An anti-nazi German punk song has topped the charts 22 years after its release, following a social media campaign condemning anti-immigration groups who have been vocal in opposition to the country’s acceptance of refugees.
First released in 1993 by punk band Die Ärzte, Schrei Nach Liebe (Cry For Love) was written during a time when Germany was hit by a wave of neo-Nazi attacks against immigrants. Mocking a “really dumb” fascist, the song’s lyrics include “violence is only a silent cry for love, your combat boots crave tenderness … oh … asshole!”
Gerhard Torges, a music teacher, launched the social media campaign, with the classic name Action Asshole initiative. Calling on those who don’t support the xenophobic anti-refugee groups to buy the single online or ask for it to be played on the radio, the drive comes as Germany experiences a spate of anti-refugee attacks by far-right extremists.
Rapidly gaining traction, the single was at the top of the German charts after only a week. The campaign has been so successful even the pensioners have joined in, with a choir of retirees seen singing the song in a video posted by the tabloid-style newspaper Bild. Observe:
“Success of this kind is unprecedented in German chart history,” said Mathias Giloth, head of GfK Entertainment who publish Germany’s official music charts.
The anti-nazi sentiment has been running strong across a number of central European countries however, with Austria and Switzerland seeing the track at No #1 and #2 respectively.
Die Ärzte (The Doctors) backed the campaign but did not want to take any profit from it, with all takings from the song being donated to refugee campaign group Pro Asyl.
“We wish all Nazis and their sympathisers a bad show,” they said on their website.
Just this week, beloved New Zealand/Australian outfit Crowded House and British journalist Pete Paphides re-released a “forgotten” Crowded House track Help Is Coming, along with a touching video, with all proceeds going to support the global refugee crisis.
“It shouldn’t take a pop song to emotionally engage people with the plight of those less fortunate than themselves,” Paphides wrote about the track. “But there is another way of looking at this. Isn’t it miraculous that a pop song has the power to do that at all?”
You can watch the two videos below.
Watch: Die Ärzte – Schrei nach Liebe
Watch: Crowded House – Help Is Coming (with an introduction by Benedict Cumberbatch)