Manifestation of the Prevention Paradox

When the Covid-pandemic reached Germany people reacted very different to the new reality. While a huge amount of society called for solidarity and some people started organizing supportive groups, others turned to conspiracy theories.

For centuries esoterics have been part of German society. Those that were already active in the scene gathered and a very diverse crowd rallied on squares in cities, driven by irrationality.

In Hannover more than 1000 people took part in early demonstrations. Historically antisemitism has always been on the rise in times of crisis. When it was at first unclear who would take a leading role, soon antivaxxers, the far-right and especially so called „Reichsbürger“ used the chance of an audience.

For „taz - die tageszeitung“ David Speier and me followed one of the most prominent organizers in Lower Saxony, homeopathic doctor Carola Javid-Kistel. Police raided her office, after she allegedly handed out blanko attestations. (

Razzia bei Ärztin der Leugner-Szene: Spontandemo mit Wutrede - taz, 22.1.21) Over time the movement grew and demonstrated through almost every bigger German city and also the capital Berlin, leading to the attempt to storm into the Reichstag building in summer and mayor protest in fall 2021.

Especially in Eastern Germany the demonstrations were fueled by the general in contempt and feeling of not being represented through parliamentary politics of parts of society. Demonstrations similar to the PEGIDA rallies, up until today take place throughout eastern German cities.