Alternative für Deutschland: fascists set for return to parliament in Germany

Counterprotest against AfD party convention in 2016. Source: https://nationalism

Germany elects a new parliament and government on 24 September. It seems certain that the CDU will carry the majority, thus continuing the by now 12-year reign of Angela Merkel. The run-up to the election seems dull. But there is a real danger that with the Alternative für Deutschland, fascists could enter the German parliament.

Although there were several times in the Bundesrepublik that fascism has reared its ugly head on a national level (we've just remembered the pogrom of Lichtenhagen, which took place 25 years ago), the presence of such a far right party in this strength in the Bundestag is unprecedented.

The Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany, AfD) is a relatively new, but over the span of 4 years it has undergone a development from (neo-)liberal to far right similar to the Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ), only much faster. It is, however, important to emphasize that the far right element was a core part of the AfD from its beginning, although it has only openly taken over in 2015.

The History of the AfD, 2013-15
The Alternative für Deutschland was established in Berlin in 2013, out of a group that had called itself Wahlalternative 2013 (Election Alternative 2013, WA13) and had tried to cooperate with Freie Wähler-groups. These are usually right-to-centre liberal groups that don't form parties, but election slates and factions in communal parliaments.

In the beginning, the AfD presented itself mainly as an anti-Euro party: its central demand was a return to the D-Mark, and its main appeal came from the group of academic economists that brought the weight of their supposed expertise with them. Even before the establishment of the WA13, they had opposed the German government's push to save Greece and the banks via the European Safety Mechanism (ESM); this, they criticized, was a subsidization of poorer southern European countries by Germany – although in reality, it was self-preservation, as most of the money was used to pay debts owed to German banks and companies. They demanded the dissolution of the Eurozone and a control of what they called "cession of sovereignty rights" – i.e. any decision that would give the EU more power over national governments – through referenda.

This might seem a surprising change from the general support German capital gave Angela Merkel and the EU, but it becomes less surprising when we look closer at who threw themselves behind this new project. It was a faction of capital that consisted of family-owned enterprises, i.e., those in which more than half of shares are controlled by one person or family. The Stiftung Familienunternehmen (Foundation of family-owned businesses, SF) and Die Familienunternehmer (another, similar organisation) supported the WA13, as well as the AfD. This pitted them against theBundesverband der deutschen Industrie (Federal Association of German Industry, BDI), the largest lobby organisation of German industrial capital, which has profited enormously from the abolition of tariffs inside the EU. The SF, on the other hand, is an organisation which represents rich, industry-owning families eager to uphold their inherited wealth and social status. Most of these companies sell to a regional or national market, and are invested in keeping global conglomerates out of it. Thus, not only do they pursue a protectionist and nationalistic economic policy, but they also promote reactionary ideas about family and society.1 Although both organisations have distanced themselves from the AfD after its shift further to the right, there are still indirect connections to their more reactionary members, especially through the Friedrich-August-von-Hayek Society and the foundation of the same name.2

In February 2013, the economist Bernd Lucke3 announced that the Board of the WA13 would establish a new party and called for all "Anti-Euro forces" to join. Not all did – many of the more centrist Freie Wähler groups and other small anti-Euro parties found the WA13 and its plans too far to the right. The result was, of course, that the more right-wing "Euroskeptic" individuals and groups condensed in the new party. The political scientist Sebastian Friedrich claims in his recent publication4 that it was Lucke who opened the party to the extreme right after a disappointing election result in the federal election 2013, just falling short of the 5% they needed to enter the Bundestag. But there has been a strong far right element in the AfD since its establishment. Although Lucke and another prominent economist, Hans-Olaf Henkel,5 left the AfD in a widely publicized move in 2015 and sharply criticized the new direction the party was taking, nationalist and chauvinist elements have been integral to the party platform from its inception.

The party had its first successes during the elections for the European parliament (7 MPs) and German communal elections in 2014. It also managed to move into three state parliaments with low double-digit percentages later that year. The party veered finally to the right when the members elected Frauke Petry6 and Jörg Meuthen (another economics professor) as their spokesmen, effectively leading to Lucke leaving the party (Henkel had split earlier). Petry (as the first spokeswoman) represented those parts of the party who wanted closer cooperation with the growing racist and antiislamic "Pegida"-Movement ("Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes" – Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the Occident, see below). Before this split of the most prominent representatives of the neoliberal wing, two heads of state parliamentary AfD-factions (Björn Höcke – Thuringia and André Poggenburg – Saxony-Anhalt) established a reactionary wing with a manifesto (the so-called "Erfurter Resolution") that described the AfD as a reaction against recent progressive cultural politics. Following the split, Petry became the face of the party and significantly influenced its populist politics. But the proximity to Pegida has also led many far-right groups in Germany to join the party and try to influence its platform.

The Ideology of the AfD
In this first phase, the ideological core of the party congealed. It consists of six main elements, which are represented in the party across the neoliberal, national-conservative and völkisch factions or personal networks: classism, racism, authoritarianism, antifeminism, antisemitism and völkisch ideology.
Journalists and academics used to debate the question whether the AfD can be called fascist or völkisch-nationalist. By now, however, the virulent racism and open veneration for the völkisch movement, as well as ties to "New Right" groups such as the Identitarian movement, have answered the question: it might not be a fascist movement in the historic sense, but it nevertheless uses the usual dogwhistles of the "New Right" – not openly celebrating National Socialism, but using the ideology, tactics and symbolism of the multitude of völkisch groups, as well as the so-called "conservative revolution."

The best description of the AfD's ideology comes from sociologist Andreas Kemper, who says the core political belief of the party is that of inequality: they believe in inequality between the classes, between the races and between men and women. The three dimensions of inequality are associated with the three overlapping groups that formed the party in 2013.7

Classism
The AfD is has a strong aversion to most of the achievements of the German social system. In fact, the parts of its platform dealing with social issues are so harsh that the journalist Enno Park, after comparing it to that of the far-right NPD, declared it "further to the right" than the latter, a party that recently just narrowly escaped being banned as anti-constitution.8 This is because the openly neo-Nazi NPD at least grants those who they deem ethnic Germans some social programs, whereas the AfD demands a flat tax, the complete abolition of unemployment insurance, further liberalization of the labour market, wants to link insurance premiums to personal health data and is against the minimum wage. It's the party of Social Darwinism for all.

This program brings it close to certain factions of German capital: the Familienunternehmen on the one hand, who support protectionism, but are very fine with other neoliberal policies – especially concerning further restriction of workers' rights; and real estate companies, who would like to roll back Germany's strong tenants' rights. Representatives of both these groups have campaigned for the AfD.9

The völkisch wing, unsurprisingly, prefers a more corporatist programme that combines some paternalistic social programs (for who they deem ethnic Germans) with yellow unions. Some local leaders have already established (not very successful) yellow unions. It's as yet not clear which of these concepts will prevail in the party.

Racism
In 2010, the social democratic politician Thilo Sarrazin wrote the book "Deutschland schafft sich ab" (Germany abolishes itself), in which he used racist eugenic theories and skewed demographic data similar to the infamous "Bell Curve" to argue that the "German people", because the lower classes and immigrants have more children, would become increasingly less intelligent over time. Through a savvy media strategy, it became hugely successful, drowning out scientific falsifications and engendering a debate so big that pundits talked about the potential in Germany for a "Sarrazin party".10 Some of this potential has been integrated into the AfD. This also puts it closer to the "Pegida" movement, with AfD politicians less and less willing to distance themselves. Sarrazin's elitist pseudo-scientific racism and Pegida's Islamophobia are important elements in AfD ideology.

Authoritarianism/Elitism
One of the ideological elements that united the three factions of the AfD (neoliberal, national-conservative and völkisch) before the split was its elitism. This was first expressed in how the AfD tapped into widespread mistrust of politicians and technocratic ideology by declaring themselves a party of economic "experts", who had the knowledge and determination to find solutions that politics was not interested in.
The social base of the AfD (see below) is especially susceptible to authoritarian politics. Since its technocratic beginnings, the party has embraced a more open authoritarian platform, but some of its current leading candidates for the parliament still incorporate it into their political persona. Given that the scientific racism of Sarrazin also heavily relied on someone telling "an uncomfortable truth" against "unscientific" political correctness, and that he claimed to show that not only immigrants, but lower social groups in general have a lower IQ, the connection between technocratic libertarianism and openly racist authoritarianism becomes clearer. The party platform exhibits a ruthless ideology of competition, a belief in the free market and far-reaching deregulation and tax reductions that are comparable to Tea Party-style libertarianism. It also exhibits a similar veneration for entrepreneurs, claiming that if the state hinders them as little as possible in their pursuit of profit, society as a whole will benefit.

Elitism is also prevalent in the political and social ideas of the party. Henkel has repeatedly demanded a "reform of the political decision-making system", i.e. basically disenfranchising parts of the electorate through procedural means to prevent the left from taking power. On of the party leaders, Beatrix von Storch, has for a long time been active in circles to reinstate the old Prussian nobility's lands east of the Elbe.11

Homophobia, Antifeminism and Christian Fundamentalism
The AfD has a strong Christian fundamentalist element in the party. Most influential here is Beatrix von Storch, who has been extremely active in evangelical circles for the last twenty years. Von Storch, through her NGO network "Zivile Koalition e.V." (Civic Coalition, ZK), has lobbied for a reactionary family policy that discriminates against non-heterosexual and non-monogamous partnership and encourages "Germans" to have more kids to counter a perceived "shrinking" of the ethnically German population. Under the roof of the ZK, an initiative headed by Hedwig von Beverfoerde organised the first "Demo für alle" in Germany in 2014 ("Demo for all", after the shortly successful "Manif pour tous" in France), a series of antifeminist and homophobic Christian fundamentalist demonstrations against abortion rights and more inclusive syllabi in sex ed classes. The so-called Lebensschutz (protection of life) movement has many personal ties to the party on the regional level and tries to lobby the party to adopt its Christian fundamentalist, misogynist and homophobic worldview into the official party platform. The demonstrations unite fundamentalist, "pro-life" Christians with völkisch Neonazis who see women's control over their own bodies as damaging ethnic German's reproduction rates. Similar connections are to be found in the AfD; for example, Frauke Petry has said that the German abortion paragraph needs to be more restrictive in order to prevent the "extinction of the German people" and demanded mandatory three kids per woman.12

Other positions of the party include opposition to quotas, gender mainstreaming, and general polemicising against "political correctness". The party is also connected to ultracatholic networks operating in Europe, which aim at "re-evangelising" an increasingly secular Europe. Although not all can agree on the Christian fundamentalism, antifeminism is increasingly described as an ideology that unites many different groups on the extreme right: petty-bourgeois "men's rights activists" with national conservatives, evangelical Christians and the New Right.13

Antisemitism
Antisemitism as a part of the mindset of AfD members came to the attention of the public in a scandal involving the AfD faction in the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg. In March 2016, elections in 3 states swept 61 new members (most of them belonging to the right wing of the party) into parliaments in Western Germany. It came to the media's attention that one of Baden-Württemberg's freshly elected Landtag members, Wolfgang Gedeon, had been publishing openly antisemitic books, alleging, among others, that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were a real document and calling German commemoration of the Holocaust a "civil religion" and Holocaust deniers "dissidents". The party reacted weakly, trying to have their cake – not forcing open conflict with a sizeable part of its local cadres and base – and eat it too – i.e., avoid being branded as an antisemitic party. Although Gedeon was stripped of his positions in the local party grouping in Konstanz, he had such a strong support amongst AfD Landtag members that he remained in the AfD faction following a – temporary and cosmetic - split.

The Gedeon scandal is only the most public instance of antisemitism in the AfD; several local cadres have defended Holocaust deniers, have published antisemitic caricatures (including, only recently, a photoshopped image of social democratic chancellor candidate Martin Schulz with a slightly more hooked nose and fleshier lips) and alleged that the Central Council of Jews in Germany had "political control" over Germany and the German public. Frauke Petry has tried to counter the recent scandal around the Schulz picture by asserting that the AfD is a "guarantor of jewish life in Germany" in reference to the party's anti-Muslim stance. Some have called this "instrumental solidarity with Israel"14 – a post-2001 phenomenon in the European far-right, most openly endorsed by Geert Wilders and the Sweden Democrats, who use their "solidarity with Israel" as a legitimation for their anti-islamic racism. The political scientist Samuel Salzborn consequently remarked that while the AfD, in its programmatic statements, is not an openly antisemitic party, it is a "party for anti-semites."15

"Völkisch" Ideology
Following the Gedeon scandal, the party saw its first power struggle between the (relatively) more realpolitik faction around Frauke Petry and the so-called Patriotische Plattform ("Patriotic Platform"), a grouping of the most right-wing members of the party. This conflict now has escalated into one that might split the party again, moving the main group even more to the right. The "Patriotic Platform", together with a group called simply "the wing" (Der Flügel) is the group in the party strongly connected to the so-called "new right" in Germany, a collection of think tanks and media that seeks to bridge the divide between right-wing conservatives and the far right. The PP has now grown powerful enough to challenge the party leadership. Its positions, and those of Der Flügel, are best described as völkisch.

The intranslatable term völkisch refers to radical nationalist political and cultural organisations that developed in the German Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic. These groups were obsessed with an alleged Germanic or nordic culture that had been suppressed since the spread of Christianity. They associated the German nation with the Germanic tribes of ancient history, projecting modern identities back into the past. The Erfurt Resolution describes the AfD as a representative not of its voters, but of "our Volk". It was initiated in 2015 by André Poggenburg, who is now a member of the federal party executive, and is the document the PP and Der Flügel both refer to.

The most prominent representative of the völkisch wing is Björn Höcke, chairman of the AfD in Thuringia and party whip in the state's Landtag. The historian and schoolteacher Höcke came to the attention of a wider media public in January 2017 after giving a speech in which he complained about the "monument of shame in the heart of our capital", referring to the Holocaust remembrance site in Berlin, demanded a "180-degree turn in our politics of memory" and compared the allied bombings of German cities to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, declaring them to be an effort to "rob us of our collective identity", to "wipe us out root and branch", and that the effort continued with allied "re-education" after 1945.16 All these notions are widely used in the fascist and neocon German far right, which Höcke has repeatedly given interviews to; he has also long-standing connections to prominent figures of the German new right. Over the last year, more and more indications have surfaced that Höcke was writing neonazi screeds in the far-right press under the pseudonym "Landolf Ladig", including another party member recounting that Höcke openly admitted it to a third person.17

In any case, Höcke has never minced words, and many experts have warned of his ideological leanings for the last two years. Currently, Höcke keeps himself out of the spotlight, while Alexander Gauland,18 by now one of the two party speakers, plays the classic far right game of provocation and (partial) retraction in the TV talkshows with a little more sophistication.

Social Base, polls and election results
The social base of the AfD is constituted less of blue-collar workers and the unemployed, but rather the German petty bourgeoisie – civil servants, small businesspeople, white-collar and skilled blue-collar workers. In 2015, AfD voters were predominantly men with above average earnings and above average education that were skilled workers or self-employed, and younger than 45.In 2016, the voter base increased in size and categories, now encompassing more women – although 2/3 are still men – and people with average education. Although statistics show it has gained among the unemployed and workers, a closer look shows the "workers" to be mostly craftsmen and skilled industrial workers. The unemployment rate in Germany is so low that even small gains in that voter group look big if expressed in percentiles. The (self-)description of the AfD as the party of "the little man" is thus not really accurate; its voters mostly stem from the middle class and lower middle class. Before the split, it attracted voters from all other parties; although this is still the case, it now has a new important voter base in ex-nonvoters. It has also become a new option for people who voted for the NPD and other right-wing extremist parties, because it similarly speaks to them, but has higher chances of success.

An important boost to the AfD after its split in 2015 came from the Pegida movement. This sprang up in the winter of 2014, in the wake of the so-called "migrant crisis". After Merkel opened the German borders to refugees from Syria and Irak, they were initially welcomed by many Germans, who until today have volunteered to help out with food and shelter, as well as legal assistance. This welcoming mood turned in the winter, when Pegida was established and started a counteroffensive, collecting all those who feared "Islam" under one roof. Starting in Dresden, it has since expanded to other cities, with some significant local differences. Although the attention and mobilisation has since dwindled, other, smaller local groups have taken it upon themselves to protest Merkel's policies and the erection of local asylum centers. The party has shown a two-faced approach to Pegida, alternating between distance and cooperation. But Pegida marchers are very likely to see the AfD as the parliamentary representation of if not the movement, at least its central demands.

In the last two years, the AfD has gained seats in more and more state parliaments in Germany. It is now represented in ten of 16 state parliaments and regularly approaches between 10 and 25% in polls for state elections. This potential remains even now, after the rift, though it has sunken from 14% (in 2016) to 9% in the nationwide polls. Together with Pegida, the AfD shows the significant slant in German politics and society toward authoritarianism and racism – a trend which sociologists have described for a long time, but which has now left the realm of a constant undercurrent of German political discourse to come out in the open. This is not the first time since 1945 this has happened, but it is stronger than before.

The party in 2017 and the upcoming Bundestagswahl
Today, the völkisch wing has basically won over. The new leaders are Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel. Weidel is supposed to represent the "moderate" wing (she voted for the expulsion of Höcke from the party), but her liberalism is purely economic, and is combined with a ruthlessly anti-islamic racism.
The conflicts are more complicated – Frauke Petry and another cadre, Jörg Meuthen, both nominally representatives of the not-so-far-right faction, can't stand each other and have both used every possibility in the past to try and get rid of the other and their supporters. Meuthen used to be counted amongst the "moderates", but has since shown his open support for the group around Höcke and Gauland, ideologically and in person. Höcke is not the uncontested leader of the völkisch wing either – he's just the most public representative of Der Flügel. There are others inside Der Flügel who, for now, cooperate, but could easily become contenders for leading positions; and then there's the Patriotic Platform. The real winner of this last conflict seems to be Alexander Gauland, who kept in the background during the Höcke scandal and positioned himself, while supporting Höcke, to be the one who unites the party. He is the one who proposed Alice Weidel as second leader and got the völkisch faction to accept her. Gauland has profited extremely from the whole conflict, successfully presented himself as a moderator who wasn't a part of either group, but he has proven since then how close he is to the völkisch ideology of Höcke. He is, however, more media-savvy, and plays the old game of provoking scandal like the political pro he is.

Weidel is a really interesting figure in the party. An economist who earned her Ph.D. with an analysis of the Chinese pension system, she returned from six years work in China in 2012 to immediately throw herself into Anti-Euro activism. She's involved in the party since its establishment, and is seen as one of the moderates and original "expert" founders. She's also living in a same-sex partnership with two sons; both her partner and the kids are POC. This seems like the absolute nightmare family for a party that aggressively works against giving anyone the choice to live in non-traditional, interracial families. Weidel doesn't seem to care that her colleague in the party leadership, Beatrix von Storch, openly states that she "despises" a culture that encourages LGBT people to live openly; asked, she states she can separate politics and her private life. All of this still makes Weidel the "nicer", more modern face of the party; her ruthless Hayekian neoliberalism counts as "moderate" in these circumstances.

Although she tries to focus on her speciality – economics – in her public appearances, she doesn't hold back on her anti-Islamic racism, especially on Facebook, where she agitates against refugees, shares racist lies about criminality rates and more. She currently campaigns for her election to parliament together with Markus Frohnmaier, the leader of the party's youth organisation. In these appearances, Frohnmaier takes up the part of racist hate speech with made-up statistics, while Weidel whines about repression of "free speech" and acts as the economic expert. From my own experience, however, her economic speeches consist mostly of confused elaborations on why the Euro is bad and weird fetishization of the D-Mark and cash money. Her audiences, however, are seemingly flattered by an "expert" confirming their confused fetishization of the D-Mark (and also Gold).

Many observers have rejoiced at the party's internal conflicts, especially since they've resulted in rapidly dropping polling numbers. Before the conflict, the party reached 13-14% in polls, potentially making it the third-strongest parliamentary faction. The latest poll shows it at between 7 and 11%.19
But this doesn't mean the danger has passed. On the level of the Länder (the states), local extremist factions have managed to enter parliaments. In Thuringia, the state party (chaired by Björn Höcke) won 10,6% in 2014; in Saxonia-Anhalt, another völkisch faction under André Poggenburg has entered the state parliament in 2016 with 24,3% as the second largest party. In the recent elections in Saarland, considered an indicator of the Bundestagswahl in September, many were relieved to see the AfD just making the cut with 6% (more than 5% are needed in Germany to enter parliaments); but the Saarland local party is one of the most right-wing in the AfD, so extremist, in fact, that the federal leadership considered expelling the whole Landesverband from the AfD long before the conflict with Höcke. Thus, even though the party now is much more openly racist and völkisch, it seems certain that it will enter the German federal parliament. This is unprecedented in German politics after 1945. The NPD itself once managed to come close in 1969, nearly entering the Bundestag with 4.3% of votes; but since then, parties like it never really had a chance to go beyond being represented in a few state parliaments at the most. The AfD has managed what its its predecessors, the NPD and Die Republikaner, have not: it unites the whole spectrum of political leanings to the right of the established parties, from right wing conservatives to the extreme far-right.

This shows the real danger underlying the advance of the AfD. It is a symptom of a significant move to the right in German politics, which brings to the fore an authoritarianism in German society that was always there, but has long been hedged in by the mainstream parties, as well as relative wealth and global political power. In recent years, German public discourse has increasingly veered to the right. Big debates around Sarrazin, the anti-feminism and Nazi apologia of a prominent ex-news anchor or the rediscovery of Nietzsche by a well-known public philosopher and dean of a prestigious art school have moved the limits of public discourse much farther to the right since 2010. The crisis of the Eurozone in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the so-called "refugee crisis" in 2015 did the rest to mobilise large parts of the petty bourgeoisie to look for a political home outside of the mainstream parties. The core of their ideology of inequality will remain even if the AfD doesn't.

  • 1. Heine, Frederic/Thomas Sablowski. 2013. Die Europapolitik des deutschen Machtblocks und ihre Widersprüche: Eine Untersuchung der Positionen deutscher Wirtschaftsverbände zur Eurokrise, Berlin: Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, https://www.rosalux.de/publikation/id/7138/die-europapolitik-des-deutschen-machtblocks-und-ihre-widersprueche (last accessed 08.09.2017)
  • 2. Both are personally connected to both the AfD and "Die Familienunternehmer". Cf. Friedrich, Sebastian. 2016. Chefsache AfD: Der Kontakt zwischen AfD und »mittelständischen Unternehmen« wird wieder enger, http://www.sebastian-friedrich.net/?p=562 (last accessed 04.03.2017)
  • 3. Bernd Lucke is a professor for macroeconomics at the University of Hamburg. He is currently on leave since the start of his political activities. Since leaving the AfD after a conflict with the party's right wing, he has started a new party, which has been very unsuccessful in elections.
  • 4. Friedrich, Sebastian. 2017. Die AfD. Analysen – Hintergründe – Kontroversen. Berlin: Betz + Fischer, 51f.
  • 5. Henkel used to be a prominent figure in German politics and in the talkshows. He's an ex-IBM-manager and longtime president of the lobbying group Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (Federal Association of German Industry, BDI). Henkel had for a long time worked with the "Freie Wähler" to further his political goals.
  • 6. Petry is a graduate chemist who, after a short academic career, had gone on to found a company producing a new kind of polyurethane plastic, which was declared bankrupt in 2013 and taken over by a consortium. Since then, she has concentrated on her political career.
  • 7. Andreas Kemper: AfD – Partei der Ungleichheit, presentation held at Rosa-Luxemburg Stiftung: Lokale Strategien und Handlungsmöglichkeiten gegen Rechts - Vernetzungstagung zur Förderung der zivilgesellschaftlichen Bündnis- und Netzwerkarbeit gegen Rechts in Niedersachsen, Celle, 26.-27.06. 2016.
  • 8. Enno Park: Warum die AfD schlimmer ist als die NPD, http://www.ennomane.de/2016/03/14/warum-die-afd-schlimmer-ist-als-die-npd/ (last accessed: 08.01.17). The NPD has bled votes and members to the AfD, which has managed to show a more "respectable" face to the public while offering racists and neonazis a new home.
  • 9. Friedrich, Sebastian. 2017. 'Noch nicht abgeschrieben: die AfD und die Wirtschaft', in: Der Rechte Rand 164, 10-11.
  • 10. Sarrazin himself is still a member of the Social Democratic Party.
  • 11. von Storch is a lawyer and longtime political activist. Together with her husband Sven, she started in the 1990s to build up ultra-conservative networks concerned with reinstating the old estates of the nobility that had been dispossessed by the Soviets in Eastern Germany after the war, with fighting against gay marriage and abortion rights, as well as with promoting neoliberal economics and a return to the D-Mark and nationalist monetary policy. She is well connected with groups and media of the so-called "New Right" in Germany, and with the US "Alt-Right", including writing for breitbart.com; cf. http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/08/06/exclusive-afds-beatrix-von-storch-the-eu-should-be-a-fortress-against-illegal-migration/ (last accessed 22.04.2017).
  • 12. Quoted in: Siri, Jasmin. 2016. Geschlechterpolitische Positionen der Partei Alternative für Deutschland, in: Häusler, Alexander (ed.): Die Alternative für Deutschland: Programmatik, Entwicklung und politische Verortung, Wiesbaden, 69-80, 75.
  • 13. Ibid.
  • 14. cf. http://www.hagalil.com/2017/04/afd-fpoe (last accessed 20.04.2017)
  • 15. Salzborn, Samuel: Zugeraunter Wahn, in: taz, 10.10.2016; http://www.taz.de/!5346882/ (last accessed 20.04.2017)
  • 16. documented in Tagesspiegel Online, 19.01.2017: http://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/hoecke-rede-im-wortlaut-gemuetszustand-eines-total-besiegten-volkes/19273518.html (last accessed 20.04.2017)
  • 17. cf. Kemper, Andreas: Zur Konstruktion eines zweiten 'Landolf Ladig', https://andreaskemper.org/2017/04/19/zur-konstruktion-eines-zweiten-landolf-ladig/ (last accessed 20.04.2017)
  • 18. Gauland is a longtime conservative career politician and ex-publisher of a regional newspaper in Eastern Germany. He had established a right-wing group inside the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), but gave up trying to steer the CDU to the right after it became clear that Angela Merkel had asserted her centrist course definitively in the party.
  • 19. Sonntagsfrage, 08.09. 2017, http://www.wahlrecht.de/umfragen/index.htm (last accessed 08.09.2017)

Comments

CheshireDave
Sep 9 2017 12:23

Just a small correction: the election is on the 24. not the 27.

RobH
Sep 9 2017 14:28

Oops, sorry. Corrected it.

Entdinglichung
Sep 11 2017 14:11

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/16/europe/germany-afd-campaign-tweet-switzerland/index.html

Quote:
It's an embarrassing error for any political party to make, let alone a nationalist one. On Monday, a branch of Germany's far-right AfD (Alternatives for Germany) tweeted a picture of a mountain landscape with the headline "Our program for Germany" and a call to action: "Take your country back."
Just one problem -- the mountain is the Matterhorn and it's in Switzerland.
no1
Sep 11 2017 15:04
Entdinglichung wrote:
Quote:
it's in Switzerland.

Heim ins Reich - but more ambitious

Khawaga
Sep 12 2017 15:03

Gotta have that Lebensraum.