The Prophet of Germany’s New Right
Posted on: 10/14/2017 04:40 PM

Kubitschek casually mentioned that he would not mind at all if a strongman came to replace Merkel, if that was the only way to correct her decision to allow the migrants to enter Germany.


Götz Kubitschek, a self-proclaimed “rightist intellectual,” lives in a medieval manor house in Schnellroda, a rural village in eastern Germany. From this isolated, antique outpost, Kubitschek, who is 47, wields considerable influence over far-right thinkers, activists and politicians across Germany, who make regular pilgrimages to Schnellroda for an audience with him. The manor serves as the headquarters for the magazine and publishing house that Kubitschek runs with his wife, the writer Ellen Kositza, and also for a rightist think tank, the plainly named Institute for State Policy, and a small organic farm where he raises rabbits and goats. Kubitschek calls himself a conservative, battling to preserve Germany’s “ethno-cultural identity,” which he says is threatened by immigration and the alienating effects of modernity. He identifies as part of the German “New Right,” which seeks to dissociate itself from the “old right,” which in Germany means Nazis. German political scientists, by contrast, classify the brand of thinking Kubitschek ascribes to as either an ideological “hinge” between conservatism and right-wing extremism, or as simply extremist — not vastly different, in other words, from the old right. Kubitschek, however, presents his views with a disarming, Teutonic idealism that recalls a Germany that long preceded the rise of Hitler. The German magazine Der Spiegel once referred to him as a “dark knight.”

The Prophet of Germany’s New Right

It was in April that I first made the journey to Kubitschek’s stronghold. Schnellroda is in a rural part of what was once East Germany, and getting there involved taking a train though a murky river valley past villages dotted with medieval castles, Gothic churches and drab apartment complexes built during the Communist era. As the train chugged farther into the valley, the towns looked increasingly forlorn.

Schnellroda itself is a neat village of about 200 people, and I quickly found Kubitschek’s home on the main street, not far from the Lutheran Church. It was relatively modest for a medieval manor, a yellow-painted three-story house that was built around the year 1000 and, according to local folklore, served as a lodge for traveling knights and dignitaries of the monarchy. In the front yard, an unusual flag — red and black stripes with a gold oak-leaf pattern in the center — fluttered on a lumber pole. This was the banner of the Urburschenschaft, a patriotic fraternity founded in the early 19th century with the goal of uniting German-speaking kingdoms and territories into a single state. The flag seemed to mark a rebel outpost, and as I walked onto the property, I had the sense that I was entering occupied terrain. The flag, I would come to understand, exemplified Kubitschek’s worldview: His national pride was rooted in German identity, but not in the modern German republic.


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