What’s wrong with this picture? Plenty. If you can’t tell, here’s a hint from the Berliner Zeitung:
Who put a Nazi eagle on the top of a Christmas tree in the AFD party office? Was it someone from the party? Or was it the act of an Antifa group, as one AFD politician now claims?
This question has been asked since the Berliner Kurier and the Berliner Zeitung have been reporting on the incident on their websites. The thing has been in the world since Thursday. A reader also complained about the xenophobic sticker on the door of the office. The yellow sticker reads “We have to stay outside.” It has a dog and a woman in a full-face veil on it.
The man wrote to the Berliner Kurier and Berliner Zeitung: “When I told the police about it, they told me that it wasn’t a crime. Today I found out that the Christmas decorations in the office foyer include an eagle in classic Nazi style.” The man sent a cellphone video that documents the whole thing.
The two newspapers sent a query to the AFD office. They asked: “A reader complained about two things: A sticker, which he considers discriminatory, saying ‘We have to stay outside’, with pictograms of a dog and a woman in a burqa on your Schillstraße office door, as well as an eagle on the top of a little Christmas tree behind the door. This eagle reminds him of ‘classic Nazi style’.”
The AFD were requested to reply by Friday, 4 p.m. No reply came.
But then the police told the papers on Friday afternoon that the state security service had filed charges, and that the matter would go to the state prosecutor’s office, in order to determine what further course of action should be taken in the incident. The charges did not apply to the tree, but the sticker.
The newspaper report read: “A police spokeswoman said, upon request, that the wreath of oak leaves in the eagle’s claws needed to contain a swastika in order to qualify for the ban [on Nazi insignia]. Whoever stuck that eagle on the Christmas tree, seems to have known that. Instead of the swastika, the wreath contains the arrow symbol of the AFD.”
The AFD had nothing to say when asked about it. As the news became public, however, AFD parliamentary spokesman Christian Lüth addressed a journalist from a Swiss newspaper on Twitter about it. “That was a very funny joke by Antifa.” Then: “The crime has been reported. But honestly, do you really believe that it was done by the party leadership?”
The police will now have to deal with Christian Lüth’s declaration as well. So far, no claims of responsibility from any Antifa group. The AFD has also not taken any official position on the matter.
Hmmm, there’s something hinky about all this. Actually, TWO things:
First off, Antifa hasn’t claimed responsibility, which is actually not surprising. This isn’t their style, to be honest. It’s not a very effective mode of raising public awareness, either. They’d rather protest overtly and straightforwardly, and NOT by using degrading and fascistic imagery (even in a “satirical” manner — and kindly note the quotes; as usual, there for a reason). They’re well aware of splash damage, which would no doubt be done to Muslim women by the sticker equating them with dogs (which are considered unclean in Islamic tradition). The last thing any self-respecting German anti-fascist wants is to hurt the very people who are already the victims and targets of so much far-right violence and finger-pointing. And would they risk going to jail for using even a partial piece of forbidden fascist imagery from Germany’s not-so-distant past? I highly doubt it.
On the other hand, the AFD’s spokesman was (not so) quick to blame Antifa for it. Why the delay? Hard to say, but if it was not the AFD’s handiwork (sticker and tree trimmings both), then wouldn’t they have actually taken this shameful display down immediately, instead of letting it sit for several days while they looked for a suitable target to take the blame for what smells an awful lot like a double hate crime?
One thing’s for certain: The AFD is a bunch of crypto-fascist cowards. It’s very like them to send out Nazi dog whistles, skirting the law with their eagle tree-topper sans swastika (but with everything else that corresponds to classic Nazi iconography). It’s also just like them to look for excuses when they’ve been popped. And it would hardly be the first time they’ve been found in open association with fascistic elements, either.
And their hatred for Muslims isn’t exactly a well-kept secret. The party’s whole raison d’être, in fact, is the presence of Muslim immigrants and refugees in Germany. They don’t have Muslim members, any more than the original Nazis had Jewish ones. In fact, their party platform is explicitly anti-Islam, as agreed at the party congress of 2016. And the party’s more recent decision to embrace the overtly fascistic PEGIDA movement is more than a little concerning. Not that they were ever far from PEGIDA in the first place. Most casual observers would have trouble telling the two apart; I know I do.
But I know Nazi bullshit when I smell it. And on that note: Damn, does something here ever STINK.