Following the elections, Germany’s political leaders will need to pay more attention to political emotions – envy, jealously, fear, and disappointment. It has become clear that the challenge of creating a diverse and open society in what used to be a homogenous and protected social environment – East Germany – requires state investment in public institutions and social security. Stripping public infrastructure of cash and humiliating local populations, while giving generously to newcomers, exacerbates fear and conflict. The success of the AfD is also a consequence of the failed experiment of austerity in times of uncertainty and rapid change. In order to maintain its economic clout and welfare levels, Germany will need net migration of around 500,000 people per year in the future. This will require state planning and attention to social justice to guarantee that growing diversity in East German cities will give rise to new types of solidarity and cohesion, rather than to resentment and conflict.