Gauland was born in 1941 in Chemnitz, a city that became part of East Germany in 1949 and was renamed Karl-Marx-Stadt, and after graduating from high school in 1959, he fled to West Germany. He studied political science and law at Marburg, where he also received his doctorate.
In 1972 Gauland entered the Federal Press Office and worked as the Director of the Office of the Mayor of Frankfurt am Main for 10 years.
Afterwards he became the head of a department of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety in Bonn and Member of the Hessian Prime Minister´s cabinet.
From 1991–2006 worked as an editor of the local newspaper Märkische Allgemeine in Potsdam.
On the morning of 25 March 2010 German Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly assured that there would be no direct financial aid to Greece, but reverted that statement hours later by agreeing with the leaders of the euro states to send the first of many "rescue packages" to Greece. Gerd Robanus, Assessor in the Federal Executive of the CDU-Business Association cited this as the reason for founding the "Election Alternative 2013" together with Alexander Gauland, Konrad Adam and Bernd Lucke.
In February 2014 Gauland received about 80 percent of the vote during an Extraordinary National Congress in Diedersdorf, becoming chairman of the Brandenburg County Association of the right-wing Alternative for Germany.
The AfD earned a voting share of 12.2 percent in the Brandenburg state election, 2014 for the first time. On Tuesday, 10 July 2014 Gauland opened the inaugural session of the Landtag of Brandenburg:
As part of this speech, after quoting Edmund Burke, Gauland wished the other members of parliament "all the strength and the courage, to tackle the tasks now ahead of them, in the interest of the voters and in the interest of the common good".
Before becoming an AfD founding member Gauland was member of the CDU. In 2012 Gauland became involved in the Berliner Kreis ("Berlin circuit"), a loose association of federal and state politicians within the CDU, which has been trying for years to make the CDU conservative again, because they consider that under Angela Merkel's leadership it has moved away from these ideals.
Alexander Gauland said he can not detect any right-wing extremists or radicals at the PEGIDA-Demonstrations. Gauland said: "I do not see right-wing extremists. I see citizens who demonstrate out of concern about developments in Germany, who are afraid. But I haven't seen any right-wing extremists, and we are not the allies of the right-wing extremists, but we are the allies of the people who have these concerns."
In May 2016, Gauland reportedly made comments about Bayern Munich and German national team footballer Jérôme Boateng in a conversation with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS, Sunday edition of Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper). FAS cited Gauland, "people like him [Boateng] as a footballer, but they don't want to have a Boateng as a neighbour". A controversy arose about this sentence. Gauland defended himself, saying he was fooled by the newspaper and it had been a background discussion, which was classified as confidential and thus not intended for publication. The newspaper refuted this. Gauland added that the effect of the statement – which in his words was meant descriptive – was distorted by the headline of the newspaper, "Gauland insults Boateng" ("Gauland beleidigt Boateng"). The newspaper had no audio recording of the statement, but independently written memos of two journalists. While Boateng himself said he was "saddened" by the statement of Gauland, the German federal government said it was "a vile and sad sentence" ("ein niederträchtiger und ein trauriger Satz"). But also the FAS was criticised for making "mistakes".
In September 2017, a video emerged of Gauland in which he said that Germany should "be proud of" its soldiers in both world wars and people should no longer "reproach" Germans for World War Two. He was quoted as saying: "If the French are rightly proud of their emperor and the Britons of Nelson and Churchill, we have the right to be proud of the achievements of the German soldiers in two world wars". In response, Germany's justice minister tweeted that the statements showed that Gauland's AfD was on the extreme right.
He is the AfD's federal spokesman and state chairman of Brandenburg.
Gauland's life companion Carola Hein is editor of a local newspaper, the Märkische Allgemeine.Gauland, Alexander (1973). "Die Völkerrechtliche Souveränität im Fall der Aufnahme von Staaten in die UNO.". Die Öffentliche Verwaltung.
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