afd migrant protest JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

Germany’s Socialism of Fools

By adopting a program based on "identity and solidarity," Germany's far-right AfD is harking back to classic National Socialism. It is likely to be a winning formula in this month's state elections in Bavaria and Hesse.

BERLIN – If opinion polls counted as elections, large parts of Germany would already be governed by the far right. In several eastern German states, the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has established itself as the strongest political force. Almost everywhere else in the country, the party currently ranks second – on par or just ahead of the struggling Social Democrats (SPD) and behind only Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

In coming weeks, matters could get even worse. In regional elections in Bavaria on October 14 and in Hesse two weeks later, the AfD is poised to enter the two last remaining regional parliaments without far-right representation.

Concerns about immigration continue to fuel this surge. In the eastern city of Chemnitz, recent anti-foreigner riots and pro-tolerance rallies provided a stark reminder of how divided the German public remains on migration.

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