• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Huge Merkel hand poster sparks outcry

The Local · 4 Sep 2013, 11:33

Published: 04 Sep 2013 11:33 GMT+02:00

Around the size of a third of a football pitch, the 2,400-square-metre poster stretches across a half-built building near Berlin's main train station. “Germany is in good hands,” it reads, next to a close up of Merkel's trademark, triangle-shaped, hand gesture made from a mosaic of smaller photos.

Normally, the country's political parties are not allowed over-sized posters. But this changes during the three months running up to an election, when parties can adorn any building except for those used by the public sector.

Opposition party the Social Democrats (SPD) voiced on Wednesday disapproval of the enthusiasm of Merkel’s CDU to embrace the rule change, Berlin newspaper the Tagesspiegel reported.

The poster reflects “a monstrous, empty personality cult,” said head of the Berlin branch of the SPD Jans Stöß. He argued that the choice of photograph demonstrated how, at the top levels of politics, the CDU's election campaign was no longer about policy, and more about candidates.

Merkel's signature hand gesture – which she often makes while talking in public and posing for photographs – “has no political meaning,” said Stöß.

Green politician Marc Urbatsch echoed the sentiment: “When simple symbols and memorized texts are politics, then we've gone to the dogs,” he told the paper.

Yet the CDU said they saw the giant hands as reflecting Merkel as “the mother of the nation, taking Germany by the hand and guiding it through crisis,” party researcher Oskar Niedermayer said.

Niedermayer added that reducing a party to simply the hands of its leader and pairing it with a basic slogan is something new. Merkel is being transformed into an icon, something that in coming years will become increasingly interesting from a cultural perspective, he said.

Story continues below…

READ MORE: Merkel's necklace gets its own Twitter account

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record as wins Berlin marathon
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Trump protesters rebuild and tear down 'Berlin Wall'
The 'Stop Trump' protest at the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA.

US expats gathered at the Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Friday "rebuild" the Berlin Wall and protest US presidential candidate Donald Trump's own proposed wall-building.

Accusation of sexism within Merkel's party creates uproar
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Chancellor Angela Merkel, two leading women in the CDU party. Photo: DPA.

A young politician from the ranks of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has caused a storm by suggesting that the party is institutionally sexist.

EasyJet 'in talks to buy German airline' to duck Brexit
Photo: DPA

EasyJet is in talks to acquire TUIfly, a board member of the German carrier said Friday, as the British no-frills airline looks for ways to keep flying freely within the EU after Britain quits the bloc.

Symbols of migrant plight to go on show in Bonn museum
Photo: DPA

A people smugglers' car, a dinghy and a life jacket are among items related to Europe's migration crisis due to go on display at a German museum.

Brexit
Green party demand 'quick and easy' citizenship for Brits
Photo: DPA

The Green party has called for Brits living in Germany to be offered a painless path to obtaining dual citizenship as to "reassure them over the future".

Berlin the new London? 10m2 flat to rent for €750 a month
Photo: Immonet.de.

This shoebox apartment in the gentrified Bergmann-Kiez neighbourhood may be a sign that the tides are turning for Berlin’s comparatively cheap housing market.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
5,651
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd