Court Rules: AfD Meeting at Historic Munich Beer Hall Must Be Held

MUNICH -- (MunichNOW News) -- According to a recent report from Deutsche Welle, the historic Hofbräukeller in the heart of Munich was forced go ahead with a planned party event hosted by the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD), the German court ruled. The hall proprietor claimed concern for the famous hall's reputation and security.

The ruling came down as a result of action taken by the beer cellar's manager, Ricky Steinberg, when he broke the leasing agreement with the AfD recently. The right wing populist party has reserved the renowned beer hall for a party gathering there on the coming weekend.

"I fear for the reputation of the Hofbräukeller and the security," Steinberg said when canceling the event.

In response, the AfD filed a complaint against the beer hall, threatening a five-figure claim in damages if the contract was not upheld. The party argued that the lease was completely legal and a deposit of 6,100 euros (almost $7,000) had already been paid. Citing the contract, Munich's state court on Thursday ruled that the party's meeting would go ahead and it did.

All the fuss proved anti-climatic as the meeting came off with nary a problem other than a few scuffles outside. The heavy rain that night and the police presence surly contributed to the calmer than expected atmosphere.

The right-wing populist party has seen a surge in support in recent months, with opinion polls suggesting that the AfD now holds 12 to 14 percent of public support nationwide. Their strong gains have coincided with the so-called refugee crisis and renewed debate on Islam in Germany in much of the country. The AfD now holds seats in eight of the country's 16 state parliaments - and looks on course to claim national representation in next year's general elections.

The AfD's meeting at the famous Munich beer hall won't be the first time that the right-wing scene has made an appearance there. In 1919, Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler made his first political speech at the Hofbräukeller.
Today, however, the restaurant is a popular eatery for locals and tourists alike, thanks to its offering of traditional Bavarian food, beer selection and interior design.

Photos: munichFOTO
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