Alternative for Germany is Germany's far-right party. The latest polls for the AfD show it polling around 10%. That puts it pretty far from securing a chancellor spot in the coming election.
But it could mean it'd end up being the first far-right party to get enough votes to enter Germany's parliament in 60 years.
BuzzFeed News has spent the last several weeks inside one of the larger Discord servers for German far-right fanboys. It's run by a German YouTuber, Nikolai Alexander, who makes videos under the name Reconquista Germanica.
The channel has attempted to mobilize a few hashtags, but for the most part its seemingly young users mostly share memes with each other and, of course, talk about Trump.
One of the more common memes that appears in the Discord is an AfD remix of Pepe the Frog. Instead of his typical green skin, they've recolored him to fit the AfD's blue and red party colors.
But by far the most important meme for the German far right is AfD-chan. She's a blue-haired anime character that is typically portrayed as a sassy teen girl.
German Trump supporters and AfD trolls spend most of their time sharing news with each other on Reddit's r/Die_Alternative subreddit, a German 4chan knockoff called Krautchan, 4chan's /pol/ messageboard, and small Discord groups. AfD-chan is a constant fixture across all of these communities.
She's typically drawn with pigtail, a red AfD arrow hairpin, a gray shirt, a white shirt, and a red tie. Usually she's paired with a German flag.
In the cartoon below, she's on a laptop covered in stickers featuring things like Pepe, the red checkmark of Junge Alternative — the AfD's youth outreach wing — and the symbol for pan-European far-right group Generation Identity.
AfD-chan's also regularly drawn interacting with other memes or symbols associated with the far right in the US.
You'll also see the AfD's party chairwoman Frauke Petry photoshopped to look like AfD-chan.
AfD-chan is part of a larger universe of far-right anime girls. Most regularly, she's paired with another character called Putsch-chan. "Putsch" is the German word for coup.
Putsch-chan is usually depicted as the angrier, moodier character on German messageboards. They usually pull her out when users hear bad news about how AfD is doing in the polls.
Below she's drawn next to two other very popular 4chan far-right mascots, Rachel Purity and Christ-chan.
Christ-chan and Rachel (Racial) Purity both appeared on 4chan about three years ago. They're part of a larger anti-Islam fetishization of cultural Christianity and Nazism that plays out on 4chan.
These characters usually show up in "Draw threads," where users challenge each other to draw new ways to red-pill young users with cutesy depictions of anti-Semitism, Nazism, and anti-Islamism.
AfD-chan is sometimes paired with a cutesy version of Deutscher Michel, or German Michel, who has been a symbol of German nationalism since the 19th century.
BuzzFeed News attempted to reach out to multiple Twitter accounts using the AfD-chan persona.
Also, during the course of reporting, a message was posted on the Reconquista Germanica Discord channel warning its members not to speak to BuzzFeed News.
Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Ryan Broderick at email@example.com.
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