Photo: Wikimedia Commons/klarsfeldfoundation.org
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hopes of a smooth transition between German presidents might have been dashed.The Left has nominated its own candidate — Nazi hunter Beate Klarsfeld — to stand against Merkel’s centre-right party nominee Joachim Gauck. Die Linke, the smallest party in the German parliament unanimously nominated Klarsfeld, 73, on Monday, Die Welt reports.
Die Linke decided to boycott Gauck, 72, after not being called to deliberations with other main parties on Gauck’s nomination following former President Christian Wulff’s forced resignation, according to the Guardian.
Klarsfeld hit the headlines in November 1968 when she was photographed slapping then German Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger. She took over the stage at a conference of his Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party and shouted “Nazi! Nazi! Nazi!”, in reference to Kiesinger’s past in Goebbels’s propaganda ministry. She was sentenced to a year in prison, subsequently reduced to four months on probation.
Even after her release, she remained in the spotlight. Farrah Fawcett played her in a TV movie based on her Nazi-hunting, The New York Times reports.
Klarsfeld, who is passionately pro-Israel, is not necessarily a logical choice for Die Linke, many of whom are vigorous supporters of an independent Palestine. But this may not matter, because her chances are already slim. Gauck has the backing of Merkel’s centre-right coalition, as well as that of the main opposition parties, the Social Democrats and the Greens, who have a total of 965 votes in next month’s presidential ballot, while Die Linke has a maximum of 125 votes.
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