Five days after Donald Trump became the next president of the United States, the south Munich chapter of Germany’s far-right party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), held its first meeting since the U.S. election. In a traditional Bavarian tavern on a quiet residential street, 50-some party members and supporters drank beer and celebrated the victory that they felt was, in many ways, their own. The theme of the meeting was supposed to be the local elections in May, when the AfD is expected to pick up seats in several of Germany’s state parliaments. (The party currently holds seats in 10 of Germany’s 16 state parliaments, up from five one year ago.) But instead of local elections, talk that night centered almost exclusively on Donald Trump. Dirk Driesang, a member of AfD’s federal board, stood to address the packed restaurant, where party placards reading “AfD Loves Deutschland” adorned every table. He began with Trump’s roots in Germany. The president-elect’s grandfather Friedrich was born and raised in Kallstadt, a village in the southwest. Friedrich eventually was deported, Driesang smiled as he told the crowd, for evading his mandatory military service. But that was fine because his grandson had gone on to do in the U.S. what the AfD hopes to do in Germany. “America First is coming to Deutschland,” boomed Driesang, his adaptation of Trump’s campaign slogan giving way to resounding applause.
Among all of Germany’s political parties, the AfD was alone in cheering Trump’s surprise victory. The cover of Der Spiegel on November 12 depicted Trump’s head as a fiery meteor on course to destroy Planet Earth. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s first remarks on the U.S. election results included a lecture on the very definition of democracy. But the AfD, whose dramatic rise over the past two years has been fueled by much the same anti-immigrant, anti-Islam and anti-establishment elements that elevated Trump to power in the United States, saw the real estate mogul’s win as a good omen for their controversial movement to make nationalism popular in Germany again — for the first time since World War II.
“This election result gives courage for Germany and Europe,” read AfD Chairwoman Frauke Petry’s statement on November 9. “Just as the Americans did not believe the manipulations of their mainstream media, citizens in Germany also have the courage to make their decision in the election booth themselves and not to remain resigned at home.”
Full Article: Germany’s far Right rises again – POLITICO.