Europe

German nationalists mull expulsion over Nazi past comments

  • Bjoern Hoecke, chairman of the Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) in the German state of Thuringia, looks down during a press statement in Erfurt, central Germany, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. AfD leadership has voted to start proceedings that could see the prominent member expelled over comments suggesting that the country end its tradition of acknowledging and atoning for the Nazi past, the party said Monday. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

    Bjoern Hoecke, chairman of the Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) in the German state of Thuringia, looks down during a press statement in Erfurt, central Germany, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. AfD leadership has voted to start proceedings that could see the prominent member expelled over comments suggesting that the country end its tradition of acknowledging and atoning for the Nazi past, the party said Monday. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May 18, 2016 file picture the head of the Alternative for Germany party, AfD, in Thuringia, Bjoern Hoecke, speaks during a rally in Erfurt, eastern Germany. AfD leadership  has voted to start proceedings that could see the prominent member expelled over comments suggesting that the country end its tradition of acknowledging and atoning for the Nazi past, the party said Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer,file)

    FILE - In this May 18, 2016 file picture the head of the Alternative for Germany party, AfD, in Thuringia, Bjoern Hoecke, speaks during a rally in Erfurt, eastern Germany. AfD leadership has voted to start proceedings that could see the prominent member expelled over comments suggesting that the country end its tradition of acknowledging and atoning for the Nazi past, the party said Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer,file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 16, 2016 file photo Bjoern Hoecke, chairman of the Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) in the German state of Thuringia, leads a rally in Erfurt, Germany. AfD leadership  has voted to start proceedings that could see the prominent member expelled over comments suggesting that the country end its tradition of acknowledging and atoning for the Nazi past, the party said Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, file)

    FILE - In this March 16, 2016 file photo Bjoern Hoecke, chairman of the Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) in the German state of Thuringia, leads a rally in Erfurt, Germany. AfD leadership has voted to start proceedings that could see the prominent member expelled over comments suggesting that the country end its tradition of acknowledging and atoning for the Nazi past, the party said Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, file)  (The Associated Press)

The leadership of a German nationalist party leadership has voted to start proceedings that could see a prominent member expelled after he suggested that the country end its tradition of acknowledging and atoning for its Nazi past.

Alternative for Germany said in a statement that party leaders voted by the necessary two-thirds majority Monday to open expulsion proceedings against Bjoern Hoecke, who heads its branch in the eastern state of Thuringia.

It's unclear how high the chances are of Hoecke being expelled. The matter will initially be considered by a party tribunal in his home state.

Hoecke last month said Germany needs to perform a "180-degree turn" when it comes to remembering its past, and said the Berlin memorial to the millions of Jews killed in the Holocaust is a "monument of shame."