Antonie Rietzschel, 32, is a Leipzig-based journalist, who regularly writes for Süddeutsche Zeitung, covering political developments in East Germany, with focus on Alternative für Deutschalnd (AfD), Pegida and other far right groups.
Rietzschel grew up in East-Germany but moved to the West, to study political science at the University of Bremen. She worked in Berlin and Munich until the 2017 elections, when AfD entered the Bundestag. Electoral success of the far right prompted Rietzschel to return to Leipzig: she wanted to understand first-hand why the anti-democratic and anti-immigrant politics is being so successful in the East.
In 2016, Rietzschel published a book Dreamland Deutschland?. the story of two brothers from Syria trying to start a new life in Germany in the midst of increasing resentment and hate against refugees.