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Konrad Werner: The German civil war

Bavaria, under the generalship of Horst Seehofer, is preparing to secede from the Republic. These are desperate times, but the ancient borders just feel right.

Image for Konrad Werner: The German civil war
“Bavarian infantry at the battle of Wissembourg, 1870.”

This must be it now. Bavaria is finally going to declare independence. There will probably have to be a civil war – if the Bundeswehr looks too well-equipped in the opening months maybe Putin will help the separatists a bit – but one way or another, Bavaria is surely going to secede this time. It’s time to free the kingdom from the Prussian yoke.

Last week, while the CDU rank-and-file were trying to work out how to react if Angela Merkel won the Nobel Peace Prize for doing something they don’t like anymore, CSU leader Horst Seehofer was gluing the last letters – cut out from the Bildzeitung’s “Wir Helfen” campaign – onto his blackmail message.

“If Prussia does not let Bavaria defend its borders from the Muselmänner,” sticky-fingered Seehofer declared (I’m paraphrasing) with a menacing leer on his face, “then Bavaria will insist on its constitutional rights, for Berlin is endangering the states’ independent capacity to act.” If necessary, Seehofer told the Bild, Bavaria will resort to “self-defence” measures against refugees.

If Bavaria closes the border with Austria, Austria will then probably close the border with Hungary, and Hungary has already closed its borders with Serbia and Croatia. So what then? The refugees will go the long way round to get into the promised valleys north of the Alps – Spain, Switzerland, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, and finally Franconia, and an even older border will be re-established. So Bavaria will have to close the gates of Munich.

Confederate hearts will sing. Sovereignty over the ancient borders! The blue and white Bavarian diamonds will whip and ripple as Seehofer pronounces his ultimatum to the Berlin dictatorship: “Meek diesel Volkswagens will be crushed by petro-nourished BMWs.” Wealthy feather-hatted men will weep into their elaborate moustaches. Somewhere in a dark forest by the Starnberger See, a pale wraith of old King Ludwig will rise triumphant, surrounded by a guard of hooded Guglmänner carrying flaming torches. The day has finally come. “Forget the EU, we never even asked to join the Federal Republic!” they will sing.

Or am I being needlessly alarmist? Am I making a manageable crisis sound like a world-ending apocalypse? Shit. I’m really sorry.