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20160419
Move to Alternative for Germany party adds to complexity of nation’s fragmenting political landscape.

Andreas Fabrizius, a 29-year-old welder from the town of Pforzheim in south-west Germany, is helping to stir up one of the nation’s most settled immigrant communities — his fellow ethnic Germans from the former Soviet Union.

For years, they mostly backed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, often out of respect for former chancellor Helmut Kohl, who opened Germany’s doors to ethnic Germans from eastern Europe following the cold war. They mostly worked hard, secured jobs and sought to integrate; some saw themselves as even more German than the Germans.

But the refugee crisis has shaken certainties around the 2.5m so-called “Russia-Germans” — descendants of farmers who moved east centuries ago but kept their culture. In last month’s regional elections, many gravitated towards the immigration-sceptic Alternative for Germany party that scored big gains in the polls opposing Ms Merkel’s open-door policy.................

To read further go to this link:  (Financial Times)
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