The AfD is apparently not harmed by open deportation fantasies or nationwide protests against the right. The grand coalition in Berlin proved to be of little help.

The senator and state president of the SPD, Giffey, on a dark street.

Berlin SPD leader Franziska Giffey on her way to the election party on February 11. Photo: Soeren Stache/dpa

You can sweeten everything. “The AfD is falling, that's one of the most important messages,” Berlin SPD leader Franziska Giffey said Sunday afternoon as results from the repeat federal election arrived in parts of the capital. The right-wing party was anything but fallen, but it doesn't matter. In fact, the situation is very alarming even in Berlin, which tends to be a little more left-wing and greener.

With its 12.6 percent in the 455 repeated electoral districts, the AfD may be a long way from its peak in national polls. But not only the far-right gained almost 6 points. Things get really scary when you look at the polling stations on the outskirts of East Berlin. In a large number of electoral districts the party is well over 30 percent, and in some prefabricated housing estates it is over 50 percent.

The fact that this is not reflected in the overall result is simply because only a small proportion of voters were asked to go to the polls a second time. And to what extent must the almost 10 percent of voters in the western district of Steglitz-Zehlendorf who voted for Reichsbürger AfDler Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, who is detained on suspicion of terrorism, be contaminated?

It is strikingly clear that the AfD's deportation fantasies seem to ultimately attract voters. At least that doesn't stop them from voting, just like the current anti-right protests across the country. Why should the SPD, which is also protesting, compete with the CDU in copying the AfD's positions on migration policy?

As bleak as it may seem: a not insignificant part of Germans wants precisely this misanthropy embodied in realpolitik, and another part of them is permanently lost to democracy. Nobody has to adapt politically to these people. We must isolate them and combat them.