In October 2022, the far right in Germany tried to participate in or to start exclusively anti-government protests. These protests took place, but only in East Germany with its own political culture they were strong. The protests were a mixture of covid deniers, far-right, and otherwise angry people. In some federal states like Thuringia, the AfD was a main actor in the protests.
Updates in the National Landscape
According to the conservative newspaper ‘Welt am Sonntag’, there were more than 4,400 rallies from Aug. 29 to Oct. 23, 2022, over the Ukraine war, the energy crisis, or the German government’s Corona policy. Most of them with right-wing participation. Since mid-September, more than 100,000 people have taken to the streets each week. The stronghold was the state of Saxony. The high point was the week of October 3-10, 2022, with 140,000 demonstrators. Since then, participation has been declining.
(German: https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article241978407/Krisenprotest-Mehr-als-100-000-Demonstranten-in-jeder-Woche.html) On October 3, 2022, Germany’s national holiday, 100,000 people are said to have participated in right-wing or open-right demonstrations in eastern Germany alone. In Thuringia, 38,000 people at 42 demonstrations; in Saxony, 32,000 people at 109 demonstrations; in Brandenburg, 10,500 at 35 demonstrations; in Saxony-Anhalt, 14,600 people at 45 demonstrations; and in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, 9,800 people. For example, on October 3, 2022, a demonstration by AfD, “Free Saxony” and “Free Thuringia,” took place in Gera (Thuringia), attended by 10,000 people. Björn Höcke, leader of the fascist AfD wing, gave a speech in which he positioned himself against the USA and in favor of Russia.
On October 8, 2022, an AfD demonstration took place in Berlin, attended by more than 10,000 people. It was the try to participate in the anger of the people about the rising bills. However, the AfD only succeeded in mobilizing its own core and they mobilized for this date two months.
On October 15 and 16, 2022, the federal congress of the AfD’s junior organization, “Junge Alternative” took place in Apolda. Hannes Gnauck (31), an ex-soldier and member of the Bundestag, was elected as the new federal chairman. Björn Höcke, leader of the fascist AfD wing, said in a greeting: “The future of the party is built on knowledge, organization, and movement. Dare more IB and never become IB.” IB meant the Identitarian movement.
Transnational Activities & Group Interactions
In October 2022, there was an exchange between far-right actors from Germany with their ideological brothers and sisters in other countries. On the level of parties, the AfD took part in this exchange. Here are two examples: * On October 8, 2022, the Traditional Britain Group conference was held in London. Announced speakers were Professor Edward Dutton from Poland, Dr. Neema Parvini, and Christine Anderson (AfD MEP).
* According to his Facebook-Account, Daniel Wald (AfD-MdL in Saxony-Anhalt) apparently met with „organizations and patriotic #parties“ in Greece or Thessaloniki on October 8/9, 2022.
Also, at the level of the extra-parliamentary far-right, there were contacts. For example, in the sector of far-right music. On October 8, 2022, according to the announcement, a fascist rock concert was held in Bulgaria with the bands “Blood Witnesses,” “Fraction,” and “Holy War.” The last one is a band from Germany. The exchange goes both ways. On October 21, 2022, there was a fascist concert, and besides the German bands “Uwocaust,” “Odessa,” and “Hausmannskost,” also a gig, “Preserve White Aryans” from Estonia, was announced.
In Germany, there exists the ‘Burschenschaften’ (brotherhoods), an own type of male-only organization for academics. Some of them are right-wing conservatives others are clearly far-right. The far-right ‘Burschenschaften’ have connections to foreign far-right organizations and persons. For example, at the Burschenschaft Germania in Marburg, a lecture with Marcus Follin, Swedish neo-Nazi blogger and martial artist took place on October 22, 2022. (German: https://stadtlandvolk.net/?p=783)
Right-wing intellectuals also continued to network. According to the announcement from October 20 to 22, 2022, an English-language conference with the topic „Myth, fate, and duty. Oswald Spengler and Jordan Peterson as moral philosophers“ took place in the Eifel-Region. Organizers were the international Oswald-Spengler-Society, which is named after the historian and Mussolini fan Oswald Spengler (1880-1936).
Transnational Social Media Activity & Propaganda/Narratives
On October 14, 2022, 12-year-old Lola was the victim of a torture murder. A 24-year-old Algerian woman was identified as the alleged perpetrator on October 15. The extreme right instrumentalized the cruel murder for racist propaganda. In Germany, too, groups such as the Identitarians used the murder for these purposes.