Haider death mocked once more

A satirical magazine has created a fake campaign train poster showing the wrecked car of a late politician.

Jörg Haider spearheaded right-wing movements in Austria for decades before losing his life in a drunken car crash three years ago. Now Germany’s Titanic magazine published what it called a “Riddle for Nazis” on its homepage.

The image features the real campaign poster of the German National Democratic Party (NPD). The disputed poster shows NPD chairman Udo Voigt on a motorcycle. Its slogan says “GAS geben!” The image caused public outcry in Germany when it was presented last month for its alleged hints at the country’s World War Two (WWII) past when the Nazis killed millions of members of Europe’s Jewish community in gas chambers.

While political rivals branded the poster idea as “misanthropic”, Voigt defended it, claiming it only referred to his passion for biking. The NPD chief explained he only wanted to indicate to “step on the gas” or accelerate his work for the country. The right-winger – whose party is backed by many neo-Nazis – argued: “You have to be allowed to stop considering things that happened in the past.”

Voigt previously caused a stir by expressing doubts about a “foreign infiltration” of the German national football team as several players were born abroad or grew up in families who migrated to the country. The Berlin branch of his party published a crossword looking for “a male first name which has gone out of fashion”. The solution was Adolf, the first name of WWII dictator Adolf Hitler.

Now Titanic made clear it was not intimidated by the prospect of a legal wrangle with representatives of Haider’s former parties, the Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ). The monthly fake news magazine’s image showing the Voigt poster and the spoof Haider replica says in small print that Titanic’s place of jurisdiction is Berlin.

Titanic’s take on Haider’s death comes after comedians, authors and TV presenters across German-speaking Europe reacted to it in controversial fashion by making fun of it in various ways.