Lagerfeld may drop German citizenship over migrant welcome

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, who has made no secret of his disdain for Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to allow some one million migrants into Germany, has said he might have to renounce his German citizenship over the issue.

Lagerfeld may drop German citizenship over migrant welcome
Karl Lagerfeld in 2016. Photo: DPA

“Did she really need to say it was necessary to welcome one million migrants at a time when France, which casts itself as the land of human rights, pledged to take in 30,000?” Lagerfeld said in an interview with French weekly Le Point published Thursday.

Again dismissing Merkel as a “pastor's daughter who can't accept the evil that Germany carried out after 1933,” the designer accused her of fostering the emergence of the far-right Alternative for Germany party.

“The AfD didn't exist, yet with one sentence she made it exist by alienating two million voters and sending 100 of these neo-Nazis into parliament,” he said, referring to the 92 AfD lawmakers who obtained seats in the Bundestag in last September's election.

“If this keeps up, I'll abandon German citizenship,” Lagerfeld said, without indicating what he might trade it for, though he has gushed previously that “a new day is dawning in France” with the arrival of President Emmanuel Macron.

“I like Macron personally, and (his wife) Brigitte, but that doesn't mean I want to become French,” he told Le Point.

“I don't like nations, I'm cosmopolitan. And I don't feel German either — I'm Hanseatic,” he said, referring to the Hanseatic League of merchant guilds across northern Germany that emerged in the 13th century.

His stance would appear to be a stark reversal from one espoused just a few months ago, when he told Madame Figaro magazine that he was “a Kraut at heart”.

“It's in my genes and I'm fine with that. And it's not because Mrs Merkel does stupid things that I'm going to renounce being German,” he said.

Lagerfeld had already stirred up outrage last November by evoking the Holocaust while assailing Merkel for opening Germany's borders to migrants.

“One cannot — even if there are decades between them — kill millions of Jews so you can bring millions of their worst enemies in their place,” he told a French television show. 

READ ALSO: French sue Lagerfeld over 'fat slurs'

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Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld cremated in France

Fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld was cremated in France on Friday, fulfilling his last wishes following his death this week at the age of 85, the magazine Closer reported.

Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld cremated in France
2005 file photo of German fashion designer and creative director of Chanel Karl Lagerfeld. Photo: STAN HONDA / AFP
The German designer who had quipped “I'd rather die” than be buried was cremated in Nanterre, west of Paris, in the presence of Virginie Viard, who succeeds him as creative director at Chanel, Princess Caroline of Monaco and Bernard Arnault, head of the luxury group LVMH, Closer said on its internet site.
A spokeswoman for the Lagerfeld fashion house had told AFP only that “his wishes will be respected”. 
Lagerfeld's ashes are to join some from Jacques de Basher, his great love who died of AIDS in 1989.
Lagerfeld had told de Bascher's biographer Marie Ottavi that some of his ashes were being stored “somewhere secret. One day they will be added to mine.”