The BfV classified around 36% of AfD members as right-wing extremist for the year 2022. With no dedicated critics of the AfD's extremist faction (aligned with Björn Höcke, formerly called Der Flügel) on the AfD's federal executive board since 2022, the past couple of years seemed to substantially change the balance of power in the party in favor of extremists. (In the AfD's 2023 Magdeburg conference Sebastian Münzenmaier seemed to set the agenda instead of of Björn Höcke, but something like half of the top 15 EU election candidates which the 2023 conference selected were nevertheless thought to have been affiliated what was formerly Der Flügel.) In regards to the party membership, the very high churn rate [2] in 2022 and 2023 should have been enough to allow a changing membership to reflect its leadership's shift further right as people who liked it joined and those who didn't left.

But on the other hand I'm not aware of any West German associations being raised to the level of "suspected" or "confirmed" right wing extremist organization after September 2022. (The AfD in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt were raised to the level of "confirmed" right-wing extremist, but that's Eastern Germany.)

That leaves me wondering whether it is mainly East German rather than West German AfD associations where the trend is for extremists to grow towards/exceed a 50% party share, and how far extremists have grown towards 50% nationally/whether they are on trend to exceed 50% of membership nationally.

Clarification question

What’s the best information on whether Björn Höcke's extremist faction (formerly Der Flügel, which media were saying comprised 40% of East German party members in 2019) is synonymous with the 36% of AfD party members classified as right wing extremist in 2022? (Would the camp around Sebastian Münzenmaier have been part of the Flügel in the past, and is it likely to have been among the 36% of extremists of 2022?)

Main Question

I hope to get an idea of whether the share of right wing extremists in the AfD nationally is headed from 36% toward 50% and beyond.

  1. What are the best indications we have as to whether the share of extremists in any of the West German state associations classified as "suspected" of extremism in September 2022 or earlier is increasing in a similar dynamic as in the East? (In order of importance 1) Bavaria, which seems to be the first Western state to have a majority for Björn Höcke's faction in both the state leadership and among their Landestag faction, 2) Baden Württemberg, 3) Hessen, 4) Lower Saxony, or 5) Bremen AfD state associations. These five states account for the majority of West German AfD membership, but if it's easier to express an answer for the West German AfD in general then I'm interested in that too.)

  2. Are there any open-source indications as to whether any of these five West German state associations (particularly Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, which together with the five Ossie states make up a majority of AfD membership) might be on track to be reclassified as “confirmed” right wing extremist by their local office for the protection of the constitution in the near future?


1 Answer 1


An answer to the first part of the "Clarification Question" only:

In answering questions from Daniel Lindenschmid (AfD faction Baden Württemberg), the regional Ministry of the Interior for Digitalization and Municipalities mentioned that "right-wing extremist manpower potential within the AfD Baden Württemberg has considerable overlap with the Junge Alternative Baden Württemberg and the now formally dissolved “Flügel”, but it also goes beyond that." (Question 2).

According to the report from the BfV, the Junge Alternative claimed to have 2000 members in 2022. In 2020 the BfV estimated the membership of the former Flügel at around 7000, but this seems to have then been criticized by a court as being only an estimate and not based on concrete/concise enough evidence. In any case there seem to be over a thousand people which the BfV reckons to be among 10200 extremists in the AfD for 2022, but who would not be accounted for by either membership numbers claimed by the Junge Alternative or the BfV's previous (criticized) 2020 estimate of the membership of the former Flügel.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .