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Markus Feldenkirchen, DER SPIEGEL:

»Tell us, what kind of guy is this Sellner?

What drives him?”

Florian Schroeder, author:

»Well, Martin Sellner is an activist.

This means that the Identitarian Movement must be understood as a kind of movement that is intended to prepare the ground for the AfD, which is intended to change the terms, which they also do shockingly well with terms like 'remigration'.

Sellner is the head of this gang, he is in Austria.

The Identitarians are spread across Europe and are now banned in France.

And he's the spiritual leader, he seems like a hipster, more like an urban guy.

Whatever he is, he comes from Vienna and can argue very well.

He does that very well.

He gives a lecture after 30 minutes and they no longer know whether we are in Calcutta or in Germany.

But one thing is certain: everyone who comes is a huge danger and we are facing the apocalypse.

And he manages to portray this in a perverted, ingenious way.

And indeed."

Markus Feldenkirchen, DER SPIEGEL:

“What is the perverted genius?”

Florian Schroeder, author:

“The perverted genius is that he radically rotates concepts, changes them, and creates connections.”

Markus Feldenkirchen, DER SPIEGEL:

»For example, instead of saying “foreigners out”, shout “remigration”.

Sounds more elegant.

More technical.”

Florian Schroeder, author:

'Remigration', 'ethnopluralism' is another term.

So you really almost have to have an encyclopedia with you to understand what they're talking about.

'Ethnopluralism' initially sounds very universalistic, sounds very democratic.

We are plural, but that actually means everyone stays where they come from.

Because the intelligence of a non-white person is to be assessed differently than that of a white person.

And that's why the non-white person, for example, has no place here.

So this is deeply racist thinking.

And fortunately he manages to do what many AfD people have not been able to do so far, namely to radically twist concepts.

But he manages to have a charisma that reaches far into the bourgeois camp.

So at recruiting meetings like this.

You see people who tell you: 'I voted for the Greens until five years ago, and I worked with people with a migrant background for a long time.

But now I believe the AfD is the only solution.' And if you ask: 'Why is the AfD the only solution?

What can they do?' Then a lot of them say: 'I don't know that at all.

I don't even know if they are better.

But it's time for them to do that.' And that's what Sellner embodies, namely a determination, a determination in the fight against what he calls pseudo-democracy, namely universalism, which he considers to be a totalitarian idea , namely that people are equal.

For him this is totalitarian, it shouldn't be allowed to happen.

People are different.

People are overburdened with freedom.

And that's why right-wing extremism, which he calls conservatism or patriotism, helps people make the right decisions.

Markus Feldenkirchen, DER SPIEGEL:

"You yourself said that personal contact with him was friendly."

Florian Schroeder, author:

»Absolutely a very courteous person.

And I actually think that's important, as much as I radically reject the idea.

But to be fair, it’s someone who actually got involved in discussions, including with me.”

Markus Feldenkirchen, DER SPIEGEL:

"Mr. Schröder, you talked about your encounters with people like Martin Sellner, were also at events and said very clearly: 'Well, you don't need to be afraid when dealing with people in person, they seem friendly.' 'Still, when you hear what people are advocating for, are you afraid of them, do you see them as a real danger to our democracy?'

Florian Schroeder, author:

“Well, I'm not afraid of them because I think it's the feeling that they're instrumentalizing themselves.

And I think you shouldn't be afraid of them.

But you should have respect for the huge danger that they pose because of their attempt to appear very harmless and to act as if they actually only want the best for Germany or Europe.

I think you have to see that this movement was actually in huge distress until a few months ago, the entire right-wing extremist movement.

They can't agree on almost anything.

You actually have to look the other way around.

Remigration is the only issue they have.

They don't know how to relate to Israel.

They didn't know how to react to Corona.

They acted as if they were the party of freedom.

Remove all measures.

Actually, it was more like her wet dream.

Control all borders with people, know who is traveling where.

So it's actually a very weak movement, but - and that makes it even more dramatic - it surprisingly manages to cause a stir using very simple means.

And Sellner or the Identitarian movement in particular, which is now very, very weakened a few years ago they were much more active, are trying to do this through actionism, that is, like a few years ago, they go to the Alpine pass of the French- Italian border and is doing an action there called “Defend Europe”.

So “we defend Europe” against the people who come to us and try to initiate their own Frontex.

That means it's a bit playful, almost like an art collective, but turned inside out.

And basically, this entire right-wing extremist thinking is completely unoriginal, because they don't have their own approach, neither the AfD nor the Identitarian Movement.

It only works as a reaction to what the supposed mainstream does and wants.

Sellner once said to me quite openly at some point: 'All media, basically all media that we have now, public broadcasters, just like SPIEGEL and others, must claim their neutrality.' That means they should report things neutrally is.

And neutrally it is clear what it means, namely what AfD and Co. want.