28.06.2022, Berlin: Nancy Faeser (SPD), Bundesministerin für Inneres und Heimat, gibt der dpa ein Interview. Foto: Christophe Gateau/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The “Heimat” department in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, which was once created at the insistence of the CSU, is given a new direction under the new host Nancy Faeser. She “rebuilt and strengthened” the department set up under her predecessor Horst Seehofer (CSU), the SPD politician reported in an interview with the German Press Agency. “I turned the homeland department into a department to strengthen our democracy, to prevent any form of extremism and for social cohesion.”

Faeser’s move from the opposition bench in the Hessian state parliament to the head of the Federal Ministry of the Interior came as a surprise: many observers at the time had guessed that today’s Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) was the first woman to hold this office.

For Faeser, too, the call to Berlin came at very short notice in December. “I didn’t have much time to think about it,” said the former leader of the opposition from Hesse. “Olaf Scholz called me on Sundays and on Mondays I was in front of the camera.”

The 51-year-old has not yet responded to speculation that she could leave the cabinet prematurely in order to become the top candidate for the Hessian SPD in 2023. In an interview with the dpa, she emphasized: “I am the Federal Minister of the Interior and Homeland with heart and soul. My full power applies to this office.”

When she took office in December, Faeser named fighting right-wing extremism as a priority. “But I have also experienced other forms of extremism,” said the minister. In the actions against the construction of the Autobahn in the Dannenröder Forest in Hesse, for example, she “turned very sharply against violent left-wing extremism”. “Wires were stretched across the forest, at police officers’ head height.”