They love QAnon and its JFK conspiracieswhich makes Querdenken 711 a perfect partner for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his loony opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Last weekend, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Berlin to rail against the minimal health and safety restrictions put in place by the German government to curb the spread of COVID-19. The rally, which was organized by the German group Querdenken 711and which saw hundreds arrested for attempting to storm the parliament building, among other thingsrepresented the ongoing rise of conspiracy theorists in Germany, particularly those affiliated with the QAnon cult. And Querdenken 711 had a very special anti-vaxxer guest at the rally: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., son of one of Americas most prominent political dynasties.
Kennedys organization, Childrens Health Defense promotes the notion that COVID-19 health regulations support Bill Gatess globalist agenda for mandatory vaccinations as part of a conspiracy led by Big Pharma. In a strange statement to the podcast of TruePundit, spread on German QAnon channels, Kennedy insisted that Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, seeks to poison an entire generation of Americans with a COVID vaccine. TruePundit is described as a political conspiracy website with a far right-wing bias by the site Media Bias Fact Check and has also been written up by the fact-checking site PolitiFact for misinformation.
On Aug. 28, a lawyer and member of a local chapter of Ballweg's organization, called Querdenken 731, broke the news that Kennedy was coming to Berlin. It is unclear how Kennedy managed to bypass the travel restrictions banning American citizens from entering Germany. Querdenken could not be reached for comment. ishonest also reached out to Kennedy via the contact form at the website of his organization, Childrens Health Defense, but did not hear back.
Claiming to represent Kennedy, the lawyer Markus Haintz went on to hold a joint panel with Kennedy on the day of his arrival. Also joining Kennedy and Haintz on the panel was Heiko Schning, founder of anti-vaccination group rzte fr Aufklrung (Doctors for Enlightenment) and regular speaker at Querdenken events. Later that day, Kennedy appeared at the Brandenburg Gate in front of a large picture of Mahatma Gandhi alongside Schning and Haintz, and declared, Tomorrow, I will speak to the largest crowd in German history. We are expecting over one million people from every nation in Europe protesting Bill Gatess bio security agenda and the Pharma-sponsored coup detat against liberal democracy.
When Kennedy arrived to speak on the main stage the next day, the crowd was a fraction of the size of the one that gathered to hear President Obama speak in Berlin in 2008.
The news of Kennedys arrival put German QAnon Telegram channels into a frenzy. The conspiracy theorists, many of whom are obsessed with JFK, had been hoping for a resurrection-style reappearance of the 35th U.S. president, but were mostly content with his nephew filling in. Members had long been sharing Kennedys attacks on Bill Gates. Some QAnon followers have even fantasized about Kennedy throwing Bill Gates in Gitmo.
Admiration for Kennedy and hatred for Gates connects QAnon conspiracy theorists, far-right extremists and the more mainstream corners of anti-COVID activism. Kennedys interview, Perspectives on the Pandemic has been widely shared by Querdenken activists. Anti-Bill-Gates shirts and signs are a common sight at Querdenken protests. Ballwega tech entrepreneur and self-styled apolitical freedom activistdenies any connection between the event featuring Kennedy and the group that attempted to break into the parliament building in the wake of Querdenkens protest, but the speeches hes been giving throughout the summer seem to tell a different story.
At the first large protest in Berlin on Aug. 1, Ballweg cited the QAnon slogan, "Where we go one, we go all" in front of a cheering crowd. At the same event, he was photographed talking to Nikolai Nerling, a former primary school teacher who was convicted for incitement by a German court after denying the Holocaust in front of students at the concentration camp memorial in Dachau. Nerling would later film himself jumping over the barricades in front of the parliament building.
Ballweg also dog-whistled his support for Reichsbrger (Imperial Citizen), a movement similar to the sovereign citizens in the U.S., by calling on protesters to research the term peace treaty. (Reichsbrger believe the German government to be a puppet state controlled by the Allied forces, pointing to the lack of an official peace treaty after WWII). Members of the group were among the far-right protesters who tried to break into parliament on Saturday.
Telegram channels in Germany had previously spread the rumor that Trump made Kennedy his ambassador, and Kennedy was on his way to the Russian embassy where he would sign the eagerly awaited peace treaty and usher in a new government. The position of ambassador to Germany has been vacant since May.