East Germans take a stand against the far right

Saalfeld in the eastern German region of Thuringia is a stronghold of the extreme right. Neo-Nazis, far-right fight clubs and the symbols of the anti-democratic group the Reichsbürger can be seen all over the town.

The far-right-wing movement has been able to establish fixed structures here, and has been virtually unchallenged for years. And the populist far-right populist Alternative for Germany party (AfD) enjoys considerable support in Saalfeld, and in Thuringia as a whole. Opinion polls show it may become the strongest party in this autumn's regional election.

But a report published on January 10 on a clandestine meeting of neo-Nazis and a few members of the AfD has sparked unprecedented nationwide protests which have also reverberated in this region. The publication "Correctiv" reported that the participants had discussed plans for the expulsion of migrants and even German nationals if they are from immigrant families.

Since then, protests in Germany against the far right haven't let up, with millions of participants across the country. It's palpable on the streets: something has been brewing in mainstream German society as the AfD has seen an unstoppable rise in voter support, despite some party members' constant racist provocations and ties to far-right and even neo-Nazi circles.

Read more

Ein Service des deutschen Präventionstages.