The AfD held its federal party conference and elected a new board. The influence of the fascist wing of the party was visible.Mobilizing issues common to the far right were discussed, amongst them „inflation“, the „energy crisis“ / sanctions against Russia and anti- „Pride Month“ narratives.
There were several cases of state actions against the far right, for example, Michael Ballweg, founder of „Querdenken“ was arrested.
In June 2022, it has been documented that the international far-right music network are becoming more active after the pandemic crisis. Bands from Germany went to foreign countries to play there or bands from foreign countries played in Germany.
In addition, there was a right-wing online radio project launched.
Updates in the National Landscape
The AfD federal party conference took place in Riesa from the 17th to the 19th of June. Party members elected the new federal executive committee. Two AfD members of the Bundestag, Tino Chrupalla and Alice Weidel, were elected as the new dual leadership. In addition to the Executive Board, the Federal Arbitration Court was elected. Furthermore, the decision was taken to remove the right-wing pseudo-union “Zentrum Automobil” from the incompatibility list, i.e. members of “Zentrum Automobil” could also become AfD members.
A resolution of the Höcke wing failed. It trivialized the “Ukraine conflict” and called for a “balance with Russia”. Nevertheless, experts viewed the results of the national party conference as evidence of the increased influence of the neo-fascist Höcke wing.
An important mobilization issue for the AfD in June 2022 was the topic of “saving energy”. In this context, the AfD turned against the government’s appeals to the population to save energy resulting from rising prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war. Above all, the AfD attacked the sanctions against Russia. In addition, the AfD committed itself to “saving” the internal combustion engine. Another mobilization theme of the AfD was the topic of “inflation”.
The entirety of the far right in Germany mobilized against Pride Month, which took place from the 1st to the 30th of June. In addition to organized campaigns by “Der III. Weg” and parts of the AfD, homophobic attacks and destruction of rainbow flags in many places has be observed.
Following the overturning of the Roe vs Wade verdict in the U.S. on June 24, 2022, the far right and Christian right in Germany also cheered the decision.
In the local elections in the state of Saxony on June 12th, 2022, the AfD and the “Free Saxons” recorded relatively good results in some cases. The AfD, which is strong in Saxony, was unable to win a single district council post.
Also in June, there were cases of prevented far-right terrorism. In Potsdam, a minor was arrested on the 3rd of June, who allegedly planned a right-wing terrorist attack. He was active in the chat of a “Totenwaffen Division” and is said to have made his own explosive , incendiary devices and to have carried out first attempts at detonation. A photo of him shows him wearing a cap with an SS patch and flags with the Black Sun. He is being investigated on suspicion of preparing a serious act of violence threatening the state, violating the Explosives Act and using symbols of unconstitutional organizations. (German: https://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/brandenburger-polizei-vereitelt-anschlagplaene-jugendlicher-neonazi-aus-potsdam-soll-sprengsaetze-gebaut-haben/28400458.html)
There were several cases of state actions against the far right
On June 16th, 2022, about 500 police officers searched 26 residences and commercial premises of neo-Nazis in Thuringia, Schleswig-Holstein and Berlin on charges of “gang drug trafficking,” money laundering and weapons law violations. There were 10 defendants, including four members of the “Turonen” and “Garde 20” or “Bruderschaft Thüringen,” and seven arrests. Confiscated, according to the press release, were “assets of around 1.4 million Euros, several crypto phones, a larger amount of cash and cryptocurrencies, a small amount of narcotics, anabolic steroids and three live firearms,” as well as “fake vaccination cards.” Additionally, two hand grenades were found. (German: https://www.tagesschau.de/inland/razzia-neonazis-101.html, https://taz.de/Razzien-gegen-Thueringer-Turonen/!5861679/)
On June 20th, 2022, a trial began at the Munich Regional Court against 11 defendants of “Blood & Honour” for continuing the organization, which was banned in 2000. Among them is the alleged “Division Chief Germany” and three other “Section Chiefs” from Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Thuringia. There are 46 trial dates scheduled.
On June 29th, 2022, the apartment of Michael Ballweg was searched in Stuttgart. Ballweg was the founder of “Querdenken”, an important label of the Corona deniers. The premise of the raid were accusations of fraud and money laundering against him and one other suspect.
Transnational Social Media Activity & Propaganda/Narratives
Jason Miller, CEO of the right-wing Twitter competitor „Gettr“, was a speaker at the summer party of the ultra-right weekly newspaper “Junge Freiheit” in Berlin on June 25, 2022.
On the same day, a right-wing meeting took place in Brandenburg, Germany, where Gettr CEO Jason Miller appeared and spoke in front of 400 people.
On the topic of music, there were also interesting developments in June 2022.
- On June 3rd and 4th, 2022, a concert with the Croatian-ultranationalist musician Thompson took place at the “Seaside Club” in Böblingen (Baden-Württemberg). Most of the visitors came from the Croatian community in Germany.
- According to the announcement, a right-wing rock concert with the band “Green Arrow” from Italy took place in Germany on June 11th, 2022.
- On June 18th, 2022, the right-wing rock concert “Streetskids Party” took place in the Czech Republic. According to the announcement, the German right-wing rock bands “Endstufe” and “Schusterjungs” played alongside Czech bands.
Transnational Political and Financial Cooperation
The German media published the information that Franco A., who is currently on trial for right-wing terrorism in Frankfurt, attempted to get money from the Russian Foundation “Institute for Democracy and Cooperation” based in Paris.
From June 10th to 12th , 2022, the right-wing congress “Eternal EuropeNowa” took place in Warsaw. The list of participants includes Prof. David Engels from Poland/Belgium, Prof. Heinz Theisen (since 1997 professor of political science at the Catholic University of North Rhine-Westphalia in Cologne, is “islampolitical spokesman” of the right-wing conservative “Bürgerlich-Freiheitlicher Aufbruch”) from Germany. Among them were also Tory Baucum, Léon Krier and Grzegorz Lewicki.
On June 21st, 2022, the right-wing online radio “Kontrafunk” started as a platform for AfD fans and Corona deniers. The radio is officially based in Cham, Switzerland. However, research showed that the headquarters is a letterbox company address. The trail leads to the right-wing conservative satirist Andreas Thiel. The official founder and owner of “Kontrafunk” is the journalist Burkhard Müller-Ullrich from Germany. He turned his back on serious media in 2017 and radicalized to the right during the Corona pandemic. The editorial stall consists according to Müller-Ullrich of 20 people who share twelve full-time jobs. One-third of them allegedly came from public service broadcasting and another from „Russia Today“. According to Müller-Ulrich, the radio had a start-up capital of 1,2 million Euro coming from 36 persons. (German: https://uebermedien.de/73663/kontrafunk-ein-radio-fuer-alle-die-an-corona-impfungen-klimawandel-und-allen-anderen-radios-zweifeln/)
On June 23rd, 2022, the extreme-right “Ons Europa Forum” took place at the Trade Exchange in Antwerp, Belgium. An event of the Euro-right group “Identity&Democracy”, hosted by the Belgian extreme right party “Vlaams Belang”. Participants included Geert Wilders (PVV) from the Netherlands, Davide Quadri (Lega) from Italy, Judit Varga (Fidesz) from Hungary, André Ventura (Chega) from Portugal, Martin Helme (EKRE) from Estonia, Bob de Brabandere, Tom Van Grieken and Gerolf Annemans (“Vlaams Belang”) from Belgium, as well as representatives from the Republicans from the USA, Marine LePen (“Rassemblement National”) from France and Harald Villimsky (FPÖ) from Austria.Yuri Kofner, a staff member of the AfD in Bavaria, was also there. (English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BemE3PUPyyw)