The Bavarian State Government Commissioner for Jewish Life and Against Anti-Semitism, Ludwig Spaenle, has also criticized the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” for a controversial caricature. This shows the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj as an oversized figure at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Spaenle explained on Friday in Munich that caricatures are a special form of expressing opinions and of artistic creativity – and there must also be great freedom. “However, I consider this caricature to be a bad portrayal of the President of Ukraine – and in my view that is unacceptable.”
The form of representation awakens anti-Semitic clichés in many people far removed from reality. The Ukrainian President has Jewish roots. Spaenle emphasized that the whole thing was also disturbing for him personally because he valued the newspaper’s reporting on anti-Semitic currents, incidents and crimes.
Many voices had previously expressed similar criticism on the Internet and in some cases also made references to earlier cartoons in the newspaper. The “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reacted via Twitter to criticism of the caricature in the holiday edition: “This caricature is the graphic implementation of the television pictures from Monday: The Ukrainian President on the video wall, and thus in XXL format, in front of the audience in Davos. It illustrates how dominant the topic of Ukraine is there.” The newspaper also placed a video recording of the forum directly under the cartoon in the tweet.