Trump’s nationalism and tolerance of white supremacists coupled with his open skepticism of the pandemic’s dangers has become an inspiration for German far-right extremist movements like the Reichsbürger and Generation Identity…2/10
…but also now followers of QAnon, the internet conspiracy theory that hails Trump as a hero and liberator. "Trump has become a savior figure, a sort of great redeemer for the German far right," says @DittrichMiro 3/10
This fusion of the far-right and QAnon is new, says @Matthias_Quent who talks about the “Trumpification of the German far right” 4/10
Germany’s QAnon community barely existed before the pandemic. It is now the biggest in the non-English-speaking world and -- along with Britain -- may even be the biggest outside the United States counting more than 200,000 followers 5/10
On the streets of Berlin recently were Trump flags and Trump T-shirts + a banner that read "Please, Mr. President, make Germany great again" -- but also Q flags and banners inscribed with “WWG1WGA,” a coded acronym for Q’s hallmark motto, “Where we go one, we go all” 6/10
One reason the QAnon conspiracy has taken off in Germany is that it's a great fit with local far-right conspiracy theories + fantasies like “The Great Replacement,” “Day X” + the “Reichsbürger” narrative of postwar Germany being an occupied territory controlled by globalists 7/10
...another is that Germany’s homegrown nativist party, the AfD, is badly split and has so far failed to take advantage of the pandemic so far-right extremists are turning elsewhere 8/10
There are many risks even for a robust democracy like Germany’s: losing a sense of a shared reality; enabling extremists to recruit beyond their traditional constituencies; and above all seeding violent radicalization by framing this as the ultimate fight of good vs. evil 9/10
Language reminiscent of QAnon was used in the manifesto of the gunman who killed nine people with immigrant roots in the western city of Hanau in February.
“This conspiracy has the potential to radicalize people,” says @DittrichMiro. "I worry that it will lead to terrorism." END
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