‘Theresa the Appeaser’ mercilessly satirised at German carnivals

27/02/2017
Nathanael Williams

As carnival season hits Germany, we look at the politicians of the political right and dictators who are getting rough ride

THERESA MAY may not want to take a look at the German features for any inclination of how fondly she is viewed amongst the German public.

The UK Prime Minister was relentlessly mocked by a series of floats during Germany’s infamous Rosenmontag parades which see Germans poke fun at all politicians across the country.

Also among the jibbed at were the US President Donald J Trump, the Dutch far-right politician Gert Wilders and nationalist French president hopeful Marine Le Pen.

The parades which occur in almost every town and city in Germany are a firm tradition representing democracy and the power of laughing at the powerful. They may be seen as shocking to many but Germans are very proud of the ability to mock the powerful given their recent history of dictatorship and emergency to a successful democracy.

Rosenmontag is a much-loved tradition across the mostly Catholic areas of Germany. It translates to Rose Monday which is equivalent to our Shrove Monday.

CommonSpace breaks down some of the floats and their savage messages for the politicians of the world.

  1. Britannia rules the waves

Theresa May has made much play of her post-Brexit dream of a ‘global Britain’ that can trade with the rest of the world. Just like the old days with Horatio Nelson. Unfortunately, German float makers in Mainz appear to disagree with this shining future.

  1. A self-destructive Brexit

Theresa May was a Remainer (or Remoaner depending on your political views) during the EU referendum last summer. However, as soon as the prime ministership called she ditched her stance of single market and European business to jump aboard the Brexit express. Some have likened her negotiation position regarding the remaining 27 member states as a suicide move that would see the UK locked out of continental trade and at risk of further economic instability.

  1. With friends like these

Donald Trump, Gert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and Adolf Hitler appear on this float in an unholy union. Made and paraded in Düsseldorf made fun of the four figures as united by having blond manes, a feature obsessed over by racial purists and fascist politicians in history. Gert Wilders will find the float especially grieving as he and Le Pen go to the polls in their respective polls early next month.

  1. The enemies of democracy

In this piece, Donald Trump is shown with Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the leaders of Poland and Hungary, as a series of giant caterpillars eating at the leaf of democracy. Erdogan has since the coup last year where members of the army try to overthrown him, imprisoned thousands of academics, journalists, human right activists and officers. Turkey is now known as the journalist prison of the world, with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) citing as many as 140 journalists arrested as of December 2016.

The float made in Mainz also cites Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban who is accused of having extreme right-wing, anti-European sympathies and of profiting from state projects such as the building of “dodgy stadiums.” Hungary’s longest serving prime minister, he has also made attempts to seduce the voters of the rabidly anti-semitic movement Jobbik in order to hold on to political power.

  1. Defiler of democracy

Germans in Cologne made a symbolic statement on the president’s reputation as an alleged molester of women and the many sexual harassment claims he has had to come up against. He is depicted groping the statue of liberty while pulling his election rival Hillary Clinton by the hair on his first day at school.

Picture courtesy of DPA – The German Press Agency, Federico Gamberini, A Arnold 

Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is. Pledge your support today.