Max Otte (*1964) is a CDU lawyer very close to the AfD, who has established a considerable media clout.1 In 2006, Otte published the book "The Crash Comes" (Der Crash kommt), in which he predicted a collapse of the stock markets. When the financial crisis hit in 2007, Otte was celebrated as a economic prophet and became a known commentator on financial topics. Otte sees a planned economy in the monetary policy of the central banks and drew comparisons with the final phase of the GDR.2
Otte is an economist and investment fund manager, who also holds a teaching position as professor for international business administration at the University of Applied Sciences in Worms, and is head of the Cologne-based, privately owned, "Institute for Asset Management" (Institut für Vermögensentwicklung GmbH), which he founded in 2003.
Otte is member of the so-called “ValueUnion” (WerteUnion), a kind of inner-party opposition against the Merkel’s politics based on “traditional” CDU values. Although a CDU member, Otte counts among the early AfD supporters. Already in 2013 he advertised voting for the AfD, for example with a newsletter mail, which carries all the characteristics of future AfD rhetorics.3
I ask you […] to give your vote to the Alternative for Germany on the Sunday election.
The AfD is successfully kept under wraps, and defamed as right-wing. Also massive violence is used against the party. In the course of the so-called Euro rescue, the AfD is the only party that fully upholds the basic law, and thus our constitution, without any ifs or buts. […]
If you want to stop the ‘unbearable breaches of the law’ - a term that a judge at the Federal Constitutional Court privately used in my presence - which are currently taking place in the context of the so-called Euro rescue, vote for the AfD. The Federal Constitutional Court cannot accomplish that alone. The court needs political backing. If you want to see how despicable our current policy is, look at the speech by Sahra Wagenknecht in the Bundestag from December 2012. Nearly 500,000 clicks speak volumes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zgnUgKsHRo
If you are in the constituency of a so-called “Euro Rebel", for example Klaus-Peter Willsch, CDU, Dr. med. Carsten Linnemann, CDU, Frank Schäffler, FDP, or other Euro Rebels in the Bundestag, back this rebel with both votes. I was personally involved in the election campaign for Mr. Willsch and Mr. Schäffler. The AFD needs advocates in the established parties after the election, so that a coalition can come about. It is high time to "avert damage from the German people," as formulated in the oath of office of our Chancellor.
Prof. Dr. Max Otte"
Otte had made headlines in the past with his apocalyptic visions of Germany’s future. He sees democracy "severely restricted", criticizes the current refugee policy, and warns against "censorship-like conditions." In a statement ahead of the festival Otte criticized a "failed social and economic policy," warned of a new Cold War, and called his own party, the CDU, "largely brought into line."4
In 2018 he was the main organizer of the Hambach Festival, revived by CDU and AfD politicians, as well as supporters of the German right. Prominent guests from the German right to far right were present, i.a. AfD leader Jörg Meuthen, Thilo Sarrazin (see above), Joachim Starnbatty, Imad Karim, Markus Krall, Willy Wimmer, and the former CDU politician Vera Lengsfeld.56 Lengsfeld has recently published a joint statement together with several other right-wing intellectuals, amongst them Thilo Sarrazin and Max Otte, which demands an end to Merkel’s immigration policy as well as the “restoration of the constitutional state”. The very short statement reads:7
“With growing bewilderment we observe how Germany is destroyed by illegal mass immigration. We are in solidarity with those who peacefully demonstrate for the rule of law to be restored at the borders of our country.”
Max Otte is treasurer of the Oswald Spengler Society,8 and founder of the Oswald Spengler Prize, which was awarded to Michel Houellebecq in 2018,9 both named after the fascist thinker Oswald Spengler. Although a CDU member, Otte was elected chairman of the AfD-affiliated Desiderius Erasmus Foundation in June 2018.
Although Max Otte is a frequent guest speaker or interview guest for far-right outlets such as eigentümlich frei and various AfD platforms, he was invited as a guest to a political talk show by the public broadcaster ZDF in 2016, where he talked about Brexit being a lucky case for Europe;10 or to ARD’s political talk show “Anne Will” in 2017, where he could express his favorable views of Donald Trump.11
Otte has also appeared on both RT and Sputnik several times as a financial expert.12 On RT Deutsch, Max Otte was just recently interviewed by Jasmin Kosubek in the framework of „The missing part” interview series. Headline of the interview was “Max Otte about Germany: ‘Permanent State of Emergency.’”13
In August 2020, Max Otte took part in a mass demonstration of Corona deniers, among them hardcore neo-Nazis, Reich Citizens (Reichsbürger), Identitarians, anti-vaxxers, adherents to the Qanon conspiracy theory, and other proponents lured into the "crossfront" under an anti-scientific and conspiracist umbrella.15
- 1. Twitter account of Max Otte, https://twitter.com/maxotte_says.
- 2. Christine Heuer, "Lage ist so ernst wie seit Jahrzehnten nicht,” Deutschlandfunk, 14 October 2014,https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/weltwirtschaft-lage-ist-so-ernst-wie-seit-jahrzehnten-nicht.694.de.html?dram:article_id=300211.
- 3. https://www.facebook.com/alternativefuer.de/posts/507846815973461.
- 4. Jan Petter, "Warum heute viele AfD-Anhänger auf einen Berg laufen,” bento, May 5, 2018, http://www.bento.de/today/max-otte-warum-zum-neuen-hambacher-fest-viele-rechte-und-afd-anhaenger-auf-einen-berg-laufen-2351980/.
- 5. "Debatte über Flüchtlingspolitik Bitte nicht beschädigen," Tagesspiegel, April 9, 2018, https://www.tagesspiegel.de/kultur/debatte-ueber-fluechtlingspolitik-bitte-nicht-beschaedigen/21108736.html.
- 6. David Berger, "Von Hambach bis Duisburg: Großes Demo-Wochenende steht bevor," May 4, 2018, https://philosophia-perennis.com/2018/05/04/von-hambach-bis-duisburg-grosses-demo-wochenende-steht-bevor/.
- 7. "Gemeinsame Erklärung," March 15, 2018, https://www.erklaerung2018.de/.
- 8. Oswald Spengler Society, https://www.oswaldspenglersociety.com/the-society.
- 9. Axel Rüth, “Houellebecq & Spengler: Gebärmütter als Hoffnung für das Abendland,” welt.de, 21 October 2018, https://www.welt.de/kultur/literarischewelt/article182459000/Houellebecq-Spengler-Gebaermuetter-als-Hoffnung-fuer-das-Abendland.html.
- 10. “Der Brexit ist ein Glücksfall für Europa Prof. Max Otte bei Markus Lanz” Markus Lanz from 29 June 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MooQ5KsiEPw.
- 11. “Max Otte über Donald Trump,” Anne Will from 5 February, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxijp1SFr_8.
- 12. https://deutsch.rt.com/search?q=%22max+otte%22; https://www.rt.com/search?q=%22max+otte%22, https://de.sputniknews.com/search/?query=%22max+otte.
- 13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGfgmBKNRho.
- 14. “Prof. Otte ‘Wie steht es um Freiheit 2018? Repression, Zensur, Wirtschaftslenkung und Bürokratie’,” Friedrich A. von Hayek-Gesellschaft e.V. on Youtube, 7 December 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=presIivyEeY.
- 15. Marius Buhl, "Liegen die Wurzeln in Stuttgart? Wie aus diffuser Corona-Angst eine Protestbewegung wurde," Der Tagesspiegel, August 31, 2020, https://www.tagesspiegel.de/gesellschaft/liegen-die-wurzeln-in-stuttgart-wie-aus-diffuser-corona-angst-eine-protestbewegung-wurde/26144250.html.