ACHTUNG! If you were hoping that Germany’s coalition would have sorted out its issues over the summer break and return to Berlin this week with renewed purpose, you might not want to read on… Velcome to Berlin Bulletin’s new season, which we promise will provide you with all zee German angst, offensive behavior and wurst humor one can pack into a weekly newsletter. POLITICAL OKTOBERFEST: It might still be September, but as the professional helles swillers amongst you are no doubt aware, the real Oktoberfest is already well underway in beer gardens and tents across Germany’s southern region. The binge-drinking ritual carries special resonance this year because it’s serving as a political stage ahead of Bavaria’s state election next month. Heil ‘Hubsi?’ The current coalition between the center-right Christian Social Union (CSU) and conservative Free Voters (FW) is expected to be reelected, but the ho-hum race took an unexpectedly dramatic turn after FW leader Hubert “Hubsi” Aiwanger faced allegations of being a Nazi. Fatherland complex: Aiwanger, currently Bavaria’s deputy premier and economy minister, vociferously denies the allegations, contained in an exposé published in the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung on August 26. The newspaper uncovered a Nazi flyer found in Aiwanger’s school bag 35 years ago when he was 16 and accused him of writing it. Aiwainger admitted to possessing the flyer, which fantasizes about sending “the fatherland’s” enemies “up the chimney in Auschwitz” and into mass graves, but he denied writing it. We have ways of making you vote: One might have thought being accused of being a secret Nazi would be a bad thing in German politics. That was the old Germany. The times they are a’changin! In the wake of the scandal, Aiwanger’s party surged in the polls, jumping by as much as one-third into second place with about 16 percent. Most Germans appear to believe that Aiwanger has been unfairly targeted by the media and are giving him the benefit of the doubt. Included in that group is Bavarian Premier Markus Söder, who decided not to sack Aiwanger after seeing which way the political winds were blowing.
via politico: Nazi scandal rocks Oktoberfest