At the beginning of January 2022, the right-wing weekly newspaper “Junge Freiheit” initiates a campaign against the Interior Minister, Nancy Faeser, because she had written a commentary in the magazine “antifa” in the past, the paper of the “Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes – Bund der Antifaschist*innen”. The tabloid BILD, the magazine Cicero and the newspaper “Die Welt” jump on the right-wing campaign, as well as the extreme right-wing party AfD and the conservative party CDU. The CDU even requested a topical hour for February 17, 2022 in the Bundestag on, among other things, “…and publication of government members in magazines of left-wing extremist influenced organizations.” (German: https://www.bundestag.de/dokumente/textarchiv/2022/kw07-de-aktuelle-stunde-strassenblockade-881044)
In Fulda the police found dozens of weapons (firearms, ammunition, flares, cutting, stabbing and thrusting weapons, such as brass knuckles, daggers, knives and camouflaged stun guns and Nazi memorabilia) in the former home of a 37-year-old man during a house search in early February 2022. (German: https://www.ffh.de/nachrichten/hessen/osthessen/297016-fulda-dutzende-waffen-in-wohnung-sichergestellt.html)
On February 7, 2022, the neo-Right publicist Günter Maschke, born in 1943, died in Frankfurt/Main. He was a follower of the constitutional lawyer Carl Schmitt and used to defend the dictatorship of Hitler in the beginning of his career path. (German: https://www.spiegel.de/kultur/guenter-maschke-nachruf-von-ganz-links-nach-ganz-rechts-a-2f9a106e-9555-4b73-858f-e769bf4e3d51)
On February 11, 2022, Telegram blocked 64 channels due to pressure from the German government. The government threatened the company with fines of up to 55 million Euros. The channels of the anti-Semite Attila Hildmann were affected. (German: https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/telegram-kanaele-sperrung-1.5527255)
On February 11, 2022, the federal police in North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) prevented the departure of three extreme right-wingers to Bulgaria to participate in the fascist Lukov March. (German: https://mobile.twitter.com/glr_berlin/status/1493330361656426498)
On February 13, 2022, about 800 neo-Nazis marched in Dresden to commemorate the bombing of Dresden. (German: https://taz.de/77-Jahrestag-des-Bombenangriffs/!5831307/)
The AfD was convicted in mid-February 2022 for violating party donation bans and have to pay a fine of approximately 108,000 Euros. The reason was the financing of the congress “European Visions Visions for Europe” on February 13, 2016 in Düsseldorf with an amount of 36,137 Euros by Goal AG, based in Switzerland. (German: https://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/verbotene-parteispende-duesseldorfer-europa-kongress-wird-teuer-fuer-die-afd/28075474.html)
In mid-February, the AfD decided to put the regional party “Freie Sachsen”, which is heavily involved in the Corona protests in Saxony, on its incompatibility list. Members of “Free Saxony” can thus not be members of the AfD.
The German extreme right in the Russia-Ukraine war
The Russian invasion of Ukraine took the far right in Europe and Germany by surprise. Even before that, it was divided over its relationship with Putin’s Russia. In Germany, most of the far right was more pro-Putin. There were different reasons for this stance:
- Their anti-Western attitude and an admiration for the autocrat Putin, who is considered a representative of ultra-conservative values. His passing of anti-LGBTQI+ laws, such as the “homosexual propaganda,” is just one example.
- From the Kremlin and its oligarch environment there was always a flow of funding (e.g. the loans for the “Front National”) and recognition for the extreme right. AfD deputies who appeared in Crimea, in the Donbass separatist regions, in Russia itself as “election observers” or were invited to conferences and treated like statesmen.
- In the case of the AfD, there is certainly the additional factor that conservative ‘Spätaussiedler’ (Russian Germans from the former Soviet Union who migrated to Germany) have been sought as voters. Here, the Russian state media and their narratives are strongly received. Some representatives of this group are also active in the AfD themselves.
- A few extreme right-wingers in Germany are supporters of the Eurasia concept a la Alexandr Dugin. Many, however, reject it because it is too obviously an underpinning for Greater Russia ambitions.
- Parts of pandemic deniers and the Anastasia movement found Putin great because they utilised him as a projection screen for their ideas.
- The ethnocentric glasses of the extreme right also led them to consider the annexation of Crimea and the separatist efforts in the Donbass as legitimate. After all, their ethnopluralism strives for the division of the world along linguistic and religious lines.
Many Putin supporters were taken by surprise by the invasion of Ukraine and in reaction to it, out of insight, under pressure from the public or out of opportunism, they at least publicly corrected and adjusted their position. The most important example is the federal AfD, which has condemned the invasion. At the same time, it tries to place the blame or partial blame on the West or NATO. The AfD parliamentary group in the Bundestag showed this by remaining seated when all other MPs greeted the Ukrainian ambassador standing. Within the AfD, there continues to be a range of positions on the war. Individual AfD MEPs such as Gunnar Lindemann (Berlin), Hans-Thomas Tillschneider (Saxony-Anhalt) or Jörg Dornau (Saxony) express relatively open understanding for Putin. (German: https://correctiv.org/aktuelles/2022/02/28/russlands-krieg-entlarvt-europas-rechte/) They are mostly people from the Höcke wing of the party.
Within the extreme right in Germany, there are a total of three factions:
The COMPACT magazine is worth mentioning here, which continues to remain loyal to Putin. Many lateral thinkers have suddenly rediscovered their sympathy for Putin. This is mainly explained by their conspiracy-ideological worldview. If what thhoaxe government and the established media say and write is a, then that is also the case with regard to the war in Ukraine. Nowhere does one encounter so much Kremlin propaganda as in the channels of the pandemic deniers. I have also made the observation that the authoritarian character among the pandemic deniers wish for an authoritarian liberator who would clean up everything. Yesterday it was Trump (QAnon) and today it is Putin.
2. Support of the Ukrainian Side.
Here, once again, two sub-factions can be distinguished:
2.1. Support of Ukrainian fascists: In part, as with “Der III. Weg”, it had already been in contact and exchange with Ukrainian fascists before. The newly founded “New Strength Party” positions itself like “Der III. Weg”. The neo-Nazi label PC-Records, which sold Azov t-shirts in the past, also calls for donations for the Ukrainian comrades on its Telegram channel. There are reports of volunteers from these circles on the Ukrainian side, but so far there is little evidence to support these reports.
Hooligans of BFC Dynamo and Hertha Berlin supported far right Hooligans of Dynamo Kiev with full body armour, helmets, medi kits, tactical boots and magazine carriers „to beat the red pigs“ (quote Telegram).
2.2. General support for the Ukrainian side: For example, the weekly newspaper “Junge Freiheit” (JF) generally supports the Ukrainian side. JF editor-in-chief Dieter Stein had long criticized COMPACT’s Pro-Putin course.
Among neo-Nazis and other fascists, it is probably the most who, under the label of “No more brotherwars”, regret that whites are killing each other. Often, in addition, understanding for each side is expressed.
** Other **
In addition to the question of fundamental partisanship, there is also the issue of how to deal with refugees from Ukraine. Part of the far right is in favor of accepting Ukrainian refugees because they are white, come from a Christian cultural area and are primarily women and children. This is how parts of the AfD argue, for example.
Other extreme right-wingers believe that the zero-migration principle should be broken.
With their enthusiasm for war and soldierly masculinity, many extreme right-wingers succumb to the call of the war horns despite all official rejection of war. Several people from the Jungeuropa publishing house are on the road as onlookers, and Martin Sellner indulges his fascination as a kitchen-table strategist who has to explain the course of the front several times a day.
On February 4th and 5th, 2022, members of the AfD youth organization “Junge Alternative” from Baden-Württemberg and Thuringia attended an event of the “Rassemblement National” with Marine LePen in Reims (France). They also met with members of “Vlaams Belang Jongeren,” the youth organization of the “Vlaams Belang” party from Belgium.
The fascist party „Der III. Weg“ announced for the 6th of February 2022 an interview with a representative of the organisation „Sokil“, youth wing of Svoboda party from Ukraine. The representative of „Sokil“ expressed his hope that „many [foreign] Nationalists would come to Ukraine“, if they will start a war.
Markus Frohnmaier (AfD-MdB) visited, apparently as a simple participant, the “Conservative Political Action Conference”, which took place from February 24th to 27th, 2022 in Orlando/Florida (USA) and there, met the British right-wing populist Nigel Farage, who was invited as a speaker. Norbert Kleinwächter, deputy leader of the AfD parliamentary group in the Bundestag, also attended the conference. The star speaker was Donald Trump.
Jason Miller from the U.S., CEO of the right-wing Twitter competitor Gettr, met with Dieter Stein, editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper “Junge Freiheit” at its headquarters in Berlin around February 25, 2022.
On February 27th, 2022, the neo-Nazi party “Der III. Weg” interviewed Thomas Ryan Rousseau, leader “Patriot Front” from Texas, about the current political situation in the USA.
The British far-right author and vlogger Edward Dutton is announced as lecturer of the „GegenUni“, an online ‘academy’ for the far right, after March 2022.According to Wikipedia he lives in Oulu, and is married to a Finnish woman.
The US-American Jason Köhne was interview partner of the magazine “Deutsche Stimme” in the March 2022 issue.