Tatjana Festerling: The Pitchfork Affair

As a follow-up to his earlier reports about Tatjana Festerling, one of the most prominent leaders of PEGIDA, Rembrandt Clancy has translated and subtitled her speech in Dresden on January 18. Her words are a response to the announcement that the government plans to prosecute her for public statements, and a defiance of the corrupt judicial system that intends to try her.

Notice that the charge against her, Volksverhetzung, is an exact analog of hets mot folkgrupp (“incitement against a group”), the notorious statute used in a similar manner by the Swedish government to prosecute dissidents.

[T]he Nazis of today are now no longer brown, but are wearing the colours of the governing parties!

—Tatjana Festerling

The Pitchfork Affair
by Rembrandt Clancy

Gates of Vienna recently reported the highlights of the speech to LEGIDA in Leipzig, given by Tatjana Festerling on 11 January 2016 in her capacity as one of the leaders at the forefront of PEGIDA in Dresden. What follows is the transcript and video of Frau Festerling’s subsequent speech to PEGIDA on 18 January 2016.

Central to her presentation is the pitchfork image, which two organs of the mainstream press used as the basis for filing notice to the Leipzig prosecutor’s office of ‘incitement to hatred’ (Volksverhetzung) against Frau Festerling. The complaint was pursuant to Article 130 of the German Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch (StGB)).

The offending sentence containing the pitchfork image reads as follows:

Were the majority of citizens in full possession of their faculties, they would take up pitchforks and beat these traitors and demagogic, people-agitating elites from the parliaments, from the courts, from the churches and from the publishing houses.

In her speech, Frau Festerling points to the German Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch, StGB) as the basis for the complaints. She describes § 130, the article on “incitement to hatred” or Volksverhetzung, as having been “specially prepared”, the context suggesting that this section of the StGB is intended for just such a challenge as PEGIDA is currently presenting to the governing parties.

Article 130 of the StGB is designed to control verbal and written speech a) against the subjective criterion of ‘incitement of hatred’ and b) toward groups or “segments of the population” rather than toward individuals as such. This combination, so some have argued, lends itself to selective enforcement, the incentive for its “specific preparation” deriving from the post WWI conflict between National Socialism and international Socialism. The former, of course, is now called “the Right”. To continue this line of thinking, the label “the Right” leads by expansion to the “Kampf gegen Rechts” (the struggle against the Right), to which Frau Festerling refers. Hence Article 130 facilitates the selective censorship of any political opinion which the government of the day might choose to label “right wing”.


Tatjana Festerling: PEGIDA speech, 18 January 2016

The original German video source is broken into two parts totalling nearly 20 minutes. They can be accessed with the following links:

Good Evening Dresden!

I have brought my pitchfork [Mistgabel] with me, which is actually a spading fork [Grabegabel]. But let’s stay with pitchfork! It is the tool of workers and farmers and has for a long time played a role in popular uprisings.

On account of my play on the pitchfork idea in the Leipzig speech, the managing director for the Federation of German Newspaper Publishers [Bundesverband Deutscher Zeitungsverleger (BDZV)] and the German Federation of Journalists [Deutsche Journalisten-Verband] reported me for ‘incitement to hatred’ (Volksverhetzung), § 130 [of the German Criminal Code, Strafgesetzbuch].

The intimidation of individuals is now being pushed to extremes. There is now a move at the very top to criminalise one’s own countrymen who are critical.

One of them is a highly paid head of an opportunistic lobbying organisation, which is OF COURSE in good standing with the politicians. The other is the staunchly Left-aligned journalists’ association, which represents the Green ideologues, who make clear to us every day how super it is to find ourselves flooded with Muslim refugee men; and that sexual attacks are in no way a question of Islam or of background.

Why these complaints? In Leipzig, I drew an historical comparison and used the pitchfork symbol in a rhetorical figure. It is an impertinence that something like that is taken as a call to violence.

PEGIDA was, is and remains peaceful. We have ALWAYS condemned violent attacks. For more than a year, and on a weekly basis, we have been ensuring that thousands here on the square can express, peacefully and WITHOUT FEAR, their resistance to government policy.

If, however, even the use of comparative imagery is to no longer be allowed, then what spirit is actually revealing itself in these people, who insist there are DEGREES to freedom of the press and therefore to freedom of speech.

They, however, may slander us here with impunity, and threaten us. One need only recall the statement, quoted with relish, of this [political science] professor from Mainz, [Gerd Mielke], who would like to see us bombarded with water cannons, so that we will wet our pants from fear and stop demonstrating.

Therefore, the ONLY ONE who may speak freely is the one who is in harmony with the government’s world view.

Incidentally, I would like to recall in this connection the Basic Law, Article 97 (1) “Judicial Independence”: “Judges shall be independent and subject only to the law”.

It will be interesting to see whether the German judiciary allows itself to be harnessed to the cart of an offended, narcissistic association of professionals.

Apropos law: Within the space of a few weeks, three (!) constitutional judges have confirmed violations of the Basic Law.

Among other things, Merkel is violating the Residence Act; Article 16, Section (2) of the Basic Law and of course the Dublin III Regulation.

The most dangerous woman in the world is ignoring not only existing laws, but is acting entirely without parliamentary approval.

And THAT is naturally of no interest to the chief executive officer of the German Newspaper Publishers. That is also of no interest to the left-wing sensitive souls of the Federation of Journalists.

The former Fourth Estate — the media — have long since been transformed into the submissive Merkel Court-Ministry of the Press.

Just as stubbornly as Merkel — and ever more aggressively — this apparatus blares the people with the sound of government propaganda. And it intentionally conceals and suppresses information.

Information which — God forbid! — could play into the hands of the Right. They demand freedom of the press, freedom of the media, but wish by means of the specifically prepared § 130 [of the Criminal Code] to gag those who criticise the press and politicians.

Such is the established praxis in banana republics.

Incidentally, it was precisely that, which a WDR-journalist confirmed in an interview: Public service broadcasting, with its licence fee funding, is aligned in such a way as to preferentially report in favour of the government and not from the standpoint of opposition.

Once more, for the sake of internalising it: the Merkel Ministry of Truth orders journalists, for example, to report only POSITIVELY on refugees and on the refugee policy of the government.

Are we in North Korea here, or what?

We are dealing with a deliberate deception of the people! As for serious, balanced reporting, this has nothing, but ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in common.

And THESE truth-twisters, from the Lügenpresse [lying press], now file notice of ‘incitement to hatred’.

Incidentally, Herr Chief Executive Officer Wolff is ALSO urging the public prosecutor to put the kibosh on us, the head of PEGIDA.

Herr Wolff, will this complaint be sufficient for you, or is the “kibosh putting” to be finished off with an attack by the Antifa?

Do you know what, Herr Chief Executive Officer Wolff, and you journalist functionaries?

I will be able to fry an egg on your criminal complaint!

If you want a trial, then you’ll get one!

And then we shall see if hundreds or even thousands of citizens do not come to the court room and will want to see what is going on there.

In the 15 months of PEGIDA, we have withstood SO much together, because we stick together. And THAT is also what we are still capable of bringing off.

And then we shall wait for the international media observers and the European politicians. They should see what is currently possible in this despotic state of Germany.

They should see that politically directed organisations are shooting at the opposition; that is, at those who really have no representation in the Bundestag.

They should see that, in the Germany of [Chancellor Angela] Merkel and [Heiko] Maas, a show trial is being conducted against a rhetorical, figurative expression.

They should see, that the methods of 1933 are being used here — the Nazis of today are now no longer brown, but are wearing the colours of the governing parties!

And they should see, what relationship this pitchfork-trial has to THE juridical consequences, which are NOT to be feared by the thousands of currently unregistered, freely roaming Ficki-Ficki gift-men, rapists and potential stoners.

And perhaps our neighbouring European countries will take the opportunity to also ask why extreme left-wing, violent criminals are veritably supported and financed by this despotic state.

Our neighbouring European countries have long been fed up with the Mutti Merkel regime.

They will fulminantly capsize Merkel, with her plans of the EU distribution mechanism for her self-invited asylum seekers.

And Schäuble’s [CDU, Finance Minister] latest coup: to communitise the costs for the Merkel asylum seekers through an EU petrol tax, will likewise come crashing down.

Criminal complaints are to criminalise people like Lutz [Bachmann] and me — and thereby the entire PEGIDA movement. And, as always, they are supposed to create a distraction from an examination of the unconstitutional machinations of our politicians, who have now installed a rogue state [Unrechtstaat].

They are supposed to distract from the Caesar-madness of the Chancellor. She is acting like a Roman emperor, who possessed by fantasies of omnipotence, surrounds himself only with subservient, fawning court courtiers and lickspittles and who has lost all contact with the world in which citizens live.

The pitchfork muscle-flexing is meant to draw attention away from the ‘replacement of the Volk’ [Umvolkung — National Socialist terminology] by massively unqualified young Muslims who are unwilling to integrate, and thereby draw attention away from the concomitant destabilisation and ultimately the destruction of Germany and Europe.

Pitchforks are a symbol of revolution!

And nothing less than that is what we need here in Germany. It is high time for a revolution! A foreshock of it can be triggered on 13th of March at the ballot boxes in Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt: Folks, — the ballot boxes must give off smoke.

And yet, let us keep the pitchforks in mind; they have always been there: in the French Revolution, in the peasants’ revolts and even recently in Italy with the “Movimento dei Forconi“ [Pitchforks Movement].

Forconi’ means ‘pitchforks’. In 2013 they paralysed several large Italian cities with large-scale demonstrations.

We, that is, self-confident Germans, without a penitent demeanour and an inherited guilt complex, are completely fed up with not being consulted. Not having been able to exert any influence, we have been forced to receive this desolate Mutti-politics from above.

How can it be, that here in Dresden thousands have been taking to the streets EVERY Monday for over a year now?

Because we have NO opposition in the Bundestag!

Even in the Reichstag, to be precise, Merkel’s statutory violations interest no one. There is no uprising, no non-confidence motion, no parliamentary inquiry — simply nothing.

On the contrary — the parliamentary opposition expressly welcomes the illegal and uncontrolled tide of migrants from Islamic countries.

And [Wolfgang] Schäuble, this embittered old man, is even planning a statutory regulation to deploy the Bundeswehr domestically: Panzers against the citizens! — With that, he will also transform Germany into a military state.

No, there is NO parliamentary voice being raised against this German rogue regime.

The ONLY opposition in Germany is the street! That means us, it means PEGIDA, and it means the AfD [Alternative für Deutschland].

And that is why they are fighting us. And to that end, all means are justified for those who sit at the levers of power.

In contrast to those who finance the “the struggle against the Right” and form a community of interests with the Antifa thug-squads, we, namely PEGIDA, refuse every connection with extremists and fascists.

PEGIDA wholeheartedly declares their support for the Constitution, for democracy and for the state governed by the rule of law.

And it is for the very reason of upholding justice and lawfulness that we take to the streets.

We demand from the federal government and from these fully deranged individuals at the top that, as representatives of the German people, they kindly hold to treaties, justice and lawfulness.

Otherwise, it is on these rulers, that “the kibosh must be put”, in order to bring Herr Managing Director into play once again.

That is what the Volk have already done several times, and that is what the Volk will do again, whether it suits you up there at the top, or not.

Up to the present, the pitchfork [Mistgabel] has symbolised resistance and the ability to put up a fight against oppressors, exploiters, failed politicians and capitulation. And in the figurative sense, of course, it stands for ‘clearing away the manure’ (Ausmisten).

And that is an urgent necessity today also: out with the manure in the parliaments, the courts, the churches, the publishing houses and the union palaces! We will not let up and you will gnash your teeth because of us.

Dear friends, and notwithstanding all the rhetoric, hyperbole and completely intentionally dispensed insults here at the microphone, — for whoever is pushed into a corner, makes mistakes and reveals weaknesses —: PEGIDA was, is and remains a peaceful movement. No violence! Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Many thanks to all of you!

For links to previous articles about PEGIDA (Patriotische Europäer Gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes, Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) and related movements, see the PEGIDA Archives.

19 thoughts on “Tatjana Festerling: The Pitchfork Affair

  1. Whereas those ruling elites in Germany imposing mass immigration and decimation of German culture could be accused justifiably of Treason against their nation….which is worse?

    The situation at least Europe finds itself in – the direction our nations take will likely be concluded by the use of force anyway. When the public are castigated what other democratic option is there?

    Looking ahead, some person like Tatjana Festerling whose opinion resonates with that of the democratic majority will become the figure head for armed resistance caused if unjustly treated by their government. The last thing any European should instigate is a return to warfare.

  2. I have so much respect for this heroic woman. If she goes to court the streets must be clogged with thousands of supporters for her. Meanwhile I hope that the deluded left wing feminists (still handing out roses to potential rapists after the Mass sexual attacks NYE), the gay community (who will be thrown to their deaths from tall buildings should Germany become an Islamic State) and the “No Border” fanatics (who wouldn’t dare peddle their nonsense in the middle East or north Africa) all hang their heads in shame. This lady is what a true feminist and German citizen looks like.

  3. “Incitement against a group”?
    How about these?
    “Kill the non-muslims wherever you find them, …let them find in you harshness, ….be ruthless to the non-muslims.`’
    That is incitement against a group.

  4. The German establishment is using classic Nazi and Soviet tactics here. In totalitarian societies it was always the people who were most expected to defend freedom who had to take the lead in denouncing freedom. Thus prominent churchmen would take the lead in denouncing dissident ministers, defense lawyers would denounce their clients, and, as here, journalists and newspaper editors would denounce those who violated speech codes.

  5. What is happening in Germany is truly disturbing. And the courage of people like this is truly inspiring.

  6. Thank you for the transcript. I listened to the actual speech, with the benefit of Clancy’s magnificent subtitles. The effect of actually listening to Festerling’s heartfelt words is very powerful.

    To an American, it is almost unthinkable that a representative of the press would report a speaker to a government prosecutor, unless the speech specifically called for violence. This is where we’re going: socialism implies government sponsorship of all activities, including the means of communication. Fortunately, with the internet, those who wish to know the actual facts still have access to the truth: however, in the name of “fairness”, government agencies are constantly trying to gain more power over internet providers. Once they succeed, we’ll be reduced to electronic samizdat, where actual news reports are distributed on hard drives and pirate websites.

    The only bright side of the German situation I can see is that the danger and oppression have brought out heroic figures like Festerling and the heroic stands of ordinary people protesting in the streets. It’s an opportunity to see a fight worth being fought.

    • I like your comment on samizdat, it might become like in P.K.Dick’s ‘Man in the high castle’, hopefully minus Gestapo executions. UK is going that way too, I don’t care anymore whether it’s doing of Soros or Barbara Spectre, many in Europe will just form resistance.
      I was at anti-communist demo at the age of 6 with my dad back in mid-80’s in Poland. It would have been a fond memory if it wasn’t for the tear gas and seeing people (regardless of gender and age) beaten by ‘Mechanised Citizen Militia’ (official name of Communist’s regime thug riot police)- seems familiar? Yep, see peaceful protest in Cologne against mass sexual assaults. Overthrowing EUSSR will take some time, tears and blood…

  7. “…the ONLY ONE who may speak freely is the one who is in harmony with the government’s world view. The intimidation of individuals is now being pushed to extremes (and) (t)here is now a move at the very top to criminalise one’s own countrymen who are critical.

    Public service broadcasting, with its licence fee funding, is aligned in such a way as to preferentially report in favour of the government and not from the standpoint of opposition.They demand freedom of the press, freedom of the media, but wish to gag those who criticise the press and politicians…”

    “…that is an urgent necessity today…: out with the manure in the parliaments, the courts, the churches, the publishing houses and the union palaces!”

    Germany sounds just like Britain. Tatjana Festerling asks whether other “European countries will take the opportunity to also ask why extreme left-wing, violent criminals are veritably supported and financed by this despotic state.” Extreme left-wing, violent criminals are veritably supported and financed by the British state, and my guess the same charge applies to every Western state. Extreme left wing violent criminals are Western states’ footsoldiers who are tasked with attacking any opposition to the direction our ‘leaders’ (sic) are taking.

    • There’s been a few bits in the news about the German police visiting people to warn them about their online views critical of govt policies. If this is true, and the Germans don’t stop this creeping Gestapo tactics, then totality is indeed back in Germany.

  8. Tatjana Festerling, eine Heldin, eine Jeanne D’arc der Zivilcourage, eine selbstlose Person.
    Tatjana Festerling, a heroine, a Joan of Arc of civil courage, a selfless person.

  9. I wonder if she really said “beat”? You don’t use a pitchfork to beat people with. You use it to fork out the manure. 🙂

  10. Yes, you have nevertheless hit on something substantial here. It is not the pitchfork – which is merely a potential weapon – but the verb which is the kernel. Frau Festerling, perhaps deliberately, does not address the action itself, but only the implement.

    The verb is “prügeln”, to beat or thrash, and it is hard to take the violence out of it, except through the subjunctive, which Frau Festerling uses. The subjunctive shifts (sublimates?) the violence into the hypothetical.

    One might have expected her to use some variation of “treiben … aus”, to drive out, as Jesus does with the money changers (heraustreiben).

    There is a defence lawyer, Michael Stephan, who is interviewed (see link below) by “ZDF heute” about this very issue. He focusses attention, rightly, on the verb, the action, not the implement. Stephan even uses an intensified form of the verb, “verprügeln”.

    Incidently, it is his opinion that a public prosecutor would find it very difficult to bring charges against Frau Festerling, because what she said was so “well packaged”. He does not elaborate, but this “packaging” would have to include the subjunctive and the following context which shifts the whole scenario into the plane of unreality.

    The above reference to Michael Stephan can be found at 3:50 min.

  11. Hitler, in his last days, wished for the German people to be destroyed because they’d not been warlike and assertive enough for his liking.

    Merkel now wishes them to be destroyed because they’ve not been peaceful and submissive enough for her liking.

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