In 2019 the German enemies are
The 2018/19 Mitte study shows: East and West Germans do not differ in their low level of agreement with openly right-wing extremist attitudes. But a right-wing populist orientation is more widespread in the east than in the west, and is more accessible.
This applies above all to the component of devaluing "strangers" - ie xenophobia (West 18%, East 23%), devaluing Muslims (West 19%, East 26%) and asylum seekers (West 51%, East 63%) ) are particularly widespread in the east of the republic, and authoritarian attitudes are also more popular among east German respondents (west 61%, east 67%). It can also be seen that the East feels politically more powerless than the West, and there is less trust in democracy.
Above all, however, the feeling of collective anger at immigration is significantly higher in the east (52%) than in the west (44%). The feeling of being personally treated unfairly, the economic disadvantage and the political disorientation paired with fears of globalization, a pronounced identity as Germans, with a simultaneous lack of experience of contact and exchange with immigrants explain right-wing populist orientations, but do not release the individual from responsibility.
However, as previous studies have suggested, a generalization to "the East" is not justified. Rather, the impression is growing that, firstly, the differences to the West are less serious and, secondly, a large proportion of East Germans are clearly democratic, pluralistic and, incidentally, also pro-European. Politicians are well advised to pay more attention to these citizens, especially in the East, who - this is also what the results suggest - do not appear loud and angry.
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