Now Germans do their inner emigration openly.
Peter Fitzek rules over a kingdom, and he has the passport to prove it.
Bound in white, the passport gives Mr Fitzek’s name only as Peter I. His title is boldly stated: “King of Germany”. The issuing authority is the Kingdom of Germany, a pseudo-state founded by Mr Fitzek in 2012 that claims to have more than 250 citizens.
The kingdom is near the eastern German city of Wittenberg, and covers only a hectare. Mr Fitzek insists it meets all the criteria of an independent country, and that neither Germany’s law nor government hold sway within its borders. The kingdom has a flag and crest, a constitution and bank, a separate health insurance and pension system, and even a currency: the E-Mark…
Political analysts argue that the movement, whose members are usually referred to as Reichsbürger (citizens of the Reich) or Selbstverwalter (self-administrators), is a symptom of the same political malaise that has fuelled the rise of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the far-right party that won 13 per cent of the vote at last year’s general election.
“What you see is a deeply-rooted dissatisfaction that becomes so radical that people want to drop out of the federal republic altogether.”