A photo taken of Lutz Bachmann, the leader of the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (Pegida) movement, with a mustache and pose that resemble Adolf Hitler has gone viral. Posted to Facebook before he became a public figure, the Dresden Morgenpost published the photo in a Jan. 20 article entitled “The Two Faces of Lutz Bachmann.”
— IBTimes UK (@IBTimesUK) January 21, 2015
Bachmann, who has become the face of Germany's anti-Islamization movement, reportedly posted the photo to his Facebook account with the caption, “He’s Back!” A Morgenpost reader had found the photo in a closed Facebook conversation on Sept. 19 in which Bachmann referred to immigrants as “cattle,” “scumbags” and “trash.”
Bachmann reportedly deleted the photo soon after it surfaced Tuesday and told Bild, “I took the photo at the hairdresser’s for the publication of the audiobook of the satire [novel] "He’s Back" ... you need to be able to joke about yourself now and then.”
Up to 25,000 people have attended anti-Islam marches led by Bachmann’s group in Dresden. Since October, there have been at least a dozen rallies in the German city where 2 percent of its inhabitants are foreigners, CNN reports. The group’s latest rally, scheduled on Monday, was canceled after German intelligence revealed that terrorists made a threat against Bachmann.
Pegida operates out of 30 German cities and 18 countries. Its Facebook page says citizens should "wake from their slumber" and recognize the "danger in the Islamic ideology.” It adds, "As a society, we should give people the chance to integrate, but we should not allow ourselves to be Islamized thereby losing our freedom and democracy!"