The Atlantic

Germany's Far-Right Populists Have an Infighting Problem

What happens when the AfD gets to the Bundestag?
Source: Axel Schmidt / Reuters

Through much of last year, Germany’s centrist parties feared that the wave of right-wing nationalism that has swept across Europe in recent years would finally crash upon their shores. That moment seems to have arrived. Barring any last-minute developments or major shifts in the polls, Germany’s far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party is on track to clear the five percent threshold needed to win seats on the federal level in the upcoming elections on September 24th—a first for the party: While it holds seats in 13 of Germany’s 16 state parliaments, it has never held any in the Bundestag.

Founded in 2013 by euro-skeptic intellectuals and economists, the anti-immigrant, populist AfD pounced on Chancellor Angela Merkel after her open-door policy led to an influx of refugees coming into Germany in 2015. The party received

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