All eyes are on the AfD’s finances following reports of large donations from Switzerland and Holland. Now, reporting has revealed that the right-wing party has enjoyed big-money support from the very beginning.
By Melanie Amann, Sven Becker and Sven Röbel
Michele Tantussi/ Getty Images
AfD leader Alexander Gauland and co-floor leader Alice Weidel
November 30, 2018
The mission to save the German nation got its start on May 1, 2017, at a restaurant on the outskirts of Munich called the Wirtshaus zu Marienburg. That Wednesday, businessman Ernst Knut Stahl, 74, met two people for lunch: a journalist from a Bavarian state broadcaster
Discretion is important to Stahl. There are few photos of him in public circulation, and the same holds true for his boss, the 88-year-old billionaire August von Finck, Jr. Stahl is Finck’s asset manager, making him something like the baron’s right-hand man.
The publisher, who is known for his anti-Merkel positions, had no idea what to expect from the lunch. Once the three had taken their seats, Stahl kicked off the discussion by holding forth about the political situation in the country. “There’s danger ahead,” Stahl said, according to a statement made under oath by the publisher and to which DER SPIEGEL has access. (The following account of the May 1, 2017, meeting all comes from that affidavit.) “There is a street in New York with lots of investment bankers, lawyers and so forth,” Stahl continued. “Coincidentally, they are all Jews, but that’s not relevant here. They want to push Germany into ruin. They control everything. Merkel and also Ralf Stegner from the SPD,” a reference to a senior member of the center-left Social Democrats.