Far-right and conspiracy-believing Trump supporters, white supremacists and members of far-right militias stormed the Capitol, the seat of the US Congress, almost as if the “Storming of the Reichstag” in Berlin was their inspiration. Shouldn’t this be a reason for the far-right conspiracy scene in Germany to celebrate? Unfortunately for them, their world is not that simple.
The ominous Antifa
In a world where facts no have faded from relevance, many narratives are possible. One of these narratives, which is seemingly absurd but widespread within the US-American and German conspiracy scene, is that “the Antifa” hijacked the otherwise peaceful protests and led the storming of the Capitol. The “evidence” here is, of course, tweets from people who know people who “confirmed” that a bus “full of Antifas” had driven in front of the protesters and that then the problems started. This is despite the fact that the internet is already full of videos of protesters storming the complex, in some cases even being let in by security, apparently without resistance.
Pictures shared on Twitter showed well-known far-right agitator and Q-believer the “Q Shaman”, also known as Jake Angelli, who in addition to being painted in the colours of the US-American flag and wearing a horned fur helmet, also bears tattoos of Norse mythology popular in the far-right scene, such as the Valknut, also showed him at a “Black Lives Matter” demonstration, likely provoking demonstrators and carrying a Q sign.
Alleged “proof” of his affiliation with Antifa:
These arguments show how far the conspiracy scene, especially the scene around Q, has grown distanced from reality. Even figures who believe in the same ideology are cast out as “enemies”. The goal is to retain the self-image of the scene as peaceful protestors on the right side of history and to negate the violence within the scene.
Here’s another example of the “peaceful” narrative with added hostility towards the press:
Staging the storm
The events at the Capitol raise many questions: How were so many protesters able to get so close to this important building? Why were the Capitol security so timid with their response to people storming the building, damaging offices, posing and streaming from within, leaving threats written threats, and stealing items from the seat of American democracy? Why did it take so long for the National Guard to come to the rescue? While many may now push for investigations into how much support there is for Trump and QAnon in the US security forces, in the conspiracy scene this indicates, in their minds, that the “storming of the Capitol” was not real but rather staged. This conspiracy scene used this same narrative to explain the “storming of the Reichstag”, also calling it staged.
But why would this be staged? There are various theories regarding this. The most common one is that the events were staged to harm the patriotic protesters, who to the conspiracy world are always peaceful, and to harm and aggravate Donald Trump.
However, some in the conspiracy scene support the opposite narrative – that Trump orchestrated all the events of the day. The largest propagator of this narrative is Attila Hildmann, who now views Trump as part of a Satanic “New World Government” that seeks to gain permanent power. In this narrative, even the actual death of a woman during the storming of the Capitol becomes part of the “staging”. She bled so “unrealistically” that it looked “like a Hollywood movie”. The woman was herself a QAnon supporter. Hildmann’s followers appear to mostly agree with him, based on a poll in his Telegram channel.
Hildmann, as usual, did not shy away from invoking massive antisemitism – in his delusional world, Trump is an orthodox Jew and part of an imagined “Jewish World Order”.
Going to plan
But there are also quite a few voices claiming this is all “part of the plan”, beloved by QAnon supporters who even use “Trust the Plan” as one of their mottos. QAnon followers compile “Q-Drops”, a canonical list of vague online postings from “Q”, to support their theses, using the Q-Drops as evidence that the storming of the Capitol was part of “the plan”, a master stroke from Trump to unite the military behind him so he can remain president.
There are still some prominent Q fans who have their doubts, perhaps because the Washington Monument is still standing:
These narratives, that everything is going according to plan, that Trump still has aces up his sleeve, have prevented many of Trump’s presumably violent far-right extremist supporters from storming the Capitol, in order to become “the plan” themselves, despite his loss in the election. Consequently, it is no coincidence that the attack on the Capitol took place on the day when it became clear, even to many Q-believing Trump supporters, that Trump might not remain president after all as Congress confirmed his ouster.
The fact that part of the scene still believes in “the plan” leads to the fear that more violence and riots will occur as the still-remaining followers realise Trump will not remain President. Lists are already being drawn up in some circles of the “traitors” who “stabbed Trump in the back”, like Vice President Mike Pence or Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis, who, in the face of the riots, did not contest the results of the election.
While US-American QAnon supporters have been writing these lists, German supporters have been sharing them, and Oliver Janich in particular is developing his own violent fantasies.
In Germany, fantasies of violence, insurrection and an overthrowing of the government increased in recent days, especially among the “Querdenker” movement and the “antivax” scene, as vaccination against COVID-19 begins in Germany. Especially within this milieu, there are many fans of QAnon to be found, who openly share and show their beliefs through the symbols of their movement on the streets and the web. It remains to be seen whether the US-American QAnon scene’s turn towards violence will inspire similar “resistance” among the German scene, which is unfortunately to be feared.
Translated by W.F. Thomas. This article was originally published in German.