The term of Stefan Jagsch is over shortly before 20 o'clock: On Tuesday evening it selects the seven other members of the Ortsbeirat of Altenstadt-Waldsiedlung in the Hessian Wetteraukreis. It is likely to be the most attended meeting in the history of the panel. Jagsch's election almost seven weeks ago had made international headlines: The municipal representatives of the CDU, SPD and FDP had made a functionary of the far-right NPD to the mayor. Unanimously.
As the message pervades in early September from the local press in the national media, the excitement is great: From a "blackout of democracy" was the speech, the CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called for a rapid withdrawal and the SPD Secretary General Lars Klingbeil saw It is necessary for his party to clarify: "We do not cooperate with Nazis!"
Jagsch stands in the afternoon before his despatch in gray jeans and shirt in front of his house at the edge of the forest. He grew up here, has been living in the settlement with about 2,500 inhabitants for 33 years. On his garage someone with black paint "Nazisau Jagsch kill!" sprayed. The lettering he will remove, says Jagsch, "but RTL wants to film that again". He has given many interviews lately. Today many more will be added.
"First and foremost Stefan Jagsch"
From the place he wants to have received in his weeks as a supervisor "only positive feedback". People just saw "primarily Stefan Jagsch", not the NPD man, he says. Shortly thereafter, a neighbor walks with her dog through the road in the direction of the forest. "Keep your fingers crossed for tonight", she calls to him.
She is not the only one in town: In front of the community center, where the local council meets, a woman tells a friend: "I hope the hunts will stay". A motorcyclist says you could have given him a chance. He does not want to give away his name like the others. In the settlement "nothing is done at all", complains a woman in a down jacket. Jagsch might have "used us a bit". For them it is "a minor matter" that he is NPD official. "What could he have done as a village chief?" Like some others here, she can not understand the great excitement - and that one selects an elected mayor now again. She had only by reporting after his election ever learned that there is the office of the village chief.
Many here are bothered that their place is now decried as a brown nest. Here, the rural Wetterau is for years as a regional base of the extreme right in Hesse: In Altenstadt, the NPD in the municipal elections in 2016 received ten percent of the vote, similar to the nearby Büdingen and a little further north in Wetzlar. The AfD was not there then. Jagsch himself also sits in the community council and in the district council. The NPD also uses these places for meetings such as party days or concerts.
Nationwide, the NPD in Hesse is insignificant, in the state elections in October 2018, they reached just 0.2 percent. In the elections to the European Parliament in May 2019, right-wing extremists lost their last mandate beyond the municipal level, where they still hold about 200 seats. In particular, the successes of the AfD make the NPD to create, but also the competition from other neo-Nazi micro parties such as The Rights or The III. Path. Since the attention is quite right because of Altenstadt.
Jagsch is also Deputy National Chairman of the NPD, he shows in the dispute over his office like in the jacket, gives the serious local politicians. Anyone who has been observing his work for some time also knows the other Stefan Jagsch: The 33-year-old has been active in the Hessian neo-Nazi scene for many years. Already in 2002, he joins, according to the party of the NPD, takes over gradually leading offices. He appears as a speaker during demonstrations. At such parades, slogans such as "Everything for the people, race and nation" and "National Socialism now" echo through the streets. He also appears at right-rock concerts of the militant scene.