With an appeal in the style of an RAF wanted poster, satirist Jan Böhmermann drives the critics of climate activists of the "last generation" to the barricades. It's "tasteless" and "ignorant of history," many say -- and realize too late that they've fallen into the trap.
Satirist Jan Böhmermann has received severe criticism with a tweet showing a wanted poster with numerous prominent politicians, journalists and other spokesmen. The poster is based on the style of a public manhunt for the terrorists of the left-wing extremist Red Army Faction (RAF), which carried out numerous attacks and murders in the late 1960s and 1970s. Böhmermann included FDP Finance Minister Christian Lindner and his wife Franca Lehfeldt on the list, but also Ulf Poschardt, editor-in-chief of "Welt", FDP foreign policy officer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff and virologist Hendrik Streeck.
The poster reads that they belonged to the "Lindner/Lehfeldt Gang" - an allusion to the "Baader/Meinhof Gang", the first generation of the RAF. The poster, which actually existed in a similar form, says that they are left-wing violent criminals who are wanted on warrants "for involvement in anti-state activism, formation of a criminal organization, joint preparation of serious crimes that are dangerous to the state and humanity and other crimes." . A reward of 100,000 German marks was offered for information leading to the arrest; and the addition that the offenders "recklessly used their hunting license".
The poster caused outrage not only among those pictured. The "Welt" columnist Anna Schneider, who is also pictured on the poster, tweeted ironically that it was "completely cool and normal that the ÖRR clown, who was also forced to finance my fees, turned me and others who don't think like him into terrorists explained". The CDU MP Matthias Hauer was also shocked and wrote that the tweet was "tasteless, forgotten about history and wrong". However, he himself had warned of a "green RAF" in February with a view to the climate protests of "Ende Gelände", "Extinction Rebellion" and "Last Generation".
And that is also the solution to the riddle: Böhmermann explained what all the depicted representatives from politics, media and society (apart from Lindner) have in common late on Friday evening in his program "ZDF Magazin Royale": They had the activists of the "Last Generation" with them Terrorists or equated or referred to as "Climate RAF". For Böhmermann, this is obviously an inadmissible comparison - which is why he turned the tables on his show. "The climate RAF is just a soup, just a Pritt pen away from shooting the employer president! The real enemies of the state have been hiding behind a bourgeois facade for years," Böhmermann explained with plenty of cynicism.
He accused the journalists of "Welt" of being "radical activists with a clearly anti-state agenda. The law enforcement authorities must act now!" The FDP also got its fat off: it was a state-destroying group that had spread throughout the German parliaments. "There can only be one solution: preventive detention for these radical dissidents of the state and their willing helpers!" Böhmermann demanded, alluding to the appeals of various politicians and also from the police ranks, that the climate activists "simply have to be locked away" before they can be found could paralyze other motorways or airports.
The climate activists of the "last generation" had recently come under heavy criticism after some of them paralyzed flight operations at the capital's BER airport. The activists climbed through the security fence and blocked the runways on the airport premises. Numerous politicians called for consequences - and warned that the rule of law must act now. The activists have now announced that they are not planning any new actions for the time being. "I think we all - society and politics - could use a breather to calm the heated spirits a little," spokeswoman Aimée van Baalen was quoted as saying.
The excitement surrounding the fake wanted poster comes at just the right time for Böhmermann, as it has sparked a broad debate on social media about whether comparisons to the RAF - whoever they are made - are appropriate. However, he has no understanding for the outraged question of his critics, who mainly come from conservative circles, whether this is still satire. "Leftists have no sense of humor," he tweeted.