Confusion, snobbery and Pegida – a letter from Dresden

The views of the Stammtisch (the pub regulars) are a growing force in Germany, but they have yet to find someone to articulate them in the public sphere

Sachsenschweine — Saxon pigs — said the graffiti as my train moved out of Berlin on its way to Dresden. Germany is not as monolithic as it can seem: not only do some of its ancient kingdoms continue a ghostly existence as states of the Federal Republic, but also their populations nurture historic rivalries, at least on the football pitches. But the new popular movement in Dresden — Pegida, or ‘Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West’, no less — has thrown into relief keener intra-German divisions: not only those between immigrants and ethnic Germans but also those between many German voters and the country’s mortally politically correct establishment.