Between snow-draped domes of German architecture masses march with colorful scarfs and jackets, chanting in unison, “Everyone, together, against fascism.” Protests have been raging all around Germany for the past week, calling for the ban of the controversial far-right party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), second-place in national polls, after their clandestine talks with neo-nazis over mass deportation of asylum seekers and after immigrants made their way into the breaking news of the country.
Although AfD denies that it is a right-wing extremist party, however; the German news agency Correctiv recently revealed that AfD has been soliciting money from various far-right businessmen and organizations to launch “a fierce attack on the German constitution itself,” as the agency wrote. Senior figures from AfD, neo-nazi influencers, German Identitarians, sympathetic organizations, two ultra-conservative “WerteUnion” members from Germany’s center-right Christian Democratic Party (CDU), and the party of former-president Angela Merkel all came together on November 25th in a countryside hotel near Potsdam to exchange plans of mass deportation. The hotel's owners have since been exposed to hold right-wing ties. The covert alliance had a simple purpose: The “remigration” of those without German blood and ancestors, regardless of citizenship.
Leading AfD members, whose attendance was confirmed by Correctiv, are the since dismissed advisor to the party’s co-leader and parliamentary chief Alice Weidel, Roland Hartwig, the party’s Potsdam district chair Tim Krause, and the parliamentary group leader for Saxony-Anhalt, Ulrich Siegmund. Alice Wiedel, who has recently preached the UK, calling for a “Dexit” from the EU in its footsteps, distanced herself from the bombshell scoop by parting ways with attendee Roland Hartwig.
This did not stop, however, the hundreds and thousands that have since accumulated into larger masses, flying banners against a return to the 1930s. With thousands creating a fortress around the constitution, the protests have the potential to shape the future of German politics.
Hundred and sixty groups from churches to human rights organizations to pro-asylum groups are now uniting under an umbrella alliance called “Hand in Hand,” which is said to hold possibly the largest rally in Berlin on February 3rd.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been one of the leading politicians who have joined to defy AfD’s ideals. All three parties in Chancellor Scholz’s coalition have been overtaken by the AfD, which is lounging above its opposition with 20 to 23% support, the highest it ever reached. Scholz has attended a “Potsdam fights back” rally of ten thousand strong. Up until his appearance at the rally, he had only shown support verbally. “We won’t allow anyone to distinguish the ‘we’ in our country based on whether someone has an immigration history or not,” he wrote on X.
The denouncing of the AfD has been one of many matters on the legal table, as German authorities are now weighing a possible entry ban on the Austrian founder of the Identitarian Movement, Martin Sellner. The notion has garnered much support and attention from a broad scope of political parties, and consultations with security agencies are still ongoing.
The rallies may have risen as a firewall against the Identitarians, and the neo-nazis and political spectrum may have united against the attendees, but the seeming AfD opposition party is soon to suffer from a major fallout itself. The disclosure of two members has propelled the leader, Hans-Georg Maaßen, of WerteUnion, a conservative grassroots movement within the CDU and its sister party, the CSU, to proclaim the segment’s divergence from the said parties to debut as a separate party, which is open to an alliance with the AfD. Friedrich Merz, head of the CDU, which had been investigating the claims made about the two, has made it sharply clear that the WerteUnion members will have to renounce their party positions to join the new group.
This ground-shaking announcement comes right after Sahra Wagenknecht parted ways with the far-left Die Linke to form a left-wing anti-immigrant party the very same month.
The turmoil has the potential to spark a new, sharp, and strong stance against fascism, but will the German people be able to unite with the rapid fragmentation of the country’s political scene?
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