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Neo-Nazis Recruit Cookie Monster to Attract Youth in Germany

Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster has become an unwitting accomplice to attract youth to neo-Nazism in Germany. According to police, the use of the blue, cookie-gobbling character is on the rise among extremist groups who have caught on to the fact kids respond to the friendly and familiar Muppet.

In the most recent incident, a neo-Nazi dressed as Cookie Monster walked into a German high school and started handing out pro-Aryan leaflets. A teacher, upset by the disruptive presence, promptly called police.

When authorities responded, they found 31-year-old Steffen Lange under the furry blue costume and learned the man had a long history of involvement with extreme German nationalist groups. A search of Lange’s home also uncovered other Cookie Monster recruiting materials, including an internet ad featuring Cookie Monster and Adolph Hitler with the words in German, “Who ate my cookie?”

The officer who responded to the call in Senftenberg, located in Germany’s Brandenburg province, said that the police are not amused by the neo-Nazi’s use of a beloved children’s character to recruit kids to their cause.

“There is nothing humorous about far right ideology despite the fact they are trying to trivialize it by getting the Sesame Street character involved,”he  said . “It’s an attempt to make it seem harmless and every day and perhaps something a bit fun and a bit rebellious.”

One Guardian columnist also questioned why the loveable, cookie-coveting character would be used at all by the group.

“Cookie Monster is not known to hold far-right views,” the columnist wrote. “He possesses no Aryan traits (his fur may be blue, but his eyes are googly, and he lives in the friendly, multicultural environs of Sesamstrasse).”

The Guardian writer also wondered if the kids attracted by loveable Cookie Monster would be much use to the cause. “It’s also unclear what use a bunch of Cookie Monster-loving schoolkids would be to the far-right movement,” the blogger said.

Photo Credit: Sesame Street/Wikimedia Commons

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.