1. Ban, then dead?

Marco Wanderwitz has been a member of the Bundestag for 20 years. The CDU politician from Saxony won his direct mandate in every election – except for the last one in 2021. He was defeated by an AfD candidate and only entered parliament via the state list. If Wanderwitz, who was also once the Federal Government's Commissioner for Eastern Europe, now leads an initiative that wants to initiate a ban on the AfD at the Federal Constitutional Court, one could accuse him of personal revenge. If you mean it badly with him.

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Viciousness, however, is the last character trait that can be said to be Wanderwitz, rather a sense of reality. In his view, all the criteria that justify a ban on the extreme right-wing party have been met. In a paper with which the group advertises for comrades-in-arms in the Bundestag, it says: "The AfD is a racist, anti-Semitic and right-wing extremist party." And: "Human dignity and the prohibition of discrimination are now blatantly questioned by the AfD, its leading functionaries and numerous elected officials and members." It is evident to him that the AfD wants to "transfer democracy to another system," says Wanderwitz.

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution also repeatedly comes to similar conclusions. Since 2021, the party has been classified as a "suspected case" at the federal level. The European party congress in Magdeburg in the summer showed "that there are strong anti-constitutional tendencies within the party, whose influence continues to grow," says Thomas Haldenwang, president of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. After Thuringia, the authorities at the state level also declared the AfD in Saxony-Anhalt to be "definitely right-wing extremist".

In the current cover story of SPIEGEL, we explore the question of how realistic a ban on the party would be. In it, my colleague Dietmar Hipp described the legal pitfalls: in order to be banned, a party must not only be demonstrably hostile to the constitution, it must also actively and systematically work towards "the impairment or elimination of the free democratic basic order". In its earlier case law, the Federal Constitutional Court considered an "actively combative, aggressive attitude" to be necessary. Crime would be part of it, violence, an atmosphere of fear to interfere with the freedom of expression of others.

Is that already the case? In Thuringia, it may be, although the lawyers there are also arguing. According to a scenario developed by computer scientist Matthias Moehl, Björn Höcke could possibly even become prime minister of the state next year with an absolute majority. For this reason, bans on individual state associations are already being considered. My colleague Steffen Winter, correspondent for Saxony and Thuringia, asked Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (Die Linke), who is "ambivalent" on this question. There is a fear that an application for a ban will pay off above all for the AfD," said Ramelow.

Federal Chancellor Scholz also sees no need for action for the time being. "I am convinced that the citizens will see to it that the importance of this party decreases again." If he's not mistaken. So far, citizens have done the opposite.

CDU man Wanderwitz has no illusions that a ban will come too quickly. "But we would then have to use the opportunity to interrupt the flow of propaganda and mass fake news by hundreds of full-time AfD employees to make up for what we have apparently failed to do successfully for years – in practical politics, in the right approach, in education."

  • Read the current SPIEGEL cover story here: Possible AfD ban - The sharpest sword

2. Divorce in Wiesbaden

After the Christian Democrats emerged as the winner of the state elections on 8 October, they are turning their backs on their Green coalition partner and striving for an alliance with the SPD. The black-green project, which has lasted almost a decade, is likely to come to an end. There is a greater agreement with the Social Democrats on content.

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Boris Rhein


Britta Pedersen / dpa

Prime Minister Boris Rhein said: "As the CDU, we want to try to form a government in Hesse with the SPD, with the Social Democrats, and for the first time in 70 years we want to work together in a Christian-Social coalition." The SPD has been in opposition for about a quarter of a century and lost significantly with its top candidate and Federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser.

Despite the decision for the SPD, its top candidate Faeser does not want to move from the Federal Ministry of the Interior to state politics. She ruled out such a step, she said. "I will remain Federal Minister of the Interior." She has an important task in the federal government, and the following applies to her: "Always the country first, then the party." She will recommend to the SPD committees to start coalition talks.

For my colleague Matthias Bartsch, a correspondent in Hesse, this is not a big surprise. »Black-Green was never a project close to Boris Rhein's heart.« The CDU head of government is striving for a new project, he inherited the black-green coalition from his predecessor Volker Bouffier, from whom he wants to emancipate himself. The Greens see themselves as exes and are already gossiping about Rhein's "new ones". Rhein has gambled high, he demanded a lot from the SPD and has already been promised a lot, at least in the exploratory talks. "That's not surprising, the SPD was so plucked that it responded to almost everything and will therefore be the easier partner from Rhein's point of view."

  • Read more here: Break with Greens – Rhine strives for coalition with SPD in Hesse

3. Wealth – Are we able to change it?

Imagine if every citizen in Germany received 20,10 or 000,100 euros at the age of 000. Illusory? Socialist? Naive? For the German Economic Institute, apparently not at all. According to economists Timm Bönke and Charlotte Bartels of the DIW, this would be a means of mitigating the glaring wealth inequality in Germany. And it does so quickly and tangibly.

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Young people could benefit from the introduction of a basic inheritance

Photo: iStockphoto / Getty Images

Their calculations are based on the fact that the richest ten percent of the German population recently owned 61 percent of the wealth. The upper middle class, on the other hand, accounts for 38 percent. On the other hand, the bottom 50 percent of the population – in terms of wealth distribution – have just one percent of the wealth. According to Bönke and Bartels, the situation is likely to worsen further in the coming years.

The two have calculated the impact of paying a basic inheritance of 100,000 euros. By 2027, the wealth share of the richest 57 percent of the population would fall to 1980 percent. To put this into perspective, this would not be expropriation and the introduction of communism, which is roughly the same value as in 53 in the old affluent Federal Republic, when its share was <> percent. Since then, the gap between rich and poor has widened.

Within a short period of time, a trend that has been going on for decades could possibly be reversed. However, this would place a heavy burden on the state: the disbursement of coupled start-up capital or a basic inheritance of 10,000 euros to certain purposes – such as education – would cost a good 8.5 billion euros per year, in the case of a sum of 100,000 euros it would be a good 85 billion euros. To put this into perspective, the total expenditure of the federal budget in 2022 was 495 billion euros. However, the federal subsidy to the statutory pension insurance alone accounted for 87 billion euros of this.

Now, one might ask: If the money is there for the older ones, shouldn't it also be used for the younger ones? In political debates, there is often a lack of transparency about what certain measures would really change. Scientists like Bönke and Bartels know this and write it again and again. However, some facts are slow to reach the masses, and many politicians do not necessarily follow the consensus in science. That's why the DIW's wealth simulator is interesting, because it gives interested citizens the opportunity to play through for themselves what would reduce inequality.

According to my colleague Benjamin Bidder, the crux of all ideas against inequality is always financing. Unfortunately, the DIW authors have largely left this out. However, it is interesting to see how little the introduction of the often discussed measures such as inheritance or wealth tax would achieve on its own, but how much start-up capital or basic inheritance would achieve. "So if you want to fight inequality quickly, you don't just have to spend a lot of money. He has to take something from the rich, but he also has to give a lot to the poor."

A redistribution undertaking that would probably seem too utopian even to Sahra Wagenknecht's new party.

  • Read the full story here: How 100,000 euros of basic heritage would change Germany

News and background information on the war in the Middle East can be found here:

  • Israel reports tens of thousands more Palestinians fleeing to southern Gaza: Through corridors and at certain times, Israel wants to allow people from the embattled northern Gaza to flee safely to the south. According to the army, a number of people were also on their way on Friday.

  • Weapons for urban warfare: Israel's army is considered one of the most modern in the world. In the fighting with Hamas in Gaza City, however, a high-tech arsenal is of little use to it.

  • Pro-Israel NGO Softens Accusations Against Agency Photographers: Did freelance photographers from Gaza have prior knowledge of the attacks against Israel? One NGO had suggested this conclusion – and now only claims to have "raised questions".

What else is important today

  • Abusive BND man allowed to remain on duty despite derailments: Auschwitz sayings and sexism: A court has convicted a long-time BND man of gross misconduct in the workplace. According to SPIEGEL information, he is still allowed to work for the secret service.

  • Pro-Russian hackers attack Deutsche Bahn website: In a confidential report, the German government warns of a pro-Russian hacker group, according to SPIEGEL information. Their attacks are directed against authorities and companies in countries that support Ukraine.

  • Father of a schoolchild stopped suspected gunman: The man approached the teenager and persuaded him to hand over his weapon – then held him until the police arrived. A father who happened to be present probably prevented greater suffering at a school in Offenburg.

  • Long-lost mammal rediscovered in Indonesia: It has the spines of a hedgehog, the snout of an anteater and the feet of a mole: for the first time in 60 years, British researchers have observed a rare egg-laying mammal in Indonesia. For a long time, it was thought to be extinct.

  • If you live by these eight rules, you will stay young longer: Researchers have developed a hit list of the most important measures to slow down the aging process of the body for up to six years. The rejuvenation cure also prevents serious diseases.

My favorite story today

"Until now, I thought: We enter into dialogue and then the others understand that we are also human," says 56-year-old Stefanie Szczupak. She was wrong. Society does not seem to be interested in exchange at the moment.

In Dresden, Valentina Marcenaro had to cancel the »Gefilte Fest«, a Jewish culinary festival. The chairwoman of the board of directors of the Jewish Week Dresden series of events describes that there was simply too much fear among some participants to "identify themselves as Jews".

Assaf Landscape is worried about his sons, 11 and 13 years old, experienced mobile phone users, like most teenagers. For his children, the Internet is usually a kind of adventure playground, he says, full of new ideas. "But in truth, it's a battlefield right now."

Three Jewish voices, three realities in Germany. Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7 was the worst attack on Jewish people since the Shoah. 85 years after the November pogroms of 1938, many Jews today feel unsafe in Germany again and are exposed to anti-Semitic agitation on the streets.

My colleague Guido Mingels, together with a large team, asked around the country and describes how powerless many Jews in Germany feel right now. It is a long text, haunting, frightening and important at the same time.

  • Read the full story here: Nothing is right

What we recommend today at SPIEGEL+

  • Who is going to pay higher taxes in the future, Mr. Kühnert? » Christian Lindner has no right to vote at our party congress«: SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert talks about his party's tax plans – and explains why he is not openly courting members of the Left Party.

  • Pistorius in self-defense mode: Germany must become fit for war, the defense minister demands. In the SPD, they don't like that. What does Pistorius do? He repeats the stimulus word over and over again.

  • How dangerous are the anti-traffic light rebels for Christian Lindner? At the FDP base, two initiatives want to put an end to the traffic light. A member survey is intended to put pressure on the party leadership. Many liberals fear a throwback to the old days.

  • "Help, he's got my daughter": Salman E. held his own child in the car for 18 hours, paralyzing Hamburg Airport. Now it turns out that the crime was apparently planned. Reconstruction of a bitter custody battle.

  • The man for the crazy: German national football coach Julian Nagelsmann tries out the next attacker: this time Werder striker Marvin Ducksch. Called up late at 29, he is expected to bring a special touch to the national team.

What is less important today

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Photo: Roy Rochlin; Getty Images / dpa

Kick Apple: German singers go to Markus Lanz when they have a new record or want to promote a tour. Oscar winner Jared Leto, 51, hangs from the Empire State Building to attract attention. Dressed in a bright red full-body suit, the musician wanted to announce that he would soon be going on a world tour again with his band Thirty Seconds to Mars. "This building is a testimony to all the things we can create in this world if we set our minds to them," says Leto.

Mini Concave Mirror

Here you can find the whole concave mirror.

Cartoon of the Day

And tonight?

Could you acoustically go to the Royal Albert Hall in London. On September 26, British songwriter Raye, one of the most exciting rhythm and blues singers of our time, performed there. Accompanied by the massive symphonic Heritage Orchestra, a brilliant brass section and a stunning choir, she performed her acclaimed debut album »My 21st Century Blues« live.

On October 16th, this concert was released as a recording (listen to it here on Spotify) – and this album blew me away even more than the studio version. Raye breathes even more soul and warmth into her songs on the big stage, thanks to the bombast of the orchestra, a force and emotionality is created that you can hardly escape. My colleague Jurek Skrobala wrote on the occasion of their debut: "The sound is pop, but the attitude is anti. Raye mixes sweet melodies with poison."

In the song »Ice Cream Man« she processes her experiences with a music producer who flattered her and praised her for her artistic talent, only to grope her in the studio:

He told me, »Come to catch a vibe and make some music«
But when I got there, should've heard what he was saying
Tryna touch me, tryna fuck me, I'm not playing
I should've left that place as soon as I walked in it
How God damn dare you do that to me, really?

During some performances, Raye stripped down to her underwear during this song to demonstrate how literally naked and defenseless a young ambitious woman is at the mercy of these assaults. As glamorous as the performance at the Royal Albert Hall was, the narrative arc and message are just as haunting: Don't mess with me anymore!

Have a nice weekend. Yours sincerely
, Janko Tietz, Head of Germany/Panorama