After Nuremberg, Germany picked mixed race teen Benigna Munsi as Christ Child for its famous Christmas market, the far-right White nationalist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) political party couldn't contain their racism.
Others hailed the choice of 17 year-old Benigna Munsi—whose father is of Indian descent and whose mother is of Caucasian German descent—as the first POC teen to play the role of Christkind at its famous Christmas market as a sign of progress and inclusion for mixed race and non-White Germans.
Jetzt steht es fest: Unser neues Christkind für das Jahr 2019/2020 heißt: Benigna Munsi Wir gratulieren ganz herzl… https://t.co/4ur1kNfkmR— Tourismus Nürnberg (@Tourismus Nürnberg) 1572453006.0
Gratulation Benigma https://t.co/tJ8R9sChZm— Werner (@Werner) 1572515988.0
#Nürnberg hat ein neues Christkind: Die 17-jährige Schülerin Benigna Munsi wird dieses Amt in den nächsten beiden J… https://t.co/RoEulEI6cu— Stadt Nürnberg (@Stadt Nürnberg) 1572454038.0
"The traditional Christmas market of Nuremberg this year will be opened by a PC Christ Child" https://t.co/UGqR6avAkl— Curonian Veste (@Curonian Veste) 1572622479.0
But Germany's far-right AfD party disagreed.
A 17-year-old girl of Indian-German descent has been picked to play the Christkind. No surprise - the @AfD isn't h… https://t.co/1w7Bx57HAU— DW News (@DW News) 1572655040.0
The anti-immigration, White nationalist party called the choice another sign of impending "White genocide."
In a since deleted Facebook post, the political party stated—among other comments about Munsi's nose and overall appearance:
"Nuremberg has a new Christ Child. One day, we're going to go the way of the Indians (Native Americans)."
After backlash from local and state politicians, the post was removed.
At a press conference Sunday, Nuremberg Mayor Ulrich Maly called out the party for "openly racist" remarks.
"You would laugh about it if you didn't know these guys are serious, but you could cry about this level of misanthropy."
Nuremberg Mayor Ulrich Maly has voiced support for the 17-year-old girl chosen to portray the "Christ Child" during… https://t.co/RRhj5FWl9R— DW News (@DW News) 1572871714.0
Premier Markus Söder of Bavaria—the state where Nuremberg is located—said the AfD's "rabble-rousing" comments wouldn't be tolerated. Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann characterized the remarks as "the malicious grimace of racism."
Nuremberg's Christmas market began in 1530. It draws about 2 million visitors every winter. Each year, organizers choose a local young person for the role of the Christkind or "Christ Child."
Made it to Nuremberg to the Famous Christmas market! #bucketlist. #travel http://t.co/j7brHaHF8P— Samantha Brown (@Samantha Brown) 1418830459.0
It’s beautiful night at the Nuremberg Christmas Market. https://t.co/D0n3U1Y51A— Col. Morris Davis (@Col. Morris Davis) 1512760102.0
This year the famous Christmas market in Nuremberg opens its gates on December 1! #GermanyTourism… https://t.co/vGQ3hctzXw— Germany Tourism (@Germany Tourism) 1510248614.0
It's the most wonderful time of the year… for bratwurst, mulled wine and gingerbread at the #Nuremberg Christmas Ma… https://t.co/3nV4zFnTJ8— Viking (@Viking) 1544986809.0
Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg. A remarkable and truly authentic Christmas market, under 8hrs from London… https://t.co/OBauZK1sUQ— Rail Europe UK (formerly Loco2) (@Rail Europe UK (formerly Loco2)) 1508761827.0
The honorary role of Christkind includes formally opening the market on Nov. 29, performing ambassador duties at events in hospitals, schools, and nursing homes throughout the season and being the public face for the market.
Nuremberg elects angel to run Christmas market. https://t.co/wJsJsDwJGX https://t.co/UTnXiNqrto— The Local Germany (@The Local Germany) 1446742684.0
As with most racist content posted on social media by organizations, AfD is blaming an unnamed low-level social media editor who has since resigned according to their official statement. Christina Specht, the party's local head, claimed the comment did not reflect the party's values.
People familiar with AfD's stated mission, objectives and political history disagreed.
these #AfD people are racist #Nazis - solidarity for #BenignaMunsi https://t.co/Yl8s4M88Fd— JeanLucStewart =/\= =_o (@JeanLucStewart =/\= =_o) 1572713772.0
The comments seemed perfectly on brand.
A replacement post congratulating Munsi was subsequently added to the AfD's Facebook page where their members and supporters were able to show how not a reflection the original comment was.
‘Traditionally Nuremberg picks a local teenage girl for the Christ Child role, and usually she has blonde hair, a b… https://t.co/o5BdZ18Nhx— Maryyum Mehmood (@Maryyum Mehmood) 1572884056.0
This Is What he Said, "Nuremberg has a new Christ Child. One day, we're going to go the way of the Indians" Anothe… https://t.co/qIlyuvGcxh— YMBH (@YMBH) 1572875160.0
As a pedantic white male you have to be careful with the A-word but...: “Whose foreign origin is evident from the… https://t.co/Rv0zTbzn4C— Jan Thie (@Jan Thie) 1572699526.0
Local high school student Munsi told reporters Sunday she was heartened by the outpouring of support she received in response to the AfD's racist comments regarding her appearance and fitness to be the Christkind.
"I am surprised by the positive responses I have received. They say, 'Cheer up, not all people are so negative—we're behind you.' I was very happy about that."
When the city of Nuremberg chose Benigna Munsi, the daughter of an Indian and a German, for their „Christ child“ at… https://t.co/Yy1eSNjFOV— Ken Chitwood (@Ken Chitwood) 1572886405.0
via @PerilofAfrica AfD slurs Nuremberg's festive 'Christ Child': A far-right Facebook post denigrating Nuremberg's… https://t.co/XUhCqMyjN9— MarthaLeah Nangalama (@MarthaLeah Nangalama) 1572648873.0
People had some bad news for AfD about the ethnicity and skin color of a 1st century Middle Eastern Jew.
Nuremberg chooses a non-white person to act as the traditional “Christ Child”. Racists soil themselves because “the… https://t.co/xjEJOeRByV— Mike K 🇪🇺🇦🇹 (@Mike K 🇪🇺🇦🇹) 1572801596.0
The stupidity of the far right, example 2,038,228: hate-mongering AfD in Germany whines that the 17-year-old chosen… https://t.co/Oym0rcBof4— Andrew Stroehlein (@Andrew Stroehlein) 1572850578.0
Everyone knows that Jesus was a blond, blue-eyed white man. (£) https://t.co/HPnyiVPOLz— John Peters (@John Peters) 1572695869.0
Twitter user Irina (@Wer_ko_der_ko) gave an excellent run down on the history of the Christkind tradition.
So this wonderful young woman is Benigna Munsi. She is the Nuremberg Christkind for 2019-2020. Now, what could it b… https://t.co/xLKi71nZEk— Irina (@Irina) 1572805516.0
to them it's still about the birth of a middle-eastern jew as the messiah, it's odd then, that you think only a whi… https://t.co/up8H8tO6Pt— Irina (@Irina) 1572805516.0
At the time, it was traditional to give children gifts on December 6th, St. Nicolas’s Day. To differ from Catholic… https://t.co/3NJ1xREqar— Irina (@Irina) 1572805520.0
Other protestants quickly followed suit and in Nuremberg it was already common by the end of the 16th century. Over… https://t.co/m4Hwhvp0ZV— Irina (@Irina) 1572805524.0
the figure of the Christkind took on more feminine traits. As can be seen in another traditional German Christmas s… https://t.co/k9NeboeoUp— Irina (@Irina) 1572805532.0
woman as the embodiment and symbol ever since 1948. The market is significantly older, the oldest mention is from 1… https://t.co/OhAMsVPWsD— Irina (@Irina) 1572805553.0
care homes, schools, kindergartens and is actually the most important representative of the market and the city. An… https://t.co/as1wcqGlph— Irina (@Irina) 1572805661.0
Congratulations Benigna Munsi!
May your time as the Christkind be as lovely as you.
Another popular German tradition are the carved wooden Weihnachtspyramide or referred to as Christmas pyramids in English. Once candles are lit, the scenes turn.