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Meet AFD-Chan And Putsch-Chan, The Anime Girl Mascots Of The German Far Right

Introducing the adorable cartoon faces of German far-right extremism.

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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.

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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.

Discord

Discord is a popular voice and chat application for gamers and the far right. The Reconquista Germanica server has several hundred users in it and has been increasingly aggressive in the lead-up to the German election.

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.

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.

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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.

4chan

Generation Identity was responsible for trying to pull a controversial stunt in the Mediterranean Sea in July.

It successfully crowdfunded enough money to get a boat and sail with the hopes of disrupting NGOs trying to save stranded refugees. The mostly German and Austrian members of Generation Identity were responsible for the spread of a conspiracy theory that NGO Médecins Sans Frontières, aka Doctors Without Borders, wasn't actually rescuing refugees lost at sea, but involved in a human trafficking operation.

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.

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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.

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.

4chan

AfD-chan and Putsch-chan were included in a recent draw with 4chan’s other mascots. In the top left is a remix of Christ-chan dressed up in a reference to a Serbian propaganda film from the mid-'90s. The character she's interacting with is a meme character called ISIS-chan, who is usually drawn eating melon.

In the second panel is Rachel Purity and Christ-chan interacting with a character called Pol-tan, a cartoon version of 4chan's /pol/ messageboard who is usually depicted as a disheveled young man wearing a black suit and a swastika armband. In the top right panel is anime version of the Tay AI chat bot. Tay was a Twitter bot released by Microsoft in 2016. She became extremely popular on 4chan after the bot radicalized and started spewing hate speech. In the panel on the left in the second row is Premiere, a reference to another chatbot 4chan tried to mess with.

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.

4chan

German Michel is usually drawn in a nightcap and his main characteristic is that he must wake up. In the cartoon below, AfD-chan is pouring him coffee.

4chan

This mixing of new memes with 19th-century symbols of nationalism is growing increasingly popular among European far-right trolls. During the French elections, it wasn't uncommon to see far-right candidate Marine Le Pen drawn as an anime version of Joan of Arc.

BuzzFeed News attempted to reach out to multiple Twitter accounts using the AfD-chan persona.

Twitter: @AfdKek

One account, @AfD_chan, told BuzzFeed News that they don't see Germany as a free country for expression.

"The lying media is trying to perpetuate their ideas of cultural Marxism and to further the genocide of whites," they said. "Angela 'state mosque not AfD' Merkel is not my chancellor. You have to convey that somehow."

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.

“@everyone: Attention! Attention! Here is an information of the command line of the Meme force: Enemy demagogous of the propaganda paper 'BuzzFeed' try to contact us with various Twitter accounts. We can only suspect a malicious intention of our efforts to reconcile our beloved fatherland. The contact with hostile agents who try to implement their agenda in such a plump way is to be avoided. Ignore appropriate requests.”

BuzzFeed News has reached out to the AfD for comment.

Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Ryan Broderick at ryan@buzzfeed.com.

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