In 2017, the AfD (Alternative for Germany) shocked Europe by winning 94 seats in the Bundestag, becoming the first elected political party in postwar Germany to come from the far right. Four years later, the party was placed under observation as a suspected far-right extremist group that poses a real threat to German democracy. But despite its recent terrible election results and internal divisions, the AfD doesn’t need to win elections to be dangerous. How did it come to this?
Angela Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders in 2015 to nearly two million refugees and migrants turned the AfD from an obscure fringe party into a powerful xenophobic far-right force. Reports of assaults and rapes committed on New Year’s Eve 2015 by gangs of migrant delinquents boosted their popularity and in 2017 they shattered the German taboo of no far right parties in the Bundestag. Former journalist, polemicist, Michael Klonovski, AFD candidate, often compared to Eric Zemmour, agreed to let our cameras follow him during the last days of his campaign in Chemnitz. In recent years a string of violent hate crimes committed by people close to neo-Nazi circles, including the murder of a pro-immigration politician, has made the AfD too toxic for most people. However, it has left an indelible mark on the German political system.
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