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A sympathizer is a person who feels sympathy for a group, its idea , ideology or its representatives and often expresses this publicly.

The term was coined and used by German authorities , politicians and the media in the 1970s and 1980s , especially in connection with the terrorist group Red Army Fraktion . In contrast to activists, sympathizers are not active themselves and are not members of organizations.


  • Dagmar Husmann: You are already a sympathizer: The legal and extra-legal effects of a word use in the mirror of literature. Logos, Berlin 2015, ISBN 3832539379 .
  • Freimut Duve, Heinrich Böll, Klaus Staeck: Letters in defense of the republic. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1977, ISBN 3499141914 .
  • Society for German Language (Ed.): Der Sprachdienst, Volume 21. Wiesbaden 1977 ( Der Sympathisant. P. 179 ff.)

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