String of Conveniently Timed Spying Cases in Germany Influence EU Elections, Undermine Chancellor’s China Efforts, and Spread Fear of Russian Fifth Column

Alleged spies for Russia and China and misinformation efforts directed from Moscow are now being uncovered weekly in Germany. Two of the cases involve the Alternative for Germany’s (AfD) top two candidates for the European Parliament elections, which is now less than six weeks away. Let’s first look at what little details are available about the cases and then place them in context of the atmosphere in Germany and why, at the very least, these arrests come at a convenient time for the German and EU political class desperate to dent support for the AfD.

The first involves German MEP Maximilian Krah, the AfD’s lead candidate for the European election. His top aide is facing allegations that he was spying for China. The German public prosecutor statement reads:

He is accused of acting as an agent for a foreign secret service in a particularly serious case. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office essentially accuses the accused of the following facts:

Jian G. is an employee of a Chinese secret service. Since 2019 he has been working for a German member of the European Parliament. In January 2024, the accused repeatedly passed on information about negotiations and decisions in the European Parliament to his intelligence client. He also spied on Chinese opposition figures in Germany for the intelligence service.

That’s all we know so far, but it hasn’t stopped the media from drawing connections to Krah’s positions on China. According to Deutsche Welle:

Krah traveled to China in the early 2000s after studying law and completing a doctorate in Dresden, spending periods abroad in Hong Kong and Shanghai. He has adopted a China-friendly stance, describing reports of human rights violations such as internment camps for Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang as “anti-China propaganda.” He has also insisted that Taiwan belongs to Beijing under international law and that Tibet is also China’s rightful territory.

Despite calls from media and other politicians, Krah is refusing to step down. He will, however, fire the alleged spy.

Elsewhere, Petr Bystron, second on the AfD’s list for the EU election, is facing allegations that he received €20,000 from people “with links” to Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to spread Kremlin propaganda. Bystron has denied the accusations. What are the links?

He allegedly accepted payments from the now-defunct Russian web portal “Voice of Europe,” which was based in Prague. Czech officials say they have audio recordings incriminating Bystron, but they refuse to release them despite Bystron’s requests to do so. The Czech government said “Voice of Europe” paid numerous European politicians to spread “pro-Kremlin talking points,” which means any opposition to or doubt about Project Ukraine.

At the end of March, the Czech government shut down the Voice of Europe site and sanctioned the operators due to “Russian influence.” Spooks in Prague say the pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk and his associate Artem Marchevsky are behind the site.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius weighed in on the accusations at the beginning of April, saying that, if true, the allegations would confirm his view that the AfD was a “fifth column for Moscow.”

There’s more. On April 18, police in the Bavarian city of Bayreuth arrested two German-Russian men on suspicion of spying for Russia. They are accused of “scouting out potential attack targets, including US military bases in Germany.

Prosecutors allege they were in contact with a Russian secret service agent about possible sabotage actions in an effort to undermine the military support provided by Germany and its allies to Ukraine.

“We will not allow Putin to bring his terror to Germany,” Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wrote on Twitter. Okay, then. But if we take a step back and think about this, does it add up? Why would Russia, which is winning in Ukraine, need to undermine military support provided by Germany? Would it sabotage a base in order to galvanize public opinion in Europe against Russia? What am I missing?

Elsewhere, three other people in Germany have been arrested under suspicion of spying for China.  They were allegedly gathering information about innovative technologies in Germany that could be used for military purposes.According to Deutsche Welle, these cases and the one involving the aide to the AfD candidate “might not be directly related to each other, at least from what we know so far, but they are certainly putting a focus on alleged Chinese spying operations in Germany.”

No doubt. They also come at a convenient time for Brussels.

Convenient Timing

The odd thing about the timing of the case involving the aide to the AfD’s top candidate is that his potential spy activity has been an open secret for years. Here’s the European Conservative:

Allegations of suspicious behaviour against Jian Guo were first reported by The European Conservative in April of last year, with party colleagues drawing attention to the assistant’s aggressive pro-CCP lobbying, lack of proficient English and German language skills, business connections, and habit of giving outlandish gifts.

Mr. Guo, who has worked as an “import-export entrepreneur,” had previously come to the attentionof other press for his simultaneous liaisons with both Chinese opposition groups and business work that included lobbying foreign governments to take pro-CCP stances.

Worryingly, according to Die Zeit, Mr. G. is reported to have come to the attention of federal authorities after he “offered himself to the German security authorities as an informant more than ten years ago” but was turned down due to fears he could act as a double agent for the Chinese state.

Instead, his arrest comes right before European elections, on the heels of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s trip to China, and as the Atlanticists appear to be gearing up for escalation in an economic war against Beijing.

Let’s start with the elections, which are now less than six weeks away, and the overall picture is one of an ascendant Right, which is  expected to win the election in six of the EU’s 27 member states, including France and Italy, and come in second in many other states, such as Germany.

It’s a strong possibility that a right-wing coalition will take the reins in the parliament for the first time in its history. There is however, a lot of variation on the right – especially on the issue of Ukraine. Some are true believers, others were against the EU/NATO before they were for it, and others still oppose the war against Russia.

The European Peoples Party, which is projected to remain the largest bloc in the parliament, is a major backer of Project Ukraine. The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) is too. ECR is led by Brothers of Italy, Law and Justice in Poland, VOX in Spain, and the Sweden Democrats.

The opposition to Project Ukraine can be found on the right in the Identity and Democracy (ID) party, although it might be softening – at least in the case Rassamblent National:

As far as I can tell, the AfD (along with Lega in Italy) continue to hold onto their opposition to the economic war on Russia and are constantly hammered by spooks, media, think tanks, and politicians over it. Nonetheless, ID, which also includes Geert Wilders Party for Freedom and Austria’s Freedom Party, is projected to become the third largest EP grouping, up from its sixth-place finish in the elections of 2019 – unless cases of spying and any other new information comes to light in the next five-plus weeks before the election that dramatically hurts their election performance.

It’s not as though the European Parliament really has that much power anyways, but for the political class in Brussels, the idea of AfD members having a larger platform there is difficult to swallow. It’s unlikely that the powers that be in Berlin, Brussels and Washington care about the AfD’s ethno-nationalist beliefs or that it received its seed money from a Nazi billionaire family; we need only look at what the West supports in Ukraine and Israel to know that’s true. But the panic in Berlin and Brussels will likely only grow if the AfD sticks to its opposition to Project Ukraine and its anti-EU positions.

The AfD was at 22 percent in the POLITICO “poll of polls” on January 17; it is now at 18 percent after being dented by a questionable “scandal” involving an alleged plan to deport millions. We’ll have to see if the spying allegations set the party back further.

Maybe the allegations are true, and it is odd that a prominent member of the AfD, which is “committed to German as the predominant culture,” would have a Chinese national as a top aide, but what’s also not in doubt is that the German political class has been trying everything to stop the rise of the AfD – everything except changing its policies that are hurting working class Germans and driving them into the arms of the AfD.

The AfD is an ethno-nationalist party with a neo-Nazi presence that says it wants to pursue a Germany first policy – although their idea of Germany might not involve the millions of immigrants in the country.

I’ve written previous posts on the AfD, but just to summarize: its increase in popularity over the last few years to become the second most-popular party in the country is largely due to disenchantment with mainstream parties unresponsive to voter concerns as summarized here:

Amongst who count as AfD supporters, people with neo-Nazi attitudes make up roughly 13 percent. Those with far-right authoritarian attitudes account for another 43, which means that 44 percent of those expressing support for the party do so without a general identification with far-right politics.

For about half the AfD’s potential electorate, their vote is a matter of conviction. But on top of that for a large part of the AfD’s electorate their preference is a way of signaling – presumably to what they take to be the mainstream – that they are dissatisfied with the status quo and do not believe that their voices will otherwise be heard. When asked why they might consider voting for the AfD at the next election – as 22 percent of those in survey said they would do – 78 percent said that it would be a sign that they were unhappy with “current policies” with 71 mentioning migration policy, in particular…

Overall, the conclusion of the surveys seems quite clear. There has not been a general shift to the right. In addition to a base of far-right wing support, which makes up 15 percent of the population, the AfD is attracting a protest vote that takes it to slightly more than 20 percent support. This is driven by dissatisfaction with migration policy and a general fear of societal crisis.

This polling supports the conclusions of Manès Weisskircher who researches social movements, political parties, democracy, and the far right at the Institute of Political Science, TU Dresden. He argues that AfD’s support, which is strongest in East Germany, can be primarily traced to three factors:

  1. The neoliberal ‘great transformation,’ which has massively changed the eastern German economy and continues to lead to emigration and anxiety over personal economic prospects.
  2. An ongoing sense of marginalization among East Germans who feel they have never been fully integrated since reunification and resent liberal immigration policies in this context.
  3. Deep dissatisfaction with the functioning of the political system and doubt in political participation.

Rather than trying to confront the rise in AfD’s support with actual policy, the party is instead under spook surveillance, and the state has threatened to kick it off the ballot. At the beginning of December, Germany’s domestic intelligence classified the Saxony state branch of the AfD party as a “threat to democracy.”

Despite the German “center” ignoring voters’ concerns over immigration and the economy, German officials are running with the line that the allegations constitute an assault on “our democracy.”

Here’s Green Party lawmaker Konstantin von Notz, ​​who heads the parliamentary committee supervising Germany’s intelligence services:

“In the end, this is what it [AfD] has in mind for Germany. It makes no secret of its contempt for our democracy and our constitutional state. And that, obviously, makes its politicians very susceptible to influence and control from China and Russia.”

Terry Reintke, lead candidate for the European Greens:

“Consequences must follow swiftly. People who attack the integrity of our democracies must be held to account.”

German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann:

“If the accusation is confirmed, it will strike at the heart of our democracy. Members of parliament and their employees serve our democracy in a special way: there are allegations here that are diametrically opposed to this. We cannot tolerate that.”

So far, none of the efforts to slow AfD’s rise have worked, and it’s a good bet that chanting about “our democracy” won’t either.

Twofer – Hurts AfD and Sabotages Scholz’s China Efforts

The allegations of spying for China also come on the heels of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s recent fence-mending trip to Beijing. The story is stuck on repeat with Scholz. Whether it’s reluctance to send more weapons to Ukraine or whether it’s trying to salvage some economic ties with China, he always eventually caves to Atlanticist pressure.

Scholz was just in China trying to help throw a lifeline to struggling German businesses, and as usual, he got hammered for it by the Atlanticist media. At least this time, they waited until he got back to torpedo his efforts.

Back in 2022, as Scholz was en route to Beijing, Germany’s foreign office headed by the hardline kook Annalena Baerbock released a photo op of a gathering of her and her G-7 counterparts. Baerbock sits at the head of the table next to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken with then-Under Secretary of State Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland behind them. Former India diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar wrote at the time:

Quintessentially, Baerbock has highlighted her discontent with Scholz’s China visit by assembling around her the like-minded G7 counterparts. Even by norms of coalition politics, this is an excessive gesture. When a country’s top leader is on a visit abroad, a display of dissonance undercuts the diplomacy.

Equally, Baerbock’s G7 counterparts chose not to wait for Scholz’s return home. Apparently, they have a closed mind and the tidings of Scholz’s discussions in Beijing will not change that.

First thing on Monday, Scholz should ask for Baerbeck’s resignation. Better still, [the] latter should submit her resignation.

Neither happened, and here we are.

Barrage of Propaganda

Germany is now being bombarded in the media with stories of Chinese and Russian spies around every corner. NachDenkSeiten points out how the German media is constantly warning about the threat posed by the “dictators” of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

This constant narrative is having the desired effect. ARD-Deutschlandtrend surveys consistently show that the percent of respondents who view China and Russia as trustworthy partners below ten percent. Trust in the US, which bragged about its ability to take out the Nord Stream pipelines before they were mysteriously destroyed in one of the largest acts of ecoterrorism ever, typically hovers around 60 percent.

The great irony in these spy cases is that the media establishment is up in arms over a few alleged low level spies who likely had access to very little valuable information. Meanwhile, the loss of cheap and reliable Russian energy has hammered the German economy, hitting the working class the hardest, and Berlin is essentially run as a CIA outpost.

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  1. PlutoniumKun

    The Financial Times has a fun article on spying in Europe. It could act as a major incentive for a certain type of single engineer to want to move to Brest in France. Or at the very least, to lie about their employer.

    For a very long time, honeypot operations within the expat community in China has been an open joke/secret, depending on how seriously you take the stories. But China has traditionally been more focused on industrial espionage than other forms when it comes to Europe. It can work both ways though – VW is openly adopting new self driving software from its cars which was pilfered from Tesla by a small Chinese company (Xpeng) which VW then went into ‘partnership’ with.

    As the FT article implies, Chinese State espionage has been to an extent decentralized, with provincial police forces often seeing it as their duty to (usually very clumsily) take their share of responsibility. Any Chinese person living in Europe will tell you about the unofficial ‘briefings’ about their duties to the homeland they frequently get (or at least they did up to a few years ago) when they move out of China. This isn’t unique of course, a certain type of Englishman (the posh ones) or American who travels abroad will often get a friendly conversation from someone from the embassy.

    Its not particularly surprising that China has geared up into this type of activity in a large scale if its true, in line with everything else they are doing, but of course every big state does it, its all a giant game, a perfect self licking ice cream for all intelligence services. And as always, the operations which are revealed are those which are in the interests of the domestic services to hype – the Germans were quick to suppress the implications of previous revelations of US spying on Merkel.

    Its very hard to take any of this particularly seriously, although its unfortunate that there will be some collateral damage in the form of additional suspicion of ethnic Chinese people trying to make a living in Europe and elsewhere, not to mention perfectly innocent mixed marriages. It may seem minor now, but there is a horrible history in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia of ethnic Chinese being seen as ‘fifth columnists’, with genocidal results.

    1. jan

      It may seem minor now, but there is a horrible history in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia of ethnic Chinese being seen as ‘fifth columnists’, with genocidal results.

      See The Jakarta Method from Vincent Bevins.

      Washington’s Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World

    2. Xiaolei Mu

      I’ve recently started job hunting to get out of my current suboptimal employment situation. I can just see my chances of getting decent work crumbling with this string of propaganda.

      Who cares that I’ve been living in Germany for over 30 years or that I’m a German pass holder? Then again, my political views have become as far from the mainstream in Germany as they can possibly get. Good thing I’ve refused to use any social media for more than a decade.

  2. The Rev Kev

    (Maximilian Krah) has adopted a China-friendly stance, describing reports of human rights violations such as internment camps for Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang as “anti-China propaganda.” He has also insisted that Taiwan belongs to Beijing under international law and that Tibet is also China’s rightful territory.

    He’s right about the Uyghur claims being anti-China propaganda. There are articles online about how it is anti-Chinese groups that make these allegations which are amplified by the west. As for Taiwan belonging to China, that is the position of the US and it is stated on the US State Department website. And as for Tibet belonging to China, I do not have enough info to say whether this is true or not. What I do know is that it was a hell-hole for the people that lived there before the Chinese pushed those elites out.

    1. timbers

      Russia should announce it is today filing at the United Nations that Alaska be recognized reverting back to Russia based on recently discovered anomalies in the 1867 purchase agreement transferring Alaska from Russia to the United States.

      Russia should further announce failure of all US citizens to vacate within in 30 days will not stop nor delay Russia from bombing and shelling civilian populations in Alaska every day for the following 8 plus years should the US fail to recognize that Alaska is and always has been part of Russia.

      This would probably be a good time for Russia to also notify the United States that due to efforts to secure and protect historical documents from damage from the conflict in Ukraine, it has uncovered archaeological records long ago hidden by Catherine The Great showing North America was originally part of a Slavic based empire and rightfully belongs to Russia.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If Americans could see how well the Russian economy is going, how they maintain traditional values, that they have superior healthcare as well as public education, Christianity, Vodka, no cancel culture, cheap water and energy, cheap food, etc. I am sure that a lot of Americans would ask where they could sign up. :)

      2. SocalJimObjects

        Careful now, you go back far enough, and it will be China, Russia and Mexico teaming up to remove all Anglos from the US and Australia under the banner of Freedom.

  3. Krautsalat

    Your assumption regarding voter movement away from AfD is probably wrong (at least until end of March). It’s not related to any press coverage but to the new party BSW, that will collect voters mostly from AfD and Die Linke. That is more a threat to Die Linke.

    At you can see (a bit down), that after the BSW was included in the surveys in January 2024 the share of the AfD was constantly going down and that of the BSW up. Politico just hasn’t included the party yet.

  4. timbers

    Paging Robert Mueller. Paging Robert Mueller. Please pick the curtesy China/Russia spy phone reporting hotline.

  5. Aurelien

    I was going to make pretty much the same comment as PK. Simply put, think of everything the US is known to be doing, and assume that the Chinese and Russians are doing the same. That’s how the system works, and everybody knows it. In the case of the Chinese there’s the added dimension of the diaspora, which they try to survey and exploit as much as possible, especially those with relatives or interests back in China that could be threatened.

    In recent years, the Chinese have moved from largely economic intelligence gathering to a wider set of targets. The EP is not very important in isolation, but would make sense as part of a large list of targets, in and out of government, that would be addressed to help the Chinese work out how European policy towards China was going to evolve in the years to come.

    As regards the allegation of spying for Russia, this could very well be true, in the sense that the Russians will be busy collecting all the information they can about possible movements of US troops and equipment, and transfer of equipment to Poland and then Ukraine. Technical means can only get you so far, and having people on the ground, listening to gossip, asking discreet questions and taking photographs would be a good back-up. There’s no need to assume that this is for the purpose of sabotage, it’s probably just information-gathering.

    And of course all governments, who know this kind of thing goes on all the time (including attempting to acquire influence by the way) have to decide how to react to it politically. It looks as though the upcoming European elections have knocked them off balance a bit.

    1. Palm & Needle

      Simply put, think of everything the US is known to be doing, and assume that the Chinese and Russians are doing the same. That’s how the system works, and everybody knows it.

      I don’t think so… Have China or Russia done any of the following?

      – support death squads that assassinate political leaders and labor organizers
      – fund NGOs to organize astro-turfed protests and infiltrate governments and institutions
      – organize and implement coups d’etat
      – establish ratlines to provide logistics, funding, and equipment to terrorist organizations
      – fund and directly implement lawfare tactics against politicians in other countries

      To the best of my knowledge, they haven’t.

      The “system” is Imperialism, and the empire is the United States. You cannot assume that what the empire does is just the same as what everybody else does. The empire acts on a plane of its own.

      1. Anonymousforthis

        Exactly. As far as I know, in recent years the only obvious evidence of Chinese influence consists of the PRC hiring some subcontractors helping Chinese citizens with paperwork and Confucius Institutes to teach the Chinese language. Even this amount of influence is evidently too much for Western governments, so the institutes were shut down and the subcontractors were arrested and prosecuted.

        I would be surprised if China does not have an excellent intelligence gathering organization outside their borders. It would be absolutely irresponsible. And yes, I expect that intelligence gathering to include military intelligence and commercial intelligence, just like everybody else.

        But China does not put interfering NGOs and media organizations into other countries. It maintains its neutrality to a sometimes infuriating degree (such as continuing to trade with Israel and maintain warm relationships with the coup Pakistani government). It does not use its loans to coerce economic restructuring of other countries. It does not assassinate leaders of other countries. It does not occupy countries 80 years after the end of conflicts in order to ‘contain’ or ‘rollback’ Russia or China.

      2. Aurelien

        Sigh. The discussion was about the allegations made in the article which, without being able to verify individual cases, are entirely typical of the activities of major nations in the world. Anyone who doesn’t realise this is just being naive.

        If, for your own reasons, you want to argue that the United States is the worstest, horriblest, evilest no-goodest nation in the world, that’s your privilege but it’s a different argument.

        1. Kouros

          This orchestration has a precedent AND has a political goal, which is what it seems to escape you.

    2. Anonymousforthis

      Would you like to supply some evidence of these actions rather than casting shade over the Chinese diaspora? I know of Chinese diaspora scientists being charged with spying for China but I’m not aware of any instances where the facts supported the accusations.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if friendly debriefs happened but as someone in the Chinese diaspora who regularly traveled to China for 30 years, I’ve never been questioned at the border checkpoints or been approached by anyone while in China. This includes family friends who work for the State security apparatus – they didn’t hint at anything. My parents keep in touch with a large number of diaspora engineers and scientists and I am not aware of anyone ever mentioning contacts with Chinese intelligence. I’ve worked in sufficiently sensitive positions to require reporting of overseas travel and know people with security clearances.

      If this intelligence gathering happens (and they would be fools if they did not develop an extensive intelligence network), it is likely much more targeted than what you’re representing.

      1. Anonymousforthis

        And just to be clear, if I had been questioned, I would have immediately asked them to stop and truthfully reported the contact to my old employer. If they had persisted, I would have stopped talking and requested to speak with someone in the American consulate.

        Unlike Israel, Anglosphere, and EU countries, the PRC does not accept any kind of dual citizenship outside of some local arrangements in Taiwan/HK/Macao. The diaspora do not have Chinese citizenship or an easy path to gain ancestry based citizenship. Our loyalty to our actual nationality is very different from that of an Israeli-American or a Canadian with an Irish grandparent.

      2. CA

        June 27, 2023

        Caught in the crossfire: Fears of Chinese–American scientists
        By Yu Xie, Xihong Lin, Ju Li and Junming Huang


        The US global leadership in science and technology has greatly benefitted from immigrants from other countries, most notably from China in the recent decades. However, feeling the pressure of potential federal investigations since the 2018 launch of the China Initiative, scientists of Chinese descent in the United States now face higher incentives to leave the United States and lower incentives to apply for federal grants. Analyzing data pertaining to institutional affiliations of more than 200 million scientific papers, we find a steady increase in the return migration of scientists of Chinese descent from the United States to China. We also conducted a survey of scientists of Chinese descent employed by US universities in tenured or tenure-track positions (n = 1,304), with results revealing general feelings of fear and anxiety that lead them to consider leaving the United States and/or stop applying for federal grants. If the situation is not corrected, American science will likely suffer the loss of scientific talent to China and other countries.

    3. Kouros

      Yes, all goverments might be doing it. But in this case, the US Spookes have unleashed a war aimed at legalizing enemity to China, which is a step much, much bigger than anything China or Russia have done.

      Any disending view is what is being prosecuted now and a person as astute and experienced as you are should recognize this fact.

      First the Spooks went for the Anglosphere (speaking about chinahand):

      The article linked above doesn’t describe the political witch hunt that went in Canada last year on allegations by a CSIS whistleblower. I worked in government, and going to the press is a no-no, there are internal channels. And the guy had no problems. So far the plot did not work in Canada (they are so far paying far less tribute to the US MIC, compared to the Australians for instance, 88 F-35 are several times cheaper than the 6 nuclear subs Australians are paying for, but there are rumbles for more)

      Now they are moving to EU to try to legalize enemity to China and cockblock it from continuous economic collaboration.

  6. Carolinian

    Sounds like the opponents of Afd have been watching MSNBC–all the same arguments. Is Maddow on the Sky network? Or perhaps it’s the mentioned Atlanticists who are the common denominator. In fact I detect a shadowy global conspiracy that in this case may be real. If true then naturally they assume Putin and Xi are running one too.

  7. DanB

    Most ,not all, West Germans have regarded those from the former East German states as feral children, country bumpkins, Soviet Stooges, and so on. It now strikes me as ironic that when I interviewed East German intellectuals and scientists in 1990-91 they noted how West Germans had a childlike relationship to government and a rather impoverished ability to recognized government and corporate propaganda. These East Germans also told me in 2014, when I reinterviewed some of them, that the genuine contributions of the GDR (East Germany), of which they cited several, had not been acknowledged by the West Germans. A contemporary contribution of the East German worldview is yet another contribution: the resistance to, and dissatisfaction with, neoliberalism, which is now taking a severely repressive turn to maintain its grip on Western societies. AfD has benefitted from this dissatisfaction, but, in my view, it leads nowhere progressive and is mostly regressive revanchism. The party of Sahra Wagenknecht, which seems to be a a class-analysis based progressive party, also draws most of its strength from the East German states. It would be yet another irony if this East German worldview spreads through Germany and the neoliberals, who are anti-democratic, are overthrown.

  8. Tom67

    How big is the Neonazi core in the AFD? At least in my neck of woods here in West Germany near to France not very much if at all. The local MP for the state of Hessia is Vietnamese, another one for the federal parliament is the son of a black GI (and it shows) and the worst of the local rabble rousers is a jet black Tamil. I think much the same dynamic is in place like in the US where Trump is making inroads among the Blacks and Hispanics. Unregulated immigration is keenly felt at the bottom of the pile. More criminality and competition for sparse ressources like housing. The local “left” is panicking that their most loyal constituency is abandoning them and that is why they proclaim that the AFD wants to deport legal citizens who immigrated two or three generations ago. I am not sure how well they will succeed. A friend who works in a big factory reports that even second generation Turks are not the least bit afraid of the AFD.
    Why this mad immigration policy? I don´t have an answer. I know for a fact that social and economic policy wise the Social Democrats and the Greens are not the least bit better than the “offical” opposition that is the Christian Democrats. In the minds of a large part of the population anything is better than the uniparty. That is where the Wagenknecht party might come in. “Might”, because until now it is unknown whether first they manage to put up the necessary organisation and second whether they will not be coopted.
    To finish on a pessimistic note: the degree of censorship, war mongering and outright suppression of the opposition has reached a degree that I never seen in my lifetime nor thought possible. I fear we might be on the road to some sort of new fascism if fascism is defined as the unholy marriage of capital and a coercive state machinery. The danger is not from the AFD but from the uniparty government. I think the Wagenknecht party makes a big mistake if they – for fear of being tarred with the same brush – don´t start to protest what is happening. I firmly believe they will be next if the methods they are applying now to the AFD work. Many on the undogmatic left are of my opinion. Partly they and their websites (nachdenkseiten, overton-magazin, multipolar) are already being attacked by the usual methods. First defamation then debanking and finally outright police harrassment.

    1. caucus99percenter

      As a U.S. citizen who has lived in Germany — in Hesse in the west and Saxony in the east — for almost 50 years, I agree with all of this — particularly this passage:

      > the degree of censorship, war mongering and outright suppression of the opposition has reached a degree that I [have] never seen in my lifetime nor thought possible. I fear we might be on the road to some sort of new fascism if fascism is defined as the unholy marriage of capital and a coercive state machinery. The danger is not from the AfD but from the uniparty government.

      1. Tom67

        Thank you! It is hard to convey to outsiders what is happening here. The powers that be use all the good words of the left to enact a program that is the total opposite. At least if you are concerned with economic justice, the well being of our fellow citizens, freedom of speech, peace and coexistence et al.

      2. CA

        “As a U.S. citizen who has lived in Germany — in Hesse in the west and Saxony in the east — for almost 50 years…”

        “The powers that be use all the good words of the left to enact a program that is the total opposite…”

        Supposing the past actually can be learned from for a society or culture, why does the German government appear so threatening now? Germany should be an international peace-maker given the German past, but I am confused that this is evidently now so.

        1. JBird4049

          Propaganda is one heck of a drug isn’t? The United States, Canada, the UK, Germany all have neoliberal regimes consisting of political parties that are both remarkably alike in their actions and very different from those of fifty years ago. Not only are they subverted, I assume that they are corrupt as well, which is why they are being so threatening. Keeping the grift going requires keeping it at least somewhat obscured and any potential opposition cowed. Just look at the college protests over Gaza and the establishment’s efforts to stop them.

    2. AG

      Neither did I expect this unprecedented scale of an intellectual fallout in this country.
      It´s beyond words.
      On the other hand you certainly gotta distinguish between public and published opinion.
      Important here: Since those who publish are professionals on that, do it well, know the hows.

      This makes them appear more powerful in the public than they really are. More representative.
      (Look at the files&ranks of the SPD. They must be furious. AfD is used by SPD leadership to control that fury. Funnel it.)

      Those whose business opinions are not, who gain nothing from opinioning, who are therefore decent because they have no vested interest in influencing what others think, they are not good in that area. But they are naturally many.
      The media elite has always been a small minority.

      So this misrepresentation of reality is an intrinsic part of the mass media. Its falsifying by design.

      As for the AfD in the state of NRW some say SPD is eroding to the benefit of former.
      Which eventually certainly strengthens CDU/CSU. Which will incorporate – back into its system AfD – after AfD has served its purpose. After all AfD is a CDU-creature in essence.

      One problem of BSW is their little support among the young.

      But the party leadership is experienced enough to not commit certain mistakes.
      SPD knows well that they might hurt themselves if they start demonizing Wagenknecht too much.

      From Adam´s Rib so-to-speak. Self-cannibalisation has always been this issue with the left, alas, it being so darn idealistic.

      Something which CDU-personnel never really was and why the FRG-population has always been called “structurally conservative.”.
      Which on the surface might sound true but eventually is a manipulative negligence of German labour movement traditions.

  9. AG

    well, well, well what remains there else to be said?
    Get a spot in an asylum near you?
    Or to quote the movie Jackie Brown “Get high and watch TV”?
    I dunno…

    To at least offer something of value for today from my side:

    Aaron Maté and Lee Fang recently had 2 good pieces on US meddling in UKR politics & media:

    “U.S. Helps Pro-Ukraine Media Run a Fog Machine of War”
    Lee Fang

    “What 10 Years of U.S. Meddling in Ukraine Have Wrought (Spoiler Alert: Not Democracy)”
    Aaron Maté

    both for

    A word on Holger Stark deputy senior editor at DIE ZEIT and one of 5(!) reporting about evil Krahl in above linked piece.

    (As a school kid I honestly used to read that paper for real, which meant to read stuff by Theo Sommer or Marion Gräfin Dönhoff – yep, have come a long way to end up with you hippies here…)

    I am not well enough acquainted with Stark´s work to condemn him. I assume he means well. According to Seymour Hersh who knows Stark from his time in D.C. (yeah, D.C….why not Baton Rouge? or Philly?) Stark is a decent reporter.

    I have read two pieces in the last two years by Stark which both are absurd:

    In the summer of 2022 4 weeks before NS2 said bye-bye a huge scandal erupted in Habeck´s ministry of economics.
    Habeck´s people accused two senior experts who had been working at their desks on gas politics for already a very long time, of being Russian spies.


    Because they had simply been contradicting Habeck´s demands for decoupling fom RU on gas and for ending Nordstream.

    Remember NS2 had been hated by the GREENS well before Febr. 2022.

    And instead of bringing up arguments, Habeck very elegantly rid the problem by denouncing them as RU spies and bringing in the anti-espionage unit for an internal investigation.

    Which was a dick move since Habeck knew that this accusation was totally bogus. (The guy who writes children´s books.)

    This caused huge ruckus. So huge that it reached DIE ZEIT and Holger Stark.
    Every child knows that this had NOTHING to do with espionage for RU.

    Except Holger Stark himself.

    Being a loyal servant of affirmative reporting instead of dismissing the accusations he put them into the headline of his big page-filling article. It said something moronic about “Moscow”.

    The accusations of course never materialized but silenced internal opposition to Habeck, that really cool guy.

    I am not aware that Holger Stark wrote another big piece on Habeck abusing his power.
    And that there was zero evidence found. That remained unreported.

    Example 2 was Stark´s diligence in following leads provided by German secret intelligence service when trying to find the TRUE perpetrators of the Nordstream sabotage. And so the smart reporters came up with traces to Andromeda.

    Wow. What craftsmanship.

    Can you take any of these people seriously?

    Or take the world-shattering scoops of “Vulcan Papers” – anybody?

    Well, some super-top-highlevel Russian Whisssstelblower had provided the SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, GUARDIAN and others with super-top-top secret material from the dungeons of the Kremlin.

    It was spun and spun and spun for weeks. But as expected nothing came from it. As any normal reader could see after 10 minutes of reading (yes those pieces were tedious to read.)

    Craig Murray actually took the time to go through that crap. Kudos for that.

    And the same incompetence of course is on display with Gaza.
    You think any reporter in Germany has heard of the Israeli reports that HAMAS did not mass rape women?
    That those stories were completely and totally hoax?


    So there is nothing to be surprised about only to be pissed off over German reporting.
    0 points quality.
    100 points hysteria.
    1000 points hypocrisy.

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