Querdenker, Querfront, and QAnon: On the German Far-Right and Its American Occupation

This is part of a series on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 


On August 27, 2020, two days before a planned rally in Berlin against public health measures instituted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, German conspiracy theorist Oliver Janich posted a YouTube video appealing directly to Donald Trump and Fox News in English asking them to pay attention to “the biggest protest on the face of the Earth.” He also announced that the rally would include members of “the movement with the seventeenth letter of the alphabet” and recited the QAnon slogan “where we go one, we go all.” [1] Contrary to Janich’s prediction, Berlin Police estimated that the assortment of COVID-19 denialists, radical nationalists, and other fringe ideologues who attended the August 29 rally only amounted to ca. 38,000 people. Nonetheless, the turnout was at least large enough for some 400-500 of them to sweep past police barricades that evening and swarm the steps of the Reichstag building, the seat of Germany’s parliament. They could have forced their way inside, but were pushed back by police. More than 300 people were arrested over the course of the day, although few of those arrests took place at the Reichstag. Parliamentarians and much of the general public were outraged, but it was only after the January 6, 2021 breach of the United States Capitol four months later that security at the German parliament was significantly increased.[2]

The events in Berlin in August and Washington in January are linked not only by the fact that both culminated in substantive threats to the institutions of representative democracy, but also by specific conspiracy theories—adapted to the historical and political contexts in the respective countries—that motivated many of the participants. In particular, while elements of the QAnon belief system give it the appearance of an all-American phenomenon in its evocation of a “satanic panic” reminiscent of crusading 1980s televangelists, its prurient, obsessive loathing for Hollywood, and its ceaseless fascination with the John F. Kennedy assassination, the Berlin rally prominently featured flags, banners, and T-shirts linking QAnon references such as the letter Q or the acronym WWG1WGA (“where we go one, we go all”) with symbols of German nationalism—most notably the black, white, and red flag of the pre-1918 German Empire, or Kaiserreich—and demands for a peace treaty with both Russia and the United States.[3] The internal logic that binds these symbols together is obscure, but the fact that right wing activists have been able to blend them almost seamlessly together is an indication of both the malleability of vague hostility toward “the elites” and an international authoritarian zeitgeist that denies, to varying degrees, the legitimacy of existing democratic state authorities. This essay seeks to articulate the historical and ideological background that made the events of August 29 in Berlin possible. It also explores the ways in which German activists’ complicated relationship with the United States contributes to their capacity to foment a cohesive transatlantic far-right.


A foreign notion

In the 1960s-70s, West Germany’s postwar generation of young far-right activists saw a need to reestablish radical nationalism as a viable political standpoint after it had been discredited by the failure of the National Socialist regime. One way they attempted to do that without taking up the baggage of their parents’ generation was by inserting themselves into ongoing global discussions about anti-colonialism and national liberation. In 1973, for instance, self-styled “national revolutionary” Henning Eichberg worked out a concept he called “ethnopluralism,”[4] which asserted that every group with a distinct ethnic identity should have its own unified, bounded territory to call its own. Although redolent of Wilsonian ideas of national self-determination and post-World War II thinking about multiculturalism, ethnopluralism assumes that each discrete ethnicity (however defined) should be kept separate from all others in order to preserve its unique identity. Rhetorically championing national sovereignty movements around the world allowed young reactionary nationalists to insinuate themselves into an anti-colonial discourse that was considered predominantly left-wing terrain without giving up their own patriotic chauvinism. In West Germany, it also provided a foundation for raising what far-right groups called “the German question,” which concerned the divided country’s fate under the conditions of the Cold War.[5] “National revolutionaries” believed (not entirely without justification) that bifurcated Germany was a colony of both the United States and the Soviet Union and encouraged others to join them in pursuing a “third way” that was critical of both capitalism and communism. “Third way” or “third position” rhetoric, of course, was not a new coinage from the decolonization era, but rather hearkened back to the left-right Querfront coalitions of the 1920s, which seldom achieved anything substantive apart from legitimizing the claims of far-right nationalists.

The collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the Soviet Union in 1991 briefly took some wind from the sails of “third way” ideology. However, the continued presence of US soldiers and weaponry on German soil remained a point of contention for many people across Germany’s political spectrum. The Bush-era “global war on terror” only heightened these concerns amid debates about Germany’s engagement in its most extensive military deployments to active combat zones since 1945, all at the behest of its transatlantic ally (or, if you prefer, its colonial ruler). At the same time, progress toward integrating the two Germanys after 1990 was slow, inconsistent, and frequently marked by a sneering condescension toward East Germans, whose erstwhile country was often regarded as having kept them in the dark for forty years.

The combination of widespread anti-communist sentiment and roiling anti-Americanism in the 2000s created an opening for what is known as the Reichsbürger (“citizen(s) of the Reich”) movement, which is likewise fueled by the assumption that Germany is an occupied country. The movement is decentralized and heterogeneous, but it is generally accepted that it coalesced into its current form in 1985, when West Berlin-based former railway worker Wolfgang Ebel declared that he had been commissioned by the Allied powers to lead an interim government of the German Reich, which he claimed had never ceased to exist. His Kommissarische Reichsregierung (KRR, Provisional Government of the Reich) was a pseudo-state organization that established a template for other Reichsbürger that endures within certain elements of the movement to the present. Ebel, however, explicitly distanced himself from neo-Nazis, who, in turn, later established their own Reichsbürger scene starting in the mid-1990s under the leadership of, among others, Red Army Faction founder HorstMahler. Mahler, a living embodiment of the Querfront concept if there ever was one, was a prominent Marxist-Leninist attorney who drifted further and further right throughout the 1980s and eventually co-founded the Deutsches Kollegtraining center in 1994, which lauded Hitler’s 1933 “German Revolution” and sought to foster a “Fourth Reich.” Just who qualifies as a Reichsbürger and just which Reich is the right one (the pre-1914 one under the Kaiser, the one established in Weimar in 1919, or the one under Hitler?) are therefore questions with different answers depending on who is answering, but what the whole heterogeneous movement generally agrees on is that the Federal Republic of Germany (BRD, or West Germany) was illegitimate when it was established in 1949 and remains so today, even after reunification. Movement supporters typically do not acknowledge the BRD’s current borders or even its state authority. They often refuse to pay taxes and fines and, like Ebel’s KRR, sometimes support themselves by selling ersatz trappings (passports, license plates, etc.) of an imagined present-day German Reich.[6]

In the absence of a specific peace treaty with the Allied Powers to formally end World War II, Reichsbürger maintain that the German Constitution and government are illegal and Germany remains an occupied nation—by some interpretations, a nation still at war. Although there is, in fact, no treaty that specifically marks the official end of the war in Europe, the 1952 General Treaty between the Western Allies and the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as decades of legal and practical precedent, have definitively established that the war is over and Germany is a sovereign country. Until recently, the Reichsbürger only ever constituted a fringe movement, often derided even by other far-right groups for its “bad optics.” However, it has grown rapidly in the past decade and by 2019, the German domestic intelligence agency estimated that the movement comprised some 19,000 participants nationwide.[7] Adherents are scattered across the country and, while they can be found in high concentrations in the eastern states of Thuringia and Saxony, there are also large numbers of them in the southern states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria,[8] making it impossible to ascribe the movement solely to the differences in economic and social conditions that persist between the former East Germany and the West. Moreover, its participants are not simply harmless cranks. In August 2016, for example, movement adherent Adrian Ursache was injured in a shootout with a police officer in a small Bavarian town and sentenced to seven years in prison for attempted murder. One of Ursache’s supporters, identified in media reports as fellow Reichsbürger Wolfgang P., got into a shootout in the same town the following October, injuring three police officers and killing a fourth.[9]


Bringing conspiracy theories out of the shadows and across the ocean

Given that its founding narrative is rooted in conspiracy theories, it should be no surprise that even the Reichsbürger who are not neo-Nazis have been linked with antisemitism on a number of occasions. For example, three members of an esoteric Reichsbürger cult were arrested in January 2017 on suspicion of forming a terror cell aimed at attacking Jews and refugees.[10] However, their antisemitism manifests in more subtle ways as well. In a 2009 song “Raus aus demReichstag” (Out of the Reichstag), popular soul singer and Reichsbürger Xavier Naidoo concocted a rhyme for the name “Rothschild” as he lamented the agenda of a “Baron Totschild” who secretly calls the shots in the German government (the Rothschild family is a constant object of antisemitic conspiracy theories; the “Tot-” prefix means “dead” or “death”). In April 2020, Naidoo posted a tearful video on YouTube decrying alleged instances of child sacrifice, an apparent reference to QAnon’s fundamental belief that nefarious elites are kidnapping children and drinking their blood in psychedelic, satanic, and/or cannibalistic rituals in order to harvest the allegedly rejuvenating chemical adrenochrome from their blood. The connection with the centuries-old, antisemitic “blood libel” is not difficult to detect.[11] In addition to invoking antisemitic reference points, Naidoo, who has over 350,000 followers on YouTube and almost 500,000 on Instagram, has also helped mainstream the idea of Germany as an occupied nation. On a televised morning news program in October 2011, he declared that, “No, we are not free. We are still an occupied country! Germany still has no peace treaty and therefore is not a real country and not free.” He instantly became a darling of Reichsbürger circles and has incorporated lyrics about the movement into his songs.[12]

One person the rapper and activist Naidoo has cited as influencing his worldview is Oliver Janich. Janich is not exactly a “third way” believer or a self-identified Reichsbürger, but he has repackaged the Germany-as-colony myth via a convoluted idea that the country is secretly controlled by the former East Germany’s still-functioning Stasi intelligence agency in conjunction with the CIA. Janich believes that the two formerly rival spy organizations are now part of a global banker/communist conspiracy. Angela Merkel, who grew up in East Germany, plays an important role in this drama given that Janich marks her as deeply embedded in the secretive, transatlantic Bilderberg Group and as a former informant for both the Stasi and the KGB during her youth (Merkel has denied claims that she was ever an informant). Janich was also an early overseas Trump supporter and readily seized on Trump’s January 2016 comment that “the German people are going to end up overthrowing this woman [Merkel]. I don’t know what the hell she is thinking” in response to Merkel’s decision to allow Syrian refugees to be settled in Germany. By March 2016, Janich was citing a Fox News interview with Newt Gingrich in which the former Speaker of the House praised Trump as an “outsider” who “does not belong to the secret society.” A year later, Janich was warning of a “planned coup against Donald Trump” and by November 2017, he was openly inquiring whether “Q” was “Donald Trump’s secret agent.”[13] Since then, he has grown into a leading proponent of QAnon in Germany.

Trump has been a messianic savior figure in the QAnon belief system since its inception and it seems paradoxical to embrace a US president in those terms while also believing that Germany needs to be released from the clutches of a US-run cabal. However, Reichsbürger and vegan celebrity chef Attila Hildmann, who frequently shares ideas with Janich on public forums, succinctly explained the rationale in a July 2020 statement to CNN: “Germany is not a free country but is still occupied by the Americans and therefore only the great nation of America has the power to liberate the Germans from Merkel’s reign of terror!” Hildmann has also argued (in all caps) that, as the custodian of an “occupation construct” during a pandemic allegedly caused by the Chinese government, Merkel has taken “a soft-line approach to China, turning against the occupier, against America!”[14] In his extreme commitment to German nationalism, Hildmann found a way to justify supporting the president of the “occupying” United States over the chancellor of Germany. He is not the only one.


A conspiracy of global proportions

By the time Janich published his video appeal to Trump and Fox News on August 27, the rally in Berlin had already gained vocal public support not only from pop culture figures like Naidoo and Hildmann, but also from an array of far-right leaders, including the “Identitarian” movement’s Martin Sellner, German New Right figures like Götz Kubitschekand Compact magazine editor Jürgen Elsässer, Alternative for Germany radical Björn Höcke, and neo-Nazi parties the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (National Democratic Party of Germany), Die Rechte (The Right), and III.Weg (3rd Way). The main rally organizer was a Stuttgart-based group called Querdenken 711. Its name implies free thinking against popular consensus (711 is the telephone prefix for Stuttgart), but it also conjures the idea of a Querfrontthat transcends conventional political alignments. Indeed, Querdenken supporters, who have established local groups across Germany, do hail from a variety of political perspectives, including prominent Green Party members and anti-vaxxers who tend toward more liberal politics. Environmental activist-turned-anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., scion of the United States’ most enduring liberal political dynasty, not only endorsed the August 29 rally, but also spoke at it.

A few days before the rally date, Berlin police revoked the permits for the planned events on the grounds that the same groups had organized another rally at the beginning of August and “deliberately broke the rules that they had accepted in prior discussions with the police.” The ban was overturned in court and in the interim it only produced an even more heated response. Participants began using the phrase “Sturm auf Berlin” (storming Berlin) in public online forums and, as one commenter in the “Corona-Rebellen” Telegram channel pointed out, “the benefit of a banned demo is that there are no restrictions.”[15] Three days before the rally, Janich posted a video under the header “Stay until the regime has fallen!”[16] New Right magazine Compact began branding August 29 as “the most important day since 1945.”[17]

The common thread between many of the rally participants is a fundamental denial of the legitimacy not only of the COVID-19 health measures, but also of the government itself. Despite their ideological particularities, Reichsbürger, QAnon believers, and COVID-19 truthers—all of which were very well represented—are united by a shared claim that they are motivated by the special insights they have gained from their own independent information sources and seek liberation from a lying, usurper regime. Under these circumstances, Donald Trump appears as an obvious fellow traveler, given that, among other things, his initial foray into presidential politics came in the form of embracing the birther conspiracy theory, which denies the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s presidency, and that he framed much of his tenure in the White House as a crusade against a putative “deep state” that he claimed was unelected, illegitimate, and constantly trying to undermine him. It should be no surprise, then, that his name and image adorned placards, T-shirts, and Kaiserreich flags scattered throughout the rally in Berlin.

Given the delegitimizing, often revolutionary rhetoric prior to the rally and the track record of aggressive behavior among some of the neo-Nazi groups promoting it, some degree of on-site conflict was always likely. The events took place within a relatively small area densely packed with symbols and institutions like the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag building, and the US and Russian embassies. The latter provided a handy backdrop for performative appeals for a peace treaty and the site of some 200 arrests (including Hildmann) resulting from rolling skirmishes with the police (there were approximately 300 arrests total over the course of the day). Of the several stages that rally organizers set up, one was directly in front of the Reichstag building. It was there that a woman named Tamara Kirschbaum appeared that evening before a crowd of roughly 1,000 people. A self-described naturopath with waist-length, sandy blonde dreadlocks, Kirschbaum is also a Reichsbürgerin and an active participant in the QAnon portal Qlobal Change. She had spoken at a small rally outside the Russian embassy the day before, where she vowed that participants would “wind up this fake government” and demanded a peace treaty with Russia that would finally end World War II. But if that was dramatic language, her speech outside the Reichstag bordered on eschatological. “We’re writing world history today,” she told her audience before erroneously announcing that “Trump is in Berlin! … We’ve almost won!” After declaring that Trump was “hermetically sealed” in the US embassy, she called on those present to show him that they really meant it – to prove themselves worthy of his redemption. “We have to prove that we’re all here,” she yelled. “We’re going up there [to the Reichstag] and claiming—today, here and now—our domestic rights. We’ll … go up there and sit peacefully on the steps and show President Trump that we want world peace and that we’re fed up! We have won!”[18] Some 4-500 people followed her lead. While the breach of police barricades around the building was an unprecedented affront to Germany’s federal government, the crowd did not actually enter the building despite the fact that, for some reason, its main entrance was initially defended by only three police officers. Unlike what happened at the US Capitol in January, the demonstrators at the Reichstag building were soon pushed back by large numbers of police reinforcements.

The two events differ in other important ways as well. While the insurrection in Washington had the stated objective of undoing the 2020 election and was timed specifically to interfere with the certification of its results, Germany’s Bundestag, by contrast, was not even in session on August 29, so there was no particular business to interrupt, nor were there targeted people to attack. Instead, “storming the Reichstag” achieved two other objectives: it produced a potent set of images of a mass of people waving the flag of the Kaiserreich on the steps of the historic building (thereby proposing a reclamation of the Reichstag for the Reich, as opposed to the currently existing Federal Republic) and it asserted a standing threat that similar or even more aggressive actions could be in the offing. On August 30, Hildmann wrote on his Telegram channel that the images produced that evening were both “historically unique” and “going around the world showing massive resistance and emboldening many people!” During another demonstration the following November, participants failed to breach heightened security outside the building, yet Alternative for Germany representatives flouted Bundestag rules to invite some activists inside to harass other politicians about a vote on COVID-19-related restrictions.[19]

Another significant difference has been the aftermath. In the United States, a wave of investigations and arrests since January 6 has largely hamstrung militia organizations like the Oath Keepers and “alt-light” groups like the Proud Boys, but neo-Nazi groups have sought to capitalize on disenchantment with Trump and the Republican Party. They have been more actively pursuing recruitment activities like banner drops and infiltrating social media outlets; it remains to be seen how successful these efforts have been. By contrast, Germany’s Querdenker protests only continued to grow in attendance and aggression, particularly toward journalists for the best part of a year afterwards.[20] Since December, the domestic intelligence service in various German states has placed the movement under official surveillance; by late April, so had Germany’s federal government.[21]

In what can be described as an affirmation of the emerging coalition, Compact editor Jürgen Elsässer (himself a one-time leftist whose path to the far-right ran through the confounding “Anti-Deutsch” movement) immediately declared the late August rally “a great victory” by a “liberation movement [that] liberated the capital for a day.” He argued that it turned the flag of the Kaiserreich into “a kind of pop symbol” and emphasized the togetherness of seemingly contradictory political milieus: “hippies and hooligans side by side, wolves and lambs living together in peace like in the Biblical prophecy. Rainbow, peace, and Reich flags in harmony.”[22] His magazine has also regularly highlighted the letter Q in its promotion of the Querdenker movement.[23] That coalition shows no signs of waning. On the contrary, German authorities are concerned about increased radicalization and growing anti-democratic tendencies among participants who had previously adhered to more moderate positions. In April 2021, for example, another dreadlocked naturopath andReichsbürgerin sent her 15,000 Telegram subscribers a list of Bundestag representatives who voted for a public health law designed to combat the spread of COVID-19. Nested amid posts of cat videos and spiritual healing advice, the list was titled “Death List of German Politicians.”[24]

What we are left with, then, is a wide-ranging amalgam of groups and individuals who mistrust state institutions to the point of denying their legitimacy and, in some cases, taking or encouraging action to directly assault them. That action, thus far, has been largely haphazard, however the momentum is clearly pointing in an unsettling direction. In the wake of the 2019 assassination of regional politician Walter Lübcke by a man associated with both the National Democratic Party and Alternative for Germany as well as the ongoing investigations into heavily armed and well trained prepper groups like the so-called Hannibal network,[25] the potential for deadly violence is very real. Moreover, the anxiety and mistrust engendered by COVID-19 and the attendant misinformation has rendered many people who otherwise might not even think of themselves as politically inclined susceptible to manipulation and recruitment in the form of conspiracy theories that offer seemingly cogent ways of understanding an unstable world. And as people like Oliver Janich have taken up the claim—even from across the ocean—that the 2020 US presidential election was stolen, it is abundantly clear that Trump’s departure from the White House has done little to stem the tide. On the contrary, it is an ongoing crisis that is far from over.



Joseph Keady is a writer and translator with a focus on far-right activities in North America and Europe. His current projects include a translation of German anarcho-syndicalist Rudolf Rocker’s memoirs and a book proposal about the role of narrative in shaping ideology and motivating action in the transatlantic far-right.



[1] His video was initially posted on YouTube, where Janich had ca. 158,000 followers at the time. That account has since been deleted. However, Janich has posted the same video on his BitChute account, available here: https://www.bitchute.com/video/ikthSZ8EfEE/ (accessed May 6, 2021).

[2] “Germany reviews parliamentary security after US Capitol riot,” in: Deutsche Welle, Jan. 7, 2021, https://www.dw.com/en/germany-reviews-parliament-security-after-us-capitol-riot/a-56161097 (accessed June 4, 2021).

[3]For images of the August 29 demonstration, including flags and signs indicating nostalgia for the Kaiserreich, support for Trump and QAnon, and in some cases both at the same time, see: “Anti-Corona Demo in Berlin: Protest in Bildern,” N.D., https://www.t-online.de/nachrichten/deutschland/id_88481212/si_8/anti-corona-demo-in-berlin-protest-in-bildern.html (accessed May 6, 2021).

[4] See: Eichberg, Henning. “‘Entwicklungshilfe’ – Verhaltensumformung nach europäischem Modell?” in: Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, No. 93, 1973, 641-70; Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke und der Gruppe der PDS, Drucksache 13/7127, German Bundestag, 13th Legislative Period, 20Mar1997. In 1973, Eichberg was a German correspondent for the French New Right journal éléments. He is generally understood to have co-derived the concept of ethnopluralism in the course of discussions with his French colleagues, who developed the idea further (mostly under the name ethno-différencialisme) and popularized it internationally.

[5] For one example, the “German question” was widely discussed in the early Neue Rechte (German New Right) journal wir selbst. A self-identified “national revolutionary” periodical founded in 1978, its name means “we ourselves” and is a translation of the Irish phrase “sinn féin,” thereby instantly linking it to the most prominent intra-European national liberation movement of that era, namely Irish republicanism.

[6] Some widespread practices within the Reichsbürger movement bear a distinct resemblance to those of the “sovereign citizens” movement in the United States. However, distilling the intricacies of just where the two movements overlap and where they diverge would be a task far too complex to address in any detail here.

[7] Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz. Verfassungsschutzberlicht 2019. Fakten und Tendenzen – Kurzzusammenfassung. July 2020, 19, https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/downloads/DE/publikationen/themen/sicherheit/vsb-2019-kurzfassung.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=3(accessed June 1, 2021).

[8] Ayyadi, Kira. “Was sind ‚Reichsbürger‘?” in Belltower News, Nov. 14, 2018, https://www.belltower.news/fragen-und-antworten-was-sind-reichsbuerger-77027/ (accessed June 1, 2021).

[9] Oltrmann, Philip. “Germany fears radicalisation of Reichsbürger movement after police attacks,” in The Guardian, Oct. 21, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/21/germany-fears-radicalisation-of-reichsburger-group-after-attacks-on-police (accessed May 6, 2021).

[10] Kron, Knut. “Vom Esoteriker zum ‘Reichsbürger,’” in: Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Jan. 26, 2017, https://www.stuttgarter-nachrichten.de/inhalt.terrorismus-vom-esoteriker-zum-reichsbuerger.c35df1ac-5bd2-4b26-b43a-dcce4a38d527.html (accessed May 6, 2021); for background on the arrests in English, see: Brady, Kate and Ben Knight. “Police raid several suspected right-wing extremist homes across Germany,” in Deutsche Welle, Jan. 25, 2017,  htts://www.dw.com/en/police-raid-several-suspected-right-wing-extremist-homes-across-germany/a-37263843(accessed May 6, 2021).

[11] For a more detailed look at the connection between the blood libel and QAnon, see: Friedberg, Brian. “The Dark Virality of a Hollywood Blood-Harvesting Conspiracy,” in Wired, July 31, 2020, https://www.wired.com/story/opinion-the-dark-virality-of-a-hollywood-blood-harvesting-conspiracy/ (accessed June 1, 2021).

[12] Sieer, Roland. “Wie weit reicht die Ideologie der ‘Reichsbürger’ in die Gesellschaft?” in der rechte rand, No. 165, Mar/Apr 2017, https://www.der-rechte-rand.de/archive/2410/drr-165-reisbuerger-gesellschaft/ (accessed May 6, 2021).

[13] See: Janich, Oliver. “Trump: ‘Das deutsche Volk wird Merkel stürzen’ – Anspielung auf die Bruderschaft der Schlange?” January 16, 2016, “Wer ist Q? Donald Trump’s Geheimagent? Merkel mit Illuminati-Symbol in der SZ“ November 25, 2017, “Der geplante Putsch gegen Donald Trump,” March 8, 2017, in Oliver Janich Investigativ; for Janich’s particular Stasi-CIA conspiracy theory, see: Janich, Oliver. “Stasi-Republik Deutschland” in: Das Kapitalismus Komplott. Die geheimen Zirkel der Macht und ihre Methoden. FinanzBuch Verlag, 2012, 275-278; and for his views on Merkel as informant, see Janich, Oliver. Die Vereinigten Staaten von Europa. Geheimdokumente enthüllen: Die dunklen Pläne der Elite. FinanzBuch Verlag, 2014, 422 ff.

[14] Joh, Tara. “A baseless US conspiracy theory found a foothold in Europe. New research shows how,” in: CNN Business, Jul. 30, 2020,https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/30/tech/qanon-europe-covid-intl/index.html (accessed May 6, 2021); Oliver Janich öffentlich, forwarded message fromAttila Hildmann, Jun. 14, 2020, https://t.me/oliverjanich/28165 (accessed May 6, 2021).

[15] Hacenbruch, Felix, Julius Betschka, and Julius Geiler. “Berlin verbietet Corona-Demos – Drohungen gegen Polizei,” in Der Tagesspiegel, Aug. 26, 2020, https://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/erwartete-verstoesse-gegen-infektionsschutzverordnung-berlin-verbietet-corona-demos-drohungen-gegen-polizei/26128346.html (accessed May 6, 2021).

[16] Olier Janich, “‘Bleibt, bis das Regime gestürzt ist!’ – TV-Star Michael Leschs Botschaft für den 29.8. in Berlin,” https://www.bitchute.com/video/eKGQ92UvvGY/ (accessed May 6, 2021).

[17] See any number of articles posted under a banner that reads “29.8. Wichtigster Tag seit 1945.” https://www.compact-online.de/page/6/?s=querdenken (accessed May 6, 2021).

[18] Geier, Julius. “Das ist die Frau, die zum Sturm auf den Reichstag rief,” in: Der Tagesspiegel, Sep. 1, 2020, https://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/heilpraktikerin-aus-der-eifel-das-ist-die-frau-die-zum-sturm-auf-den-reichstag-rief/26142914.html (accessed May 6, 2021); Litschko, Konrad, Mitsuo Martin Iwamoto. “Absurdes Nebeneinander,” in tageszeitung, Aug. 29, 2020, https://taz.de/Protest-gegen-Coronamassnahmen-in-Berlin/!5710608/ (accessed May 6, 2021).

[19] DerSpiegel. “Diese Provokateure schleuste die AfD in den Bundestag,” November 19, 2020, https://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/bundestag-afd-schleuste-provokateure-in-reichstagsgebaeude-a-5d4350e2-64c0-43a8-a31e-28d4ac42f876(accessed May 6, 2020).

[20] See for instance, Fiedler, Maria. “Extremismusforscher beunruhigt über wachsende Gewaltbereitschaft bei Querdenkern,” in Der Tagesspiegel, Apr. 4, 2021, https://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/die-gefahr-einer-terrorzelle-besteht-extremismusforscher-beunruhigt-ueber-wachsende-gewaltbereitschaft-bei-querdenkern/27140028.html (accessed May 6, 2021).

[21] Litchko, Konrad. “‘Querdenker‘ bundesweit beobachtet,” in tageszeitung, Apr. 28, 2021 https://taz.de/Verfassungsschutz-und-Coronaprotest/!5768937/ (accessed May 6, 2021).

[22] Elssser, Jürgen. “29.8.: Die Freiheit hat gesiegt – und es gibt jetzt ein Reichs-Pop-Bewegung,” in Compact, Aug. 30, 2020, https://www.compact-online.de/29-8-die-freiheit-hat-gesiegt-und-es-gibt-jetzt-eine-reichs-pop-bewegung/ (accessed May 6, 2021).

[23] See for example, the buttons Compact sells on its website: https://www.compact-shop.de/shop/fanartikel/sonstige-bekennerartikel/q-button-das-erkennungszeichen-der-neuen-freiheitsbewegung/ (accessed May 6, 2021).

[24] Kraher, Veronika. “Die Heilpraktikerin mit der Todesliste,” in Belltower News, May 1, 2021, https://www.belltower.news/querdenken-die-heilpraktikerin-mit-der-todesliste-115167/ (accessed May 5, 2021).

[25] See Bennhold, Katrin. “Body Bags and Enemy Lists: How Far-Right Police Officers and Ex-Soldiers Planned for ‘Day X,’” in The New York Times, Aug. 1, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/01/world/europe/germany-nazi-infiltration.html (accessed June 3, 2021).


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