Germany’s far-right party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), enlisted German public relations executive Thor Kunkel to manage their federal election ad campaign. Kunkel is divisive, to say the least.
The party often uses posters and streets signs to spread message of white supremacy. Critics of AfD claim its rhetoric is deeply racist and have even compared it to Nazi fascism. Although the party denies these accusations, AfD has certainly played on the fears of the nation that have boiled over since German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened up the borders to welcome Muslim refugees from war-torn areas like Afghanistan and Syria.
This time around, the far-right party came up with advertisements that were a delight to all Islamophobic senses.
One poster showed three white women from behind, clad in skimpy swimming suit, and the words in German, “Burkas? We prefer bikinis,” superimposed on the image.
Another ad showed a pregnant white woman lying on the grass with the words, “New Germans? We’ll make them ourselves,” printed alongside her image.
The poster with a piglet on the grass and the slogan, “Islam? Doesn’t fit with our cuisine” — a reference to the fact that Muslims don’t eat pork — drew some unintended sympathy for the pig from animal lovers.
However, one particularly violent poster drew a lot of heads.
The image featured tire tracks splashed with blood and the names of cities branded over them. Underneath the cities’ names were figures about the number of people killed in terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims. The poster was branded with the words, “the tracks of Chancellor through Europe,” a reference to the far-right belief that Merkel’s soft stance on Muslim immigrants — who according to white supremacists are all terrorists — led to these deaths.
AfD also hired Vincent Harris, a 29-year-old Texan — who also worked for Ted Cruz and, briefly, for Donald Trump — to create a digital campaign incorporating Kunkel’s contentious images.
It’s pretty clear that the party tried to double down on its agenda of Islamophobia, racism, anti-immigration and misogyny ahead of the September elections. Their horrendous efforts seems to have worked considering the fact AfD gained 13 percent of the votes — thrice as much it received in 2013 (4.7 percent) — and became the third-largest party in Germany’s Parliament wining 94 out of 709 seats.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Matthias Schumann