Björn Höcke, head of the right-wing AfD party in the eastern state of Thuringia, called the memorial in Berlin to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust a "monument of shame" on Tuesday during an event in the city of Dresden.
He told party supporters that no other country would erect such a memorial in its capital and called for Germany to take a "positive" attitude toward its history instead.
Ralf Stegner, a deputy leader of Germany's Social Democrats, took to Twitter accusing Mr. Höcke of delivering an inflammatory speech and demanding "zero influence for the pack of neo-Nazis." Green party chairman Simone Peter called the speech excruciating. "The AfD has to distance itself from it unequivocally and apologize to our Jewish friends," Ms. Peter tweeted.
According to a recent poll by Forsa, support for the AfD is currently at 11 percent and varies highly depending on which region of Germany is surveyed. The poll shows that 18 percent would currently vote for the party in Eastern Germany, 14 percent in Bavaria and 9 percent in the rest of Germany.