The AfD's opponents, who often brand the party as "far right" or "extremist," claim that the party's alleged ties to neo-Nazi groups pose an existential threat to Germany's constitutional order. The AfD's supporters counter that Germany's politically correct establishment, afraid of losing its power and influence, is attempting to outlaw a legitimate party that has pledged to put the interests of German citizens first.
"Migration is the mother of all problems." — German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.
"Extremism cannot be combated with exclusion, but with looking at the facts. Those who want to reach concerned citizens must themselves get out of the ideological trenches." — Oswald Metzger in Tichys Einblick, a prominent German blog.
|Pictured: A march of silence, organized by the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, in memory of victims of violent crimes perpetrated by migrants, on September 1, 2018 in Chemnitz, Germany. (Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)|
The murder of a German citizen by two failed asylum seekers in Chemnitz, and the attempted cover-up by German police, has contributed to a surge in support for the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD), which, according to a new poll, has overtaken the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to become the second-strongest political force in Germany.
Support for the AfD has increased to 17%, while backing for the SPD has fallen to 16%. Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU)/Christian Social Union (CSU) alliance is at 28.5%, according to an Insa Institute poll published by the newspaper Bild on September 3.
The rise of the AfD — which has been fueled by widespread anger over Merkel's decision to allow into the country more than a million mostly Muslim migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and the subsequent increase in violent crime — reflects an ongoing realignment in German politics, in which voters increasingly are rejecting the multicultural orthodoxy of the mainstream parties.