Golden Age: A Billionaire Backer and the Murky Finances of the AfD

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.


BERLIN, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 12: Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel Leader of the Right wing AfD Party arrives at a session of the Bundestag following the parliamentary summer recess on September 12, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Relations within the governing German coalition have once again become strained, this time due to comments made by German Interior Minister and Bavarian Christian Social Union leader Horst Seehofer following the recent murder of a German by refugees and the ensuing marches by right-wing supporters in the city of Chemnitz. (Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.