Brandenburg artist Rainer Opolka has staged a one-day art protest in Berlin on Friday with three bronze wolves and a full-sized tank. The installation was placed in front of the headquarters of far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) to protest its policy on German rearmament.
The artist created the installation in collaboration with Lea Roch, head of the society for the promotion of the Berlin Holocaust memorial.
“Generally unknown to the public, the AfD is working hard to change policy around armaments in Germany,” said artist Opolka. “It intends to use the Bundeswehr domestically to drastically increase German military budget, to expand the arms industry and to militarize civilian life.”
“The tank and the wolves are symbolic of the arms and weapons offensive policy of the AfD,” Roch explained in a statement on the Holocaust memorial’s website.
The bronze wolves displayed in Berlin in 2016
‘A symbol of hate’
The wolves are only some of over 80 statues Opolka created four years ago and which have toured Germany and been displayed in several cities. The installation was called “The Wolves are Back.”
When he initially created the exhibition, he described them as a symbol of “hate, arson, neo-Nazis, angry Pegida followers and member of the AfD who want to shoot refugees.”
Pegida is a German nationalist, anti-Islam far-right political movement in Germany.
The AfD became Germany’s opposition following the 2017 election. Its leaders and members have frequently expressed anti-immigration views and their support for the German military.