Foreign Languages & Literatures ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-15-2023


In this thesis I explore the question of how a xenophobic ideology could find a receptive audience in 21st Century Germany. Given extensive postwar efforts in Germany to address the Nazi Period, this question is of particular interest. I analyze and compare racist and xenophobic ideologies in four time periods: the Napoleonic Period, the Wilhelmine Period, the National Socialist Period and the contemporary period. Historically, xenophobic ideology is deeply tied to particular social and economic conditions which leads to the following questions: What are the similarities and differences between contemporary xenophobic messaging and that of the three other time periods under consideration? Which language tactics does the “Alternative for Germany” (“AfD”) party use in order to make their messaging clear to contemporary Germans? Does the AfD actually offer contemporary Germans an alternative that their forefathers never had?


xenophobia, nationalism, antisemitism, Alternative für Deutschland, right wing extremism, racism

Document Type




Degree Name

German Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Susanne Baackmann

Second Committee Member

Dr. Anita Obermeier

Third Committee Member

Dr. Jason Wilby