Is the AfD Prussian?

Many observers have noticed that the most strident oposition in Germany to third-world immigration (under the rubric of "refugees") comes from the formerly Communist East. The anti-immigrant AfD party has most of its strength in the old East, though it recently got a good showing in the Bavarian state elections too.

One can contrive explanations for that readily enough:  1). The West has a long history of Muslim Gastarbeiter from Turkey so is more relaxed about Muslims generally. 2). The Easterners had a gutful of political correctness under the Communists so no longer respect it.

Both those explanations undoubtedly have some force but I suspact that there is an elephant abroad in Germany that no-one is seeing:  The fact that the old East contained what was left of  historical Prussia.  And the Eastern regime was not shy about that.  They deliberately portrayed themselves as heirs to Prussia in an attempt to legitimate their regime to the East German people.

Listen to and watch a video of the old East German national anthem below. It has quite a lot of militaristic touches and even the references to peace do not dilute that.  Hitler used similar appeals. The video is in fact strongly reminiscent of Hitler's propaganda.

And one does need to know something about the traditional place of Prussia in the German lands.  Have a look at the postwar map of Germany before the recent reunification.  Prussia was historically in the Northeast and that is where the old East Germany was.

And in the German lands, there are strong cultural differences that mirror geography.  To be a little crude about it, the North had the soldiers and the South had the culture.  And Prussians were arguably the world's best soldiers.  The battles fought under Prussian generals are studied in staff colleges worldwide to this day.  And that great Bible of Prussian warfare, Vom Kriege by Carl von Clausewitz still attracts some awe, even though its author left it unfinished.

So there is no doubt that being Prussian implies a militaristic and nationalistic heritage -- and that seems to me to be a pretty good explanation of East German contempt for the dregs from the Middle East and elsewhere that have been foisted on them.

UPDATE:  In the original German, many of the words of the anthem could easily be direct quotes from Nazi propaganda.

Und der Zukunft zugewandt,

Deutschland, einig Vaterland.

Schlagen wir des Volkes Feind.

Deutsche Jugend, bestes Streben
Uns'res Volks in dir vereint,

I will dig out the Nazi parallels if anyone doubts them

As a further evocation of historic Prussia see the video below.  It is the Chilean army marching to the strains of Preussens Gloria, probably the most famous Prussian military march.  The Chilean army adopted Prussian practice, uniforms etc. before WWI and have retained it all ever since.  Note General Pinochet in the reviewing stand.

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