Rose Monday Celebrations In German carnival, mocking Donald Trump has become a tradition

Düsseldorf · Traditionally, German carnival floats satirize current events. In one city, depicting US president Donald Trump has become a tradition in recent years. This year he is shown naked - again. And he is not the only foreign politician to be mocked.

Rosenmontag Düsseldorf 2024: Das waren die Mottowagen von Jacques Tilly
14 Bilder

Die Mottowagen beim Rosenmontagszug 2024 in Düsseldorf

14 Bilder
Foto: dpa/Federico Gambarini

„A carnival parade without Trump is like Easter without eggs“, says Jacques Tilly. The artist builds the so-called „Mottowagen“, satirical floats for the Rosenmontagszug, the parade for Rose Monday. For him, mocking US president Donald J. Trump has become a tradition. This year, Donald Trump gets to ride not one but two Tilly carnival floats – and on one, he’s wearing nothing but the scent of power.

On the first, Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman is shown holding a bloody chainsaw – alluding to the murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi, which many believe was ordered by MBS. Behind him, Donald Trump hovers, angel’s wings on his back, completely naked. „Der Mörder und sein Schmutzengel“ is the title of this float, a pun on words that literally translates to „The murderer and his dirty angel“. „Schutzengel“ ist „guardian angel“ in English, „Schmutz“ means dirt.

The second Trump float shows the US president with the Russian president Wladimir Putin. Both are puppets of nuclear death, destroying the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and happily accepting Europe burning in atomic war.

Donald Trump is not the only foreign politician to be mocked, though. Italy’s minister of the interior Matteo Salvini is shown with a naked torso, nursing two monstrous babies at his breasts: racism and nationalism. The right-wing nationalist politician also wears a tattoo of the word „Mafia“ in a heart. There are also two Brexit floats: On one, British prime minister Theresa May’s Pinocchio-style long liar’s nose has impaled the British economy. On the other, Labour und Tory politicians are hitting each other with hard Brexit hammers. Liberal Poland is being crucified, the Pope rests comfortably in a hammock titled „Relentless Investigation of Sexual Abuse Cases“.

Every year Jacques Tilly builds a dozen floats that are a comment on current events. Some pick up on local or regional matters, some on national issues. There are always some that satirize international affairs. Tilly’s works have been praised as 3D satire. Most years, international press picks up on them.

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