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Seymour Gris: Germany’s godfather – an offer Wullf couldn’t refuse

The German president has landed himself some trouble for becoming the honourary godfather of a "neo-Nazi" child.

Image for Seymour Gris: Germany's godfather – an offer Wullf couldn't refuse
Still from Wolfgang Müller’s The Life of Sid Vicious (1981)

After all that hassle with brownshirt Bundesbank renegade Sarrazin and then below-the-belt-bestseller author Charlotte Roche offering to sleep with him if he refused to sign the new law on atomic power into law, Christian Wullf keeps getting stuck in sticky situations.

According to custom, parents can ask the president to become the honourary godfather of their seventh child. A family from a village near Rostock in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern called Lalendorf asked Wullf to become godfather of their kid.

The only problem? The family are known right-wing wackos: dad works at an NPD-sponsored “eugenics institute” and mum belongs to the Ring Nationaler Frauen, a neo-Nazi ladies club.

The mayor of Lalendorf Reinhard Knaack refused to hand over Wullf’s godfather certificate and the €500 gift that accompanies it to the family, as did other local officials. And so Wulff’s office simply sent the certificate by post and transferred the cash to the family’s bank account.

Then things got ugly: a gang of neo-Nazis walked into Knaack’s garden and intimidated the mayor…

Wulff is in a bind. He says the baby shouldn’t be denied an honour because of his/her extremist parents. And the seventh-child tradition is actually written into a 1949 law that was supposed to encourage breeding in war-ravaged Germany.

What to do? Do neo-Nazi babies deserve the blessing of Germany’s head of state? Should we subsidize neo-Nazi offspring? I just don’t know.