AfD flags in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, September 16, 2013.
Fabrizio Bensch / Courtesy Reuters

For years, Germany has enjoyed the noble distinction of being the only major European country without a significant right-wing, anti-euro party. But far from celebrating their country’s sudden status as the continent’s exemplary democracy, many German observers suffered from a certain degree of angst. It was only a matter of time, they believed, before a talented populist—someone charismatic, highly educated, and professionally accomplished—found a formula that appealed to the German public. After all, surveys have consistently shown that Germans are just as likely to harbor EU-antagonistic, foreigner-unfriendly, and Islamophobic sentiments as their counterparts in the Netherlands,

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