If you’re not living in Germany, you might not have heard of that term yet. It’s basically the hashtag for one of the most entertaining controversies that has come out of the city of Hamburg for quite a while. At the center is the interior minister of Hamburg (“Innensenator”) Andreas Grote, the police of the city, and a single tweet.

Let’s take a look at the timeline here:

  • June 2020: Andreas Grote organizes a party with around 30 attendees violating the Corona regulations at that time.
  • 30 May 2021: Andreas Grote complains about people partying in the Schanze area of Hamburg via Twitter.
  • The owner of a bar replies “Andy, du bist so 1 Pimmel” (“You are such a dick”).
  • The minister decides to file a legal complaint (which is absolutely within his rights).
  • And now things get wild: In September, the police raids an apartment where the author of that tweet was supposed to live. Turns out, though, that he wasn’t living their anymore but only his ex-partner
  • People start putting stickers with original tweet on walls et al. all around the district of St. Pauli.
  • The police goes through the city to remove those stickers.
  • A large version of the message is painted onto the front of the Rote Flora building.
  • The police again went there and used black paint to hide the message. Perhaps the “Soko Wand und Farbe” (“Special command Walls and Colors”) of the police might be at it there.

If you think this all sounds like abuse of power and just bullshit in general, you are not wrong. Why did the police think that raiding an apartment three months after an insult was made and the person responsible for that had already confessed, is beyond me. Same as the prosecutors agreeing to it.

During the most recent episode of Logbuch Netzpolitik Linus Neumann mentioned another incident where the Soko Wand und Farbe went out to remove some text in 1994. And yes, back then they didn’t do a good job either.

As of 26 October 2021 it looks like the story might finally have come to an end. Police said they’d no longer remove the message at Rote Flora. Perhaps this will finally end the Streisand-effect… But no matter the outcome, I’d like to thank everyone involved for some great entertainment!