The co-leader of Germany’s far-right AfD party struggled to name a single German poem while on children’s TV promoting the importance of German culture.
Tino Chrupalla appeared on Logo!, a children’s news programme on broadcaster ZDF, to stress the importance of teaching traditional German folk songs and poems in schools alongside German philosophers.
In a widely-shared clip, Chrupalla says that young people should, “learn more German folk songs, more German poems” in school. He is then asked by the child interviewing him, “I think we already have to memorise plenty of poems in school. What’s your favourite German poem?”
“I can’t think of one,” says Chrupalla, after a long pause.
After stumbling over an answer, Chrupalla was asked to name his favourite German poet, eventually naming prominent 19th century poet Heinrich Heine.
A far-right German politician failing to think of a single German poem has been compared online to former US President Donald Trump being unable, or unwilling, to name his favourite Bible verse, or former Alaska governor and Republican vice president nominee, Sarah Palin, answering “all of them, any of them” when asked what newspapers she regularly reads.
The TV appearance comes as Germany heads to the polls later this month for its general election, with the Social Democrats currently ahead in the polls. It will be the first election in 16 years without Angela Merkel as leader of a party.