Read the original text at eurointegration.com.ua.
"Evropeiska Pravda" publishes an article written by the Ukrainian, who lives in western Germany, one of the richest regions of Baden-Württemberg. But even here Germany witnesses a sharp increase in the popularity of "anti-systemic" Alternative for Germany party, the leaders of which do not hide friendship with the Kremlin. In the east of the country, their popularity is even higher.
Can AfD come to power in the next elections to the Bundestag? Under what conditions might this happen?
Germany. A new working day begins.
The office of our company is still half empty. Those who have already come, are leisurely drinking coffee, smoking, and chatting. Sometimes I hear laughter following a good joke. I am steeped in the reading of the city newspaper "Mannheimer Morgen", and inattentively listen to my colleagues talk.
They discuss Trump, mostly in an ironic way. Trump does not frighten them, as well as Putin.
A colleague says that Americans simply played a joke with the whole world, to have more common themes to be discussed. Another colleague replies that it was pure protest against the establishment. No one was interested in Trump, people just do not like Clinton. I turn to the speaker and correct his statement:
But most of Americans voted for Clinton, I mean if we take mathematical majority. The issue is about the system of the US presidential elections. The problem is that a momentary protest can go so far that it could have disastrous consequences not only for US residents. Germany would hold its own elections soon, who to vote for?
Smiles fade, people's faces are tense. The boss tears away from the computer screen:
Obviously, not for Merkel?
And for whom then?
Well, Merkel is not an option, just look what has she done to Germany.
Everyone keeps silence. It is felt that no one wants to say something first. But one of my colleagues takes a step forward and clearly says:
I will vote for AfD. End of!
Protest is a terrible thing.
When I left Germany for some time in 2012, AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, i.e., "Alternative for Germany") did not exist. The political landscape was familiar to nausea: several large parties (no one expected something from them) and a few small (full of promise).
Ever since Angela Merkel superseded Putin's friend Gerhard Schröder as Chancellor, who went on promotion (in Gazprom), CDU / CSU again became the main party in the country.
Merkel’s political force was a conservative party, on the one hand, associated with the post-war "economic miracle" and Adenauer, who had brought Germany among the leading countries in Europe, on the other, associated with the concealment of Nazi criminals and their implantation in the bodies of the German authorities. I remember the scandal in the German press, when they found out that almost the whole entire leadership of the German security services and police in the 50-60th consisted of former Nazis.
The party gained a lot of points when Kohl became chancellor of "unified Germany". He was so hurry to go down in history under this name that he did not think about how "easy" the German economy would survive the accession of half-rotten socialist country. After that, big problems (not fully resolved until now) were a strong blow to Germany.
But more importantly, the problems identified the noxiousness of Soviet influence even in DDR, remote country from Moscow. The brains of East Germans have been brainwashed for over 40 years, so what should we tell about the countries that have been under Soviet occupation for 70 years?
I have often talked to the East Germans in the 90s. They were "our" people. The same look in the eyes, the same mentality; they spoke Russian and were unhappy with the fact that Germany cared little about them. You could often hear:
The life in DDR was better!!!
At the same time they were not interested, they are dependents of their Western brethren. The latter try to spruce up their gray cities. They moved from the eastern to the western lands ... and outraged!!!
Now these "GDR citizens" can be found in the right-wing, and the radical left parties. They also call to "hear Donbas" and "understand Putin."
And the situation in CDU / CSU is not rosy.
Eternal confrontation of Berlin CDU tops and the Bavarian CSU department is not conducive to productive work. The Bavarians have always considered themselves "better Germans" to which the other inhabitants of Germany respond with caustic jokes and offensive cartoons.
CSU head Horst Seehofer leads his game behind the back of Angela Merkel, and in a difficult moment, Merkel could not guarantee full support for her course in the south of the country.
The second largest party in Germany is SPD. It is a legendary party, standing at the beginnings of German democracy and the Weimar Republic. Many well-known German politicians were Social Democrats. From August Bebel and the first free German Chancellor Friedrich Ebert Foundation, to Nobel laureate Willy Brandt.
They were "brothers" with the Russian Social Democrats – Mensheviks, supporters of parliamentarism and the enemies of dictatorships. Alas, political dissolving of the 21st century also affected the SPD.
Days of “Lassalles” were over, and then “Schroeders” came. Doing almost nothing good for the country, Gerhard left the post to become one of the main "bearers of Putin" and lobbyist of his interests in Germany. Volodya does not forget his friend, and Gerhard has nothing to complain about, but Germany would hardly recall the good word.
One amusing touch to the portrait of the Social Democrat Schröder. In the 80s, he was a lawyer of one of the founders of the leftist terrorist group RAF of Horst Mahler. In 1987, he even helped him regain permission to work legally. Subsequently Horst Mahler became the main lawyer and face the neo-Nazi party NPD. Nothing personal, just business.
The current party leader, Sigmar Gabriel, could be called “pale” even in comparison with Schroeder. He is busy with quarreling with Merkel, not with solving the problems of the country. No one takes him seriously. The party has a relatively high percentage of support rather by inertia than as a result of its consistent policy. In any case, it has nothing to do with the Social Democracy. In fact, SPD is just a left wing of CDU.
Both big parties in Germany have long been part of the German establishment. As in England, liberals and conservatives, or Republicans and Democrats in the US.
The protest of "humiliated and insulted" is against this establishment.
It does not make sense to write about the liberal party FDP. After the death of its popular leader, Guido Westerwelle in 2016, the party's popularity collapsed.
Bündnis 90 / DieGrünen – Green were the most radical Left in the political palette of Germany. In the 60's and 70's the future "Green" could be found on the student demonstrations during clashes with the police, including supporting and sympathizing with the RAF terrorists.
Coming into politics in the early 80's with a mass of fresh ideas, they mutated into an ordinary burgher party, interested in money and power.
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, the famous "Green" Joschka Fischer, once astonished the establishment, coming to the podium in sneakers, he showed the world the true aspirations of the "Green" - money, houses, young women. After all, he went into business. The party is constantly losing its popularity amid the lack of a coherent position.
Die Linke - Left. Once I thought that this party is worthy of my attention. The party, which raised from the GDR and the radical left ideas, was relatively interesting, when only Gregor Gysi stood out among its members.
He was relatively sane. Sympathy for the party were fueled by the fact that it was fundamentally lowered by the main yellow newspaper of the country - Bild. No one has forgotten how much hatred this newspaper arose in the '60s.
A new star appeared on the red sky - Sahra Wagenknecht. The daughter of an Iranian man and a German woman, left, almost Trotskyite. Here is a quite familiar rhetoric: anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism, an explosive mixture of Stalinism and Trotskyism.
German press wrote about the leftists’ contacts with Moscow.
The particular style of the Kremlin is to support the radicals, both right and left, in the hope of undermining the situation in European countries. The left are now the fourth most popular party in Germany.
There is one more party, NPD - Nazis. For a long time it was the main party of protest, along with the Left.
However, the Germans have well learned the lessons of two lost wars.
Only few people are interested in restoration of 1937 borders. The Germans want to live well here and now, rather than start the dubious machinations with no guarantee of success. They like to get their own newspaper for the morning coffee, to leave in a near place, to have usual bakery and butcher shop at the corner, where they can talk with their friends sellers. They love the traditions and generally quite conservative. They are very hard-working. They go to bed early, get up early.
Once I went on a weekday in the train to Frankfurt and was surprised that, in spite of the workload, there were practically no Germans. All of them were at work.
Something extraordinary must happen for protests swept Germany.
Yes, the Germans were not in the wild delight of joining the EU. Especially, when it became clear that Germany should help the dead economies of other European countries. Especially, when the descendants of the Greeks, who for years sat on the German's neck, began to insult the Germans, still sitting in the same place and in the same unequivocal position.
No one was not particularly happy about loss of the Deutschmark. How was it possible to equalize the German mark and the Italian lira? The result was not long in coming. 100 Deutschmarks were money, 50 euros were an orange puff. But even this did not push Germany into the arms of the radicals, and the Nazis were never able to triumphantly enter the Bundestag.
As a result, their influence has become so small that the German Constitutional Court has already refused in 2017 to prohibit the NPD as an absolute political bankrupts, which will not pose a threat to democracy.
But then came 2014. Putin has decided to redraw the European map, annexing Crimea and invading Ukrainian Donbas. Germany, albeit cautiously, but refused to play along with the Kremlin. And when Merkel said that Putin "has lost touch with reality", and Germany (as part of the EU) imposed sanctions against the Putin regime, the Kremlin realize that something must be urgently done to Europe.
Almost two years of confrontation had no effect on the internal life of Germany, and Merkel rating.
But Russia wanted to provoke a radical change in the situation in Europe and especially in Germany.
It was important for the switching of the European policy on domestic issues, and for the Russian television propaganda.
Putin decides to get into the Syrian conflict to kill three birds with one stone: to create the image for the TV, to maintain "brotherly regime" of Assad, and, if lucky, harm Europe.
The civil war in Syria has been lasting for 6 years, but at first fighting, or even Western countries joining the war in 2014 did not affect Europe.
When Russia entered the war (given its methods of warfare), everything changed. Soon all the media reported about millions of refugees who have “flooded” Europe. The peace was over. Reports about dirty trains, crowds of workers (mainly men), violence, looting and killings appear every hour.
Here it is - le grand coup.
Looking at his terrible past, Germans are very sensitive to any manifestation of nationalism. They are literally afraid of it. Tolerance sometimes comes to unimaginable limits and takes the grotesque and even ugly shapes. When, for example, the mothers of Muslim children in German schools ask to remove from the cafeterias all the food that is inappropriate for their faith, the Germans keep silence. Fear of the offense sits deep in the German genes.
Putin has calculated correctly. He squeezed the Germans between a rock and a hard place.
Shut up and take everything for granted, or soon there would not be the Germans in Germany, or oust the aliens, and get a picture to Kiselev of fascist Europe. The Germans are not enough patient.
I have not been to Mannheim for some time, the city has changed a lot though. Germans try to omit the areas of compact residence of migrants, the presence of the police became too obvious, reports of looting, rape, murder became more frequent. Sale of drugs acquired catastrophic dimensions. The Germans began to acquire means of protection and carry them.
Earlier fatcat politicians were the main object of dissatisfaction, now possibility of the former quiet life became questioned. Russian media pour more oil on the fire. Remember "raped little girl Lisa," created by Russian propaganda. Of course, this time it simply must be used for their own purposes.
Merkel is now a link keeping all the European anti-Putin policy. Therefore, she should be removed.
And this is a convenient moment for it. Putin needs an obedient, radical party, not to popular on television, unscrupulous, and power-hungry. It this is AfD.
AfD is quite a young (4 years), but during this time it managed to become the third most popular party in Germany. Right populist, extremely conservative party, which earns its rating on the European (and of course German) problems.
And its leader (originally from East Germany) Frauke Petry has only one goal – come to power at any cost. Putin’s perfect protégé. Practically, she is sister of Marie Le Pen, who is strongly supported by Moscow.
AfD does not even mask its close contacts with the Kremlin.
Party is actively seek the limelight on Russian TV. A long time ago, Bolsheviks took money from the Germans to support the Russian revolution, so why not German nationalists cannot take money from the Russian for some German counter-revolution?
In addition to using protest sentiments of the Germans, AfD active manipulates millions Russian-speaking migrants in Germany. In addition, Russian-speaking migrants continue living in Germany and watch Russian TV and.
Soviet mentality, the tendency towards racism and intolerance do their work: they actively help the party and the pro-Russian policy in general in Germany. AfD benefits from it.
Protest is irrational. Remember Churchill: "If Hitler invades hell, I will make a league with the devil." People are simply afraid, and AfD plays on it. The party offers simple solutions to complex problems.
AfD is a time bomb which could explode at any time.
It unites a large number of undecided but inclined to the right trend of the Germans. It does not have cardinal solutions of internal German problems. Especially they are suffering from the outside complications, connected not only with Russia.
Mr. Putin does not believes in instant victory of Petry, but he needed her as a regular troll.
Polls are very important and undeniable, but the protest explosion is momentary, and it can occur on the background of a single fatal news just before the elections, and we know the experts on pitching such "news."
In addition, AfD has already shown that they can gain the rating. They took 3rd place at the state election in 2016 in Baden-Württemberg, 15.1%. And they had second place in the state of Saxony-Anhalt 24.2%, slightly behind the party of Merkel.
We can notice a certain urgency in German society. God forbid another Berlin, Munich, and Cologne. And Moscow understands that.
The elections are near. However, in the war of good against evil, "the battle for Germany" could be decisive. Elections in France have already show the balance of power.
If the situation of migrants does not calm down, and Russia continues destabilizing the situation in Germany, the consequences could be unpredictable. From growing the pro-Russian lobby in the Bundestag to a critical mass, to facing problems of forming a coalition.
If people vote for right-wing or left-wing populists, it is not because they truly adore these values. In such a way, they just want to stand against the policy of the ruling Cabinet. The same things happened in the United States.
However, I still hope that the Germans are more pragmatic than the Americans, and they would not put a cross on decades of German democracy.