BERLIN — The co-founder of an anti-immigrant group in Germany that has denounced the supposed “Islamization” of Western Europe has resumed his position at the head of the movement, weeks after he stepped down amid outrage over images of him posing as Adolf Hitler.
Lutz Bachmann, 41, took the stage again late Monday as a newly reinstated co-leader of Pegida, which is the German acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, before leading several thousand people on a peaceful march through the eastern city of Dresden.
Mr. Bachmann stepped down in January after photographs that he had posted to Facebook were strewn across the front pages of German newspapers, along with postings in which he appeared to praise the Ku Klux Klan and referred to immigrants as “cattle,” “brutes” and “trash.” The organization said late Sunday that he had been returned to the shared leadership through a vote held by secret ballot.
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Kathrin Oertel, a spokeswoman, was one of several leaders parting company with Pegida.
German Anti-Immigrant Leaders Resign JAN. 28, 2015
Front pages of German newspapers showed Lutz Bachmann, leader of the anti-immigrant group Pegida, posing as Adolf Hitler in an image found on his Facebook page.
German Anti-Immigrant Figure Quits Post After Posing as HitlerJAN. 21, 2015
Anti-immigrant demonstrators held a rally on Monday in Dresden, Germany.
Anti-Immigration Rallies in Germany Defy Calls to Desist JAN. 5, 2015
The movement, which calls itself a political organization, has repeatedly come under criticism for its ties to the far right, but it has spawned similar, smaller groups across Germany.
Supporters at demonstrations held late Monday in Frankfurt, Hanover and Leipzig clashed with the police or with opposing protesters who had turned out to call for an open, tolerant society.