had the nerve to say after the murders in Halle. You blame the biggest opposition [party] of Germany for the acts of a crazy person," said Rudiger Lucassen from the AfD.
"Your party said 'What is worse? A damaged synagogue door or two killed Germans?' You seem not to be interested in the fact that behind this door there were 50 people — also predominantly German by the way — who feared for their lives. That's exactly the point why Berthold Brecht is still right today. 'The womb he crawled from is still going strong.'," replied Christian Schmidt from the CDU.
"I won't allow you to call me an anti-semite, a racist or anything else. It's intolerable what you ascribe to my party. Using the same logic, we could say that by opening the borders you were the arsonist for mass murder, death and rape in this country. That would be the same logic you are using here. Shame on you," said Paul Armin Hampel from the AfD.
The heated exchange took place during a debate on the situation in northeast Syria. AfD politician Paul Armin Hampel called on the government to cooperate with Russia to deescalate the situation, calling the country the only peacemaker on the battlefield.
The Greens MP Agniezka Brugger criticised German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the German government, and the EU for the refugee pact with Erdogan, calling it a weak spot of the EU.