It was a night of celebration for the AFD party following its historic surge in Germany’s federal election.
Established only four years ago, its success sent shock waves across the country, marking a major change in the political landscape.
The first openly nationalist party to enter parliament in nearly six decades, rights activists fear the worse.
Matthias Quent, the head of the Institute for Democracy and Civil Society in Jena said: “The AfD is a great challenge to democracy particularly Germany, given the German history. We see that the AfD has unleashed not only a protest, an anti-elite-populism, but also a populist racist ideology, which in part makes a positive reference to National Socialism. It has also achieved this success at a time when Germany is, objectively speaking, doing well.”
Other political parties in the country have refused to get into bed with the Afd, due to its links with Neo-Nazi groups.
Quent added: “Several of the new AFD members entering the Bundestag are right-wing extremists. They plan to misuse this position. I expect that they will try to include far right social movements and extremists groups in order to bring about a cultural political shift to the right of society.”
Despite losing many voters to the far-right party, Angela Merkel has insisted she will not lurch to the right.
But the Afd has said it will hound the chancellor following its strong showing.
It has called for a different policy vowing to fight “an invasion of foreigners”, in language that has raised the spectre of Germany’s past.