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AfD top candidate Tino Chrupalla gets entangled in contradictions on ZDF

While Tino Chrupalla (AfD) has no answers to open questions in the ZDF debate for and against, Katja Kipping (left) is clearly trying to offer solutions.

Berlin – In the current ZDF election duel “For & Against”, the politician Katja Kipping from the party Die Linke and the top candidate of the AfD Tino Chrupalla answered questions from the moderators Dunja Hayali and Andreas Wunn a few weeks before the 2021 federal election. The social and economic differences between East and West that still existed after the fall of the Wall and the political attitudes of the two parties served as a guide for the discussion.

According to a 2020 study by the Bertelsmann Foundation that quoted Dunja Hayali, 59% of East Germans stated that they felt like second-class citizens. The people invited to the studio had different opinions on this. While some, like the mechanic Bernd Schmelzer and the city guide Andreas Thronicker, complain that the pan-German policy does not concern itself with the affairs of the East and thus excludes those affected, the entrepreneur Romy Polster and the personnel consultant Constanze Buchheim advocated finally with the distinction to stop between east and west.

For & Against (ZDF): Katja Kipping (left) and Tino Chrupalla (AfD) as guests

Buchheim was of the opinion that the conflict between the East and the West was confronted with a certain attitude that was artificially kept alive. It is much more important to close the self-confidence gap that understandably arose after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is important to create positive role models that show people in the East what value they have for the German economy and society as a whole. Only in this way is it possible to counteract obvious problems such as the great shortage of managers from the East in companies or authorities in the West.

Tino Chrupalla from the AfD remarked that the East Germans lacked the “guts” to apply for such positions and to face these challenges. His party did not see any other solution to the problem, Chrupallas argued. Under pressure, however, he admitted that it was necessary to encourage East Germans to apply for these positions. But he thinks absolutely nothing of a quota, quota is compulsory and quality has to prevail. The comment of the moderator Andreas Wunn that a quota would at least achieve an alignment in a first step and only then in a second step would a natural dynamic develop, was rejected by Chrupalla.

A guest at Für & Wider on ZDF
Katka Kipping former leader of the Left Party
Tino Chrupalla AfD top candidate

For & Against (ZDF): Tino Chrupalla (AfD) gets entangled in contradictions

It was not only on this issue that the politician became entangled in argumentative contradictions. First he claimed that the AfD had replaced the left as the “carer party” and, in comparison to this, was still expressly committed to the people in the East and wanted to represent their interests, but then spoke of the fact that the same AfD was basically just a party for Germany as a whole and that the East does not need to be particularly emphasized.

Moderator Dunja Hayali then wanted to know from him why the AfD always only turns out the bad. Chrupalla replied that people were of no use for appreciation and recognition. The AfD is a protest party and wants to disclose the grievances. Self-reflection is not one of them, since when asked about the AfD’s tax policy, Chrupalla’s only reply was the phrase “fake news”.

This spirit was noticeable throughout the program, while Katja Kipping from the Left was clearly trying to offer solutions, for example with regard to wage inequality between West and East. Your party has been campaigning for the creation of good legal minimum standards, which are necessary to overcome social divisions, since the 1990s. It is about “jointly ensuring that things are better together” and not, as the AfD is doing, aiming to “make others worse so that others can be better”.

For & Against (ZDF): Katja Kipping (Linke) and Tino Chrupalla (AfD) on East and West

In the end, the moderators wanted to know from both representatives what their party was doing against the split and for peaceful coexistence between East and West. The AfD, said Chrupalla, campaigns for a more direct democracy that allows citizens to bring their interests to bear more directly. The left, according to Kipping, is calling for a different social and tax policy, which should create local authorities capable of acting.

There were only a few answers to the initial question “Unequally united: How foreign are East and West?” Above all, it stood out that prejudices are still alive 30 years after the fall of the Wall, because a first name like Mandy is enough, as one studio guest made clear, to identify its wearer as East German and to identify her with a number of stereotypes to confront. (Teresa Vena)

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