NOT FUNNY: German comedian calls for the “culling” of German and Austrian conservative politicians

NOT FUNNY: German comedian calls for the “culling” of German and Austrian conservative politicians

German comedian and television host Jan Bohmermann has come under fire for allegedly advocating for the killing of conservative politicians in Austria and Germany.

Bohmermann, host of the late-night satirical comedy show “ZDF Magazin Royale,” recently targeted conservative politicians from the Austrian Freedom Party (FPO) and the German Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Bohmermann, who earns over €682,000 ($739,000) per year from the mandatory fee Germans pay to support public television programs, expressed outrage over the FPO’s surge in the polls and how the conservative party is the most popular party in Austria in the run-up to new elections to be held before the end of 2024.

In his show, Bohmermann equated both the AfD and the FPO with the Nazis and advocated for his viewers to take weapons to beat AfD and FPO politicians.

“Don’t always bring out the Nazi club, but maybe just club a few Nazis,” he said at the conclusion of his show.

Bohmermann’s choice of words is what has drawn concern here. His use of the German verb “keulen,” which refers to the culling of animals to prevent or contain disease, along with “Nazi-keulen,” strongly indicates that Bohmermann wants politicians from the AfD and FPO to be “culled” to avoid an “epidemic.” (Related: Top German official promotes law that would target bank accounts of “right-wing extremist” donors.)

Conservative politicians condemn Bohmermann’s call for violence

In response to Bohmermann’s call to violence, FPO Chairman Herbert Kickl wrote a statement calling Bohmermann’s comparing his party to animals that need to be culled “disgusting” and “absolute madness.”

Kickl also strongly criticized how Bohmermann compared him with Nazis, claiming that he is similar to dictator Adolf Hitler and “speaks like” Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

FPO Secretary General Christian Hafenecker also sharply criticized Bohmermann, noting that his statements have gone “beyond all previous dimensions” of acceptable satire and should not remain without consequences.

Hafenecker added that calls for physical violence against politicians “were previously only known from terrorist regimes.” He has called for Bohmermann to be investigated by German authorities.

“Where is the outcry from [Austrian] Federal President [Alexander Van der Bellen]? Where are the condemning statements from the OVP, Greens, SPO and NEOS, who always accused the FPO of hatred and incitement? Where is the Office for the Protection of the Constitution?” said Hafenecker in a statement calling out politicians with the liberal-conservative Austrian People’s Party, the Greens, the socialist Austrian Social Democratic Party and the liberal NEOS party, respectively.

Bohmermann has been warned repeatedly that his so-called “satire” could lead to actual acts of violence. Just one week before his show aired, an AfD politician was forced to withdraw from participating in German electoral politics due to receiving serious threats against his life and the lives of his family members. Numerous other AfD supporters have already been brutally assaulted, targeted at their homes and have had their vehicles set on fire.

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Richard Brown