Still, throughout 2018, QAnon remained a relatively fringe conspiracy in Germany, as it did in the U.S., though signs bearing QAnon symbols and slogans were seen at election rallies during local elections in Bavaria that year.QAnon really took hold in Germany in the first half of 2020, as COVID-19 restrictions came into effect. In the first six months of 2020, there was a massive spike in views of videos posted to the Qlobal-Change YouTube channel.
“A hardcore of believers think that now they don’t have any chance besides violent action.”
In response, hundreds of far-right activists managed to break through a police barrier and attempted to storm the Reichstag, waving the black, white, and red flag of the pre-1918 German Empire, which once inspired the Nazis. Police managed to get the situation under control quickly, but the incident marked a significant escalation in the far right’s actions in Germany—and eerily predicted the storming of the U.S. Capitol just six months later.
“In QAnon, it’s being part of the digital army, fighting against the evil people, and in the sovereign citizenship movement, you can create your own state or try to get back some sovereignty by doing a military dictatorship or asking foreign powers to take over.”