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German politician Alexander Gauland—though not well known in the United States—is a bitterly controversial figure in Germany. Leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, he has held a seat in the Bundestag (German federal parliament) since 2017 and is widely criticized for his position on Germany’s involvement in World War II.
Though he has never publicly outright supported Nazism, Gauland has long-since held the position that Germany and the rest of Europe should just “get over” the whole Nazi thing and that his country has “the right to be proud of the achievements of the German soldiers in two world wars.”
Thinking face emoji, indeed.
In light of all this, Gauland didn’t find much sympathy when some hooligans stole his dang clothes while he was swimming in a public lake last week. According to German media, which just reported on the news, the thieves shouted, “Nazis don’t need bathing fun” and “There’s no swimming for Nazis here,” as they made off with his clothes.”
Because his keys were in the pocket of his trousers, the 77-year-old was forced to walk in his bathing shorts to the nearest police station, and photos snapped by onlookers began circulating on social media.
Alexander Gauland, head of the AfD, (same guy who called the Holocaust "just a bird dropping on 1,000 years of German history") had his clothes stolen while swimming at a lake the other day. Which is funny. Even funnier? German media debating whether it's OK to share the photo. pic.twitter.com/DbgC0S31ed— Charles Hawley (@charles_hawley) June 6, 2018
While German media could debate whether or not it’s OK to share the photo until its blue in the face, the hashtag #Badespass (translation: bathing fun) soon went viral as Twitter joined in on the ridicule—such as the tweet below, which roughly translates to: “1000 years dignity in a picture.”
Or this one, which reads, “It was a great day!”
Others weighed in with similar sentiments:
Made my day. https://t.co/EiMQLYnqhB— mastodon.social/@malik (@twittlik) June 5, 2018
Some heroes steal capes https://t.co/Peb5HVTK53— Steve Peers (@StevePeers) June 6, 2018
USA: Hot disputes about whether it's ok to punch a nazi.— eve massacre (@evemassacre) June 5, 2018
GER: Hot disputes whether it's okay to retweet the picture of a nazi (AfD-nazi Gauland) who had his clothes robbed by Antifa while swimming in a lake. smh. Priorities, Germany, priorities. https://t.co/V2vJPRh00H
In any case, it seems as if the court of public opinion—or, shall we say, the court of social media—has already spoken. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
Stacey Ritzen is a reporter and editor based in West Philadelphia with over 10 years' experience covering pop culture, web culture, entertainment, and news. You can follow her on Twitter @staceyritzen.