German nationalist lawmaker excluded from Holocaust services

The leader of the nationalist Alternative for Germany party in Thuringia was turned away from two Holocaust Remembrance Day events in protest of his recent suggestion that Germany should end its tradition of acknowledging and atoning for its Nazi past.

Bjoern Hoecke and other AfD lawmakers left the state parliament Friday after they were told a commemoration would not proceed with them present, the dpa news agency reported.

The AfD called its exclusion a "serious violation of parliamentary practices."

Hoecke had already been told he was also not welcome at a separate event at the Buchenwald concentration camp memorial, and was turned away when he showed up anyway.

Hoecke last week called Berlin's Holocaust memorial a "monument of shame" and said Germany should take a "positive" attitude toward its history.