Don’t go to Berlin

By | Category: Travel news

The Brandenburg gate in Berlin at night. Without "Visitors go home" signs

Visitors are being politely told in Berlin to go home. We are not wanted there. Well, most of us aren’t because one person told Der Spiegel that they only wanted rich people.

This anti-visitor feeling is down to the forthcoming German federal election. A party called Die Partei (The Party) has used this as part of its manifesto to win votes. Is this the German equivalent of the Monster Raving Loony Party? Are they serious about not wanting us to visit Berlin? Is this just a political stunt to get media attention?

The answer could be yes to all three questions. For some years Berliners have discussed the large number of visitors that come to Berlin and wondered whether the city would be better off with fewer tourists. Die Partie has just jumped on the bandwagon.

They held their “rally” at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin which is where huge number of visitors go so they were targeting the right people. But do Berliners agree? The head of the party, Martin Sonneborn, is also involved with the satirical magazine Titanic so you do wonder how serious it is. Is Sonneborn Ian Hislop in disguise? Is Titanic just Private Eye under a a different wrapper? These are all serious questions which anyone planning on travelling to Berlin should answer?

This month’s issue has the German chancellor, Angela Merkel on the cover covered with insect bites and bugs in her hair. Maybe German politics is so dull and boring, Sonneborn thought this might enliven it. That we shouldn’t take it seriously is perhaps shown that, previously, they campaigned to rebuild the Berlin Wall and that they have a youth wing called “Hintner Youth” which is named after another party leader called Thomas Hintner. What would Freddie Starr, Spike Milligan and Stan Boardman make of this?

What Der Spiegel didn’t say was that – according to that unimpeachable source, Wikipedia – is that Sonneborn also writes for its online version. The same version that I see each day. Could it be that Der Spiegel thinks the campaign needs enlivening too?

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