By Miriam Kuepper
18:29 February 12, 2024, updated 18:43 February 12, 2024
Floats showed Trump waving a Nazi star and stripes, Hamas pushing families in front of Israeli floats and Putin in a compromising pose with the head of the Russian Church during an annual satirical German parade.
Crowds of revelers took to the streets of Germany’s carnival strongholds for Rose Monday parades, which are a traditional highlight of carnival celebrations in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Mainz and other western locations. ‘Germany.
Each year, expensive and elaborate floats feature enormous caricature puppets of politicians, addressing current national and global issues with biting sarcasm.
In Düsseldorf, former US President Donald Trump carried scissors and an American flag cut into the shape of a swastika on a tank.
Another shows the 2024 presidential candidate stabbing a Ukrainian soldier in the back — a reference to Republican opposition to aid to Ukraine.
One tank appeared to show a kneeling Vladimir Putin, dressed in camouflage clothing, holding the head of the Russian Church, Patriarch Kirill.
The latter also appeared to be kneeling while clinging to Putin and pressing his face against the Russian leader’s forehead.
The very compromising pose in which Putin and Kirill find themselves indicates that the head of the Russian Church is committing a sexual act on the president of his country. On the side of the tank it read: “From Russia with love”.
The war between Israel and Hamas was also a theme, with a tank in Düsseldorf depicting a figure in military fatigues labeled “Hamas” pushing what appeared to be a family toward an Israeli tank.
This year, a larger-than-life Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, walked the streets of Cologne with a sign reading “Be or Be NATO.” Mr Zelensky wants Ukraine to join the Western military alliance.
Another float at the Düsseldorf carnival depicts Russian President Vladimir Putin eating Ukraine, with the inscription “choke on it.”
A sign was attached to the bottom of the float which read: “Two years old but unfortunately still relevant”.
In Mainz, a pink Barbies and Ken float featured Russian President Vladimir Putin behind Alice Weidel and Sahra Wagenknecht, the co-leaders of the far-right German political parties Alternative for Germany and the Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance.
Weidel’s and Wagenknecht’s parties criticize sanctions against Russia and oppose arms supplies to Ukraine.
Another float criticized the media, with a flame figure – written on the side “2023: the hottest year ever” – tapping on the shoulder of a man holding a camera angled on a sign resembling to an explosion that said “wars”. .
Germany’s unpopular government has been criticized, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz portrayed as lazy and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock as an elephant in a china shop, the German equivalent of a bull in a china shop.
A parade float depicted Chancellor Olaf Scholz and showed him with a hole in his head, calling him “Hole-af Scholz”.
The parade in Düsseldorf brought together 8,000 participants divided into 85 walking groups and 110 floats.
The floats were designed by Jacques Tilly, Germany’s leading designer of carnival floats, who in previous years had already depicted satirical scenes with leaders like Trump and Putin.
Millions of costumed revelers also took to the streets across Germany today to celebrate the Rose Monday carnival, which traditionally takes place on the Monday before Ash Wednesday.
Schools are closed in the region so children can attend popular street parades featuring floats, marching bands and dance groups throwing candy, chocolates and flowers to spectators.
In the Cologne street parade alone, parade participants threw 700,000 bars of chocolate, 300,000 bouquets of flowers to spectators and 220,000 boxes of pralines.
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