“We will hunt her,” Alexander Gauland exclaimed to a crowd of supporters in Berlin late on September 24. “We will hunt Mrs. Merkel and whomever else. And we will take our country and our people back.”
Gauland’s party, the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), had just won a historic victory in Germany’s federal election. With 12.6 percent of the vote, it became the first far-right force to enter Parliament since 1960. Its leaders are resolved to use their place in the Bundestag to fight what they call Germany’s Altparteien—its “old parties”—which they claim have betrayed the country.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is the focus of their ire. AfD officials have called her a “lawbreaker” and a “chancellor dictator” for having let almost a million asylum seekers into Germany without Parliament’s consent in 2015. Her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party and its biggest rival, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), took
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