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The Alternative for Germany: nazism or populism?

By Thomas Klikauer - posted Thursday, 6 September 2018

when the minister for interior affairs announces, "we will never be able to eliminate all terrorism", the AfD reframes this into "minister can't exclude acts of terrorism".

The AfD's goal is to create the impression that current politics accepts terrorism. A similar case was a news item on a company that has developed a high-tech solution to mosquitoes with the ability to count mosquitos. The AfD converted this into: a company that might also develop a "refugee counting machine". The Nazis used rats.The AfD uses mosquitos. This sort of language indicates one of the first steps towards Nazism. AfD manipulation has never been only targeted towards the press but always also towards AfD members. If mainstream media takes on AfD manipulations, the AfD baths in glory. If not, it is abused as lying press. Repeating AfD messages creates the impression that this is mainstream news. One of the most repeated AfD messages is Merkel has opened the borders! This is nonsense, writes Schreiber, as Germany's borders upended under the Schengen agreement signed in 1985. At that time, Merkel was in the still existing socialist German Democratic Republic engaged in physics. The point for the AfD is that the constant bombardment of AfD messages creates a negative image of Merkel while conjuring up xenophobia.

This leads to the problem of the AfD's party program. It is designed to hide the true goals of the AfD. The program was written in the acute awareness among AfD leaders that our time has not yet arrived! In its party program, for example, the AfD advocates a care subsidy. Inside the AfD, this is known as "kitchen-stove bonus". Its goal is to lock women to the kitchen stove. Officially, the AfD accepts gay people. Inside the AfD, they are abused. The AfD's prime lesbian is Alice Weidel. She is useful and stomached because Weidel represents openness and tolerance. In reality meanwhile, any policy that protects minorities is defamed inside the AfD as lobbyism. The AfD does not support policy on homosexuality nor does it support the Homo-Lobby. For AfD dissident Schreiber, the key question is this:


…why are Nazi crimes such an unbearable fact for the wing (the wing is Björn Höcke's crypto-Nazi wing inside the AfD)? Because facts like invading Poland and the Holocaust are in the way of reaching their dream to establish a new form of National-Socialism.

They honestly believe that Nazism was good, just "the thing with the Jews" (sic!) should have been avoided. Those are some of the core convictions fabricated inside the blue-brown network. Blue is the official color assigned to the AfD while brown is the color of the Nazis. Out of the brown network came Hitler's "Mein-Kampf". Out of the AfD's blue-brown network comes the idea that German people have always engaged in a Kampf, Herman the Cherusker, Prinz Eugen, Lützow, and Albert Leo Schlageter.Schlageter was a leading figure in the fascist Freicorps militia. He became the most revered Nazi mercenary ready to kill the left and whip out the Jews.

Common to the AfD's racist wing is Anti-Semitism on which Schreiber notes, it is undeniable that there was and is Anti-Semitism inside the AfD. Some speak of a Jewish world conspiracy while others believe in the Anti-Semitic Protocols of Zion. There is no other party inside which Anti-Semitism is alive than the AfD. Regional AfD leader Volker Olenicak believes that chancellor Merkel is a Zionist US-agent. He received 33.4% in his local electorate of Bitterfeld (East-Germany). Meanwhile, the AfD's Gunnar Baumgart thinks that not one Jew died from Zyklon B or in gas chambers. Schreiber says these are not isolated incidents. Even in 2017, AfD boss Gauland questioned the existence of Israel saying that nobody needs to talk about the twelve years [of Nazism] anymore; they no longer shape our identity.

Most outspoken is Björn Höcke who is rapidly becoming a cult-figure inside the AfD because many think he is authentic, not interested in a career and not opportunistic. Nonetheless, Höcke's highly choreographed taboo breaking is well calculated. Still, he remains the most trusted politician inside the AfD. Speaking of a thousand years of history and a thousand years of a future conjures up images of Hitler's "1000 year Reich" speeches. Almost every German knows what it means when saying "1000 years". Höcke has never shied away from advocating Nazism's crude biologism. He claims "Africans breed like rats and aphids" – a sap-sucking insect. This is the dehumanizing language of the AfD.

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Franziska Schreiber’s German-language book Inside the AfD is published by Europa Press.

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About the Author

Thomas Klikauer is a German academic who teaches in the MBA course at the University of Western Sydney. He is the author of the forthcoming book The AfD to be published by Sussex University Press in early 2020.

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