|Founded||28 October 2010|
|Dissolved||4 December 2016|
|Headquarters||Storkower Straße 158 |
|Political position||Right-wing to Far-right|
|Colours||Blue and orange|
Freedom – Civil Rights Party for More Freedom and Democracy (Die Freiheit – Bürgerrechtspartei für mehr Freiheit und Demokratie), also known as The Freedom (German: Die Freiheit), was a political party in Germany which identified as conservative-liberal or classical liberal party; while the party was described by German mainstream media as right-wing populist, and was known for its criticism of Islam.
It was founded in October 2010 by Berlin city parliamentarian René Stadtkewitz who had been expelled from the conservative CDU for inviting the Dutch politician and Islam critic Geert Wilders to Berlin. The party seeks the implementation of a direct citizen democracy based on the Swiss model and extensive changes in immigration and integration policy.
Freedom was founded in October 2010 by René Stadtkewitz in the wake of the immigration debate spurred by the then-member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank Thilo Sarrazin. The Berlin city parliamentarian Stadtkewitz was expelled from the Christian Democratic Union faction in 2010 after inviting Dutch politician Geert Wilders of the Party for Freedom to hold a speech in Berlin. A number of other politicians who left their respective parties joined Stadtkewitz, while prominent Islam and immigration critic Thilo Sarrazin refused participation in the new party, but fought to stay in his Social Democratic Party and stated that the immigration and integration issues had to be discussed inside the major parties. In June 2011, the party expanded, founding state associations in ten German states.
In 2016 the party stated that its objectives had largely been adopted by the Alternative für Deutschland party and was subsequently dissolved by its members.
Freedom identifies as a conservative-liberal or classical liberal party. Stadtkewitz himself has explained that his party would be more liberal than the FDP, less statist than the SPD and more anti-political establishment than the German Greens.
Some of their core issues included:
- The introduction of direct citizen democracy based on the Swiss model.
- Tougher measures on crime
- The reduction of immigration to deal with integration issues.
- Support of Israel.
- Stricter social welfare policies.
- Combatting the "Islamisation of Germany."
The party called for critical observation of imams, mosques, and Islamic schools and for a review of Islamic organizations to ensure their compliance with German laws, and condemned efforts to build a parallel legal structure based on sharia.
Freedom received support from Dutch politician Geert Wilders, leader and founder of the Party for Freedom, who announced his intention to include the party in his International Freedom Alliance project. Politician Oskar Freysinger of the Swiss People's Party gave a speech on the occasion of Freedom's founding event in Bavaria.
- van Bebber, Werner (10 September 2010), ""Die Freiheit" soll rechts sein, liberal – und anders als andere", Der Tagesspiegel, retrieved 22 August 2011
- "Islamgegner Wilders plant Rede in Berlin", Der Tagesspiegel, 20 September 2010
- Lang, Andreas. "The Austrian danger of a self-fulfilling prophecy of political and religious radicalization". Le Sursaut.
- "René Stadtkewitz gründet bürgerlich-liberale Partei". Junge Freiheit (in German). 10 September 2010. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- Gutsch, Jochen-Martin (1 June 2011), "Riding the Wave of Islamophobia: The German Geert Wilders", Spiegel Online, retrieved 21 July 2011
- "Rechtspopulismus: Keinen Fußbreit", Die Zeit (in German), retrieved 21 July 2011
- Bielicki, Jan, "Anti-Islam-Partei "Die Freiheit": Geert Wilders light", Süddeutsche Zeitung, retrieved 30 August 2011
- "A false prophet". The Economist. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- Der Berliner Abgeordnete Rene Stadtkewitz gründet neue Bürgerrechtspartei Die Freiheit. Press release of the party. 10 Sep 2010. Retrieved on 21 July 2011.
- Kensche, Christine (30 August 2011), "Der deutsche Wilders will kein Rassist sein", WELT Online, retrieved 30 August 2011
- Stumberger, Rudolf (6 June 2011), ""Die Freiheit" nun auch in Bayern", Neues Deutschland (in German), retrieved 21 July 2011
- "Proteste gegen Parteitag zur Gründung von Die Freiheit in Hessen", nh24.de (in German), 6 June 2011, retrieved 21 July 2011
- Presentation of the party platform on DieFreiheit.org
- "Obdachlose Rechtspopulisten", Süddeutsche Zeitung, retrieved 30 August 2011
- "Wer verbirgt sich hinter der neuen konservativen Partei "Die Freiheit"?", Focus Online, retrieved 22 August 2011
- "Geert Wilders - Ich, Retter des Abendlands", Die Zeit (in German), retrieved 21 July 2011
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