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The AfD Has Just Won The Biggest Vote Share For A German Far-Right Party Since The Nazis

The party came third in Sunday's election, winning 13.5% of the vote, according to exit polls.

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Alternative for Germany (AfD) — a German political party with far right–leaning views — is predicted to have gained 13.5% in Sunday's federal election.

The preliminary exit polls indicate that the AfD is now the third-biggest party after the Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD).

#BREAKING: German election exit polls: CDU/CSU - 32.5% SPD - 20% AfD - 13.5% FDP - 10.5% Greens - 9.5% Left party - 9% #GermanyDecides

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It's the largest percentage gained by a far-right party in Germany since the Nazis' 43.91% in 1933. Weeks after that vote, Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler enacted laws that gave him plenary power.

While Germany has seen numerous far-right parties following the collapse of Nazi Germany in 1945, this is the first time a far-right party has entered the German parliament since 1945.

Germany: First time since end of Nazi era in 1945, a far-right party enters the German parliament. #btw17 #AfD

After the exit polls were announced, the AfD sent out a tweet thanking Germany for its "support in recent weeks and months."

Danke 🇩🇪! Die #AfD bedankt sich sehr herzlich für Ihre Unterstützung in den letzten Wochen und Monaten! Fraktionsac… https://t.co/Ai7uuulZ1j

The AfD's cofounder Alexander Eberhardt Gauland said the party will "hunt" the larger parties and "change Germany."

„Wir werden Deutschland verändern.“ -Alexander Gauland, Spitzenkandidat AfD. #btw17.

And the party's chairwoman called the election result a "political earthquake."

Das Unmögliche ist wahr geworden: 🇩🇪 erlebt ein unvegleichliches politisches Erdbeben. Packen wir es an! #TrauDichDeutschland #AfD #Btw17 *

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Chants of "We are going to take this country back" were reportedly heard at the AfD election party as supporters celebrated.

"We are going to going to take this country back" chants crowd at AfD party as exit polls show they got 13.5% of vote

@AfD @GuidoReil GLÜCKWÜNSCHE !!! Die Nationalisten von Deutschland und Europa wachsen !!! Genug der EU! Stoppen Sie… https://t.co/cjgXA9lT5G

"CONGRATULATIONS! The nationalists of Germany and Europe are growing! Enough of the EU! Stop immigration!"

Die #afd ist das Gewissen unseres Landes. Danke euch #afd ! ❤️ #bundestagswahl17

"The AfD is the conscience of our country. Thank you AfD!"

Für alle die Ihr Land lieben. Es gibt nur eine Alternative https://t.co/ZJEpzQnbn6

"For all the love your country. There is only one alternative."

People were shocked by the result.

13,5% für die AfD - keine Worte 👋🏼 #BTW2017

"13.5% for the AfD — no words."

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Trump, AFD was kommt als nächstes ?

"Trump, AfD, what comes next?"

"Die hauen uns tot. Ich bin so erschüttert". Emotionale Reaktionen aus der queeren Community zum AfD-Ergebnis.… https://t.co/0Z1ZYqWvAV

"'They'll beat us dead. I'm so shocked.' Emotional reactions from the queer community about the AfD result."

Many were saddened by what they felt was history repeating itself.

Wie kann es sein, dass die AfD, laut der Prognose, 13,5% hat? Lernt ihr denn eigentlich gar nichts aus der Vergangenheit? Alteeer #btw

"How can it be that the AfD, according to the forecast, has gained 13.5%? Can you actually learn anything from the past?"

It's 2017. #AfD are the third largest party in German politics. Let that soak in for a second. Nazis. Germany.😢

Unterdessen bei der @AfD-Wahlparty. #BTW17

"Meanwhile at the AfD election party."

Merkel predicted 32.5% of the vote in Germany. (Theresa May got 42.4% by the way). AFD likely to get over 13%. The EU is in crisis now

Others, however, remained optimistic.

Okay, wir haben jetzt vier Jahre Zeit, um die AfD zu überwinden, die Demokratie zu erhalten und Menschenrechte zu verteidigen. #btw17

"Okay, we now have four years to overcome the AfD to keep democracy and defend human rights."

France's far-right candidate Marine Le Pen has tweeted to congratulate the party on the "historic result," which she called "a new symbol of revival of the European people."

Bravo à nos alliés de l’#AfD pour ce score historique ! C’est un nouveau symbole du réveil des peuples européens. MLP #BTW2017

Martin Sellner, the leader of the "New Right" Identitarian Movement of Austria, also tweeted in support of the AfD.

Rachael Krishna is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rachael Krishna at rachael.krishna@buzzfeed.com.

Kassy Cho is a reporter with BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Kassy Cho at kassy.cho@buzzfeed.com.

Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Julia Reinstein at julia.reinstein@buzzfeed.com.

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