Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has had the accusation that he compared climate activists with Nazis rejected. That was “completely absurd,” said deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann on Monday in Berlin.

Climate activist Luisa Neubauer accused Scholz of comparing climate activists to Nazis at the Catholic Day in Stuttgart on Friday. Scholz commented on heckling at a discussion event with the words: “I’ll be honest, these black-clad productions at various events by the same people always remind me of a long time ago, and thank God.”

Government spokeswoman Hoffmann did not answer the question of what time Scholz meant. “The Chancellor’s statements stand for themselves and I will not interpret them here,” she said. “The chancellor made himself very clear.”

However, Hoffmann reiterated the Chancellor’s criticism of the disruptors of the event. “It is of course the case that vehement disruptions to public panel events are not at all a contribution to a substantive discussion. On the contrary, they prevent an objective discourse.”

Scholz had put the Nazi regime into perspective, “and in a paradoxical way also included the climate crisis,” wrote Neubauer on Twitter on Sunday evening. “He stylizes climate protection as an ideology with parallels to the Nazi regime. In 2022. Jesus. It’s such a scandal.”

Scholz had criticized the heckling with reference to targeted disruptive actions in the past, but did not draw a direct Nazi comparison, leaving open what he was referring to.

Both sides seem speechless and helpless to me. The climate protectors get bogged down in aggressive activism, which obviously brings little constructive. And the established politicians are absolutely unable to face up to the new times in terms of content and communication.

His words could also be understood as an allusion to the demolition of events by radicalized student groups in the 1970s, the late period of which he himself had experienced.

An activist had tried to storm the stage during the appearance of the SPD politician, but was prevented from doing so by security forces and led away. Another activist shouted “bullshit” when Scholz was talking about phasing out coal-fired power generation and the jobs that would be lost in opencast mining as a result.

Scholz accused the activists of a “practical acting performance”, “in which you always stage yourself”. “I’ve also been to events, there were five people, dressed the same, everyone had a practiced posture, and (they) do it again every time,” the Chancellor continued.