For Germany, Far-Right Extremism Is a Problem From Hell

For Germany, Far-Right Extremism Is a Problem From Hell
Demonstrators protest against a rally of right-wing extremists in Dortmund, in Germany’s western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Oct. 9, 2021 (DPA photo by Roland Weihrauch via AP).

BERLIN—No European country does more than Germany to confront right-wing extremism—namely xenophobic, anti-democratic movements that perpetrate or extoll violence. Since the end of World War II, against the backdrop of the Nazi regime’s crimes, the country has battled far-right extremism in a vast array of ways: using the security apparatus, democracy promotion, educational campaigns and even bans on extremist parties and organizations, among other measures. 

One might even say that Germans are specialists in the field—although in Europe, the phenomenon of a violent far right is not unique to Germany. Yet even though Berlin bends over backward to address the scourge, its efforts are often akin to fighting the Hydra monster of Greek mythology: Every time one of its heads is cut off, two seem to grow back.  

“If there were an easy answer, we’d have solved this by now,” admits Natascha Strobl, a Vienna-based political scientist and author of books on the far right. “It’s not like one policy or program will eliminate the rightist extremism.”

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.