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German magazine Der Spiegel's shocking anti-Trump cover sparks instant controversy

Image source: Der Spiegel

German magazine Der Spiegel made waves Friday with its new magazine cover, which depicts United States President Donald Trump holding the severed, bloody head of the Statue of Liberty, emblazoned with the motto "America First."

The magazine is set to hit newsstands in Germany Saturday, but the deliberately provocative cover was previewed a day early. The cover was intended to be a criticism of the president's executive order temporarily banning travel from seven majority-Muslim countries, as the magazine's twitter account made clear Friday.

The acceptance of refugees from Syria has become a hot button issue in Germany as well. Since the beginning of the current conflict in Syria, Germany has accepted almost 1 million total refugees, almost half of whom are from Syria. The refugees have been blamed for burgeoning crime and terror attacks in Germany, and Chancellor Angela Merkel has made a number of high-profile attempts to relocate sizable portions of the refugees in Germany to other countries, including the United States.

Der Spiegel is one of the most widely read magazines in Europe and has gained a reputation for its aggressive investigative journalism. The graphic, overt criticism of an American public figure, is unusual for the publication — or indeed for any publication of its kind.

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