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Historian Andreas Rödder

Photo: Anne-Beatrice Clasmann / dpa

Andreas Rödder, Professor of Modern History at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, has resigned from his post as chairman of the CDU's Basic Values Commission. The first to report was the »Welt« and the online portal »Nius«.

Rödder confirmed his resignation "to avoid repeated misunderstandings about my role." He continued: "But I remain connected to the CDU and Friedrich Merz and continue to support him in the reorientation of the CDU as a bourgeois force in Germany."

The historian had previously recommended that the CDU change its strategy in dealing with the AfD. "The CDU must no longer argue about false firewalls. This only has the effect that the AfD can show the CDU again and again," he told Stern and was open to CDU minority governments in the east, even if they were supported by the AfD from time to time.

There had been considerable criticism from the CDU. "This is an absolute no-go!" said CDU federal leader Friedrich Merz. Federal Vice-President Andreas Jung warned his party against a shift to the right and said of Rödder's considerations: "That would be the road to ruin for the CDU." "The firewall remains, we must never make ourselves dependent on the AfD. There must be no wobbling."

In a letter to CDU leader Merz, Röder is said to have written: "I have done nothing but think about constitutional options to free the CDU from its political defensive and counter its threat from the AfD."

Culture of discussion in the CDU

One could find the considerations wrong and reject them on the merits. Instead, however, leading representatives of the CDU have "spread unchallenged personal discrediting and factual untruths," criticizes Rödder. This does not cast a good light on the culture of discussion in the CDU.

In the CDU party headquarters, it was said that the Basic Values Commission had completed its work anyway with the adoption of the Basic Values Charter at the last party congress.

"The party chairman and I respect Andreas Rödder's decision. We thank him for the work he has done and are pleased that he wants to continue to contribute to our party," said CDU General Secretary Carsten Linnemann.