In the shadows of a Dresden church, hundreds of Alternative for Germany party members rallied with anti-Islam activists, counting down the days to a vote set to make the AfD the first far-right group in parliament in more than half a century.

Supporters of both movements stood side by side waving Germany's black, red and gold flag - a public demonstration of the fellow feeling between AfD and hardline PEGIDA, though they are officially separate groups.

Outside the city's towering Frauenkirche - destroyed by Allied bombing in World War Two, then rebuilt after reunification - supporters stood by a huge blue banner that urged people to vote for the AfD on Sept. 24.

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