German Advent Calendar Features Serial Killer

A cartoon advent calendar for kids, sold by the city of Hanover in Germany, has a tiny drawing of local serial killer Fritz Haarmann, who murdered 24 people during the 1920s. He’s holding a meat cleaver and peeking out from behind a tree, while happy men, women, and children enjoy the holiday all around him. He’s one of 24 famous people from Hanover who appear on the calendar; “It’s part of our history,” says Hans Nolte, the director of the town’s tourism board.

The town is not recalling the calendar—in fact, now that word has gotten out about the unsavory character on it, sales have gone up. “People are queuing up to buy the calendar now,” says Nolte, who expects the full run of 20,000 calendars to quickly sell out. However, Haarmann will be removed for next year’s version.

“What says Christmas like a serial killer?”
(Image: Ananova)

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  1. cedarpointfan says:

    LOL, classic!

  2. Manok says:

    I’d kill for one of those.

  3. lesbiansayswhat says:

    Germans love their killing.

  4. UpsetPanda says:

    It’s like a twisted Where’s Waldo. I like it.

  5. Parting says:

    The best part : all profits from sales go to a charity for kids ;)

    These would love to have a copy of such calendar…

  6. Bay State Darren says:

    I guess the Germans like to take the Grinch to the next level.

  7. Admit to & embrace the serial killer, but deny WWII. Seems about right.

  8. Parting says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: Actually, contrary to Italians and Estonians, Germans didn’t deny WWII (well in most cases : most of population).

    So now, in Italy and Estonia fascism is raising head again, since it’s not legislated like in Germany (where fascist symbolic is legally forbidden).

    For example in Estonia in book recommended by Ministry of Education is filled with racist jokes. Something that would be shooed in Germany.

  9. best post all week

  10. gibbersome says:

    Ahhh, the pieces of the puzzle fall into place…

  11. darkclawsofchaos says:

    they denie their people violent games, but this is perfectly fine?

  12. msbeer says:

    ♪ The serial killer’s a person in your neighborhood, ♫ in your neighborhood, ♬ in your neigh-bor-hood…

  13. jodles says:

    does that mean wisco will make a dahmer one?

  14. Trae says:

    I have a sudden urge to rewatch Fritz Lang’s “M” now…

  15. mconfoy says:

    @Trae: Is that the same guy Fritz Lang based M on? This guy was beheaded, and I just thought it was the Nazis that did that.

  16. timmus says:

    Interesting stock photo on the Reuters link.

  17. BigNutty says:

    Publicity is such an interesting game. Some play the game great, others suck at it.

  18. @timmus: I know! It’s like someone here at The Consumerist picked out the photo for them…

  19. mopar_man says:

    I’d sooner give my kids one of these than give them a Chinese made toy.

  20. RvLeshrac says:

    @chouchou:

    Ahh, yes. Restrictions on free speech. The hallmark of healthy societies the world over.

    I may not agree with racists, but they DO have a right to say what they will – so long as it isn’t incitement.

    Restricting their right to free speech just encourages them. “They,” whoever “they” are (jews, blacks, muslims, christians, whites, yadda yadda yadda) are *obviously* “behind” whatever it is. OMGConspiracy, etc etc, then something gets blowed up.

    This is why you can’t say that American foreign policy is flawed without being called a “traitor” or “terrorist,” and why Carter is called a racist for stating his opinions on the middle-east. People are all hot for outlawing everything they disagree with.

  21. Jon Parker says:

    @mconfoy: Lang’s “M” was mostly based on Peter Kürten, otherwise known as the Vampire of Düsseldorf. He confessed to 79 murders (and was convcted of 9). Haarman was an also-ran at a mere 24 murders.

    Certainly the timing is right for both of them — Haarman was beheaded in 1924, while the movie was made in 1931. Kürten was arrested in 1930. However, Kürten would kill anyone — men, women and children, while Haarman’s crimes were targeted towards young male prostitutes and homeless boys.

  22. Maulleigh says:

    good for them. I like people who mean what they say and say what they mean: even if it’s not the “right” thing.

  23. superbureaucrat says:

    only in germany

  24. @superbureaucrat: They do love David Hasselhoff……

  25. backbroken says:

    Some poor kid is going to be traumatized and turn to a life of crime because they saw this calendar. Won’t somebody think of the children!?

  26. witeowl says:

    Well, we Germans always had a relatively morbid sense of humor. What do you expect from the group that created Der Struwwelpeter [www.amazon.com] ?

    That said, I’d rather have my child enjoying this advent calendar than playing Grand Theft Auto. Maybe that’s just me.

  27. nffcnnr says:

    Q: What’s the chocolate behind the killer taste like?

  28. MauriceReeves says:

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. My mom’s German and we had two German children’s books in my house: “Max und Moritz” ([www.childrensbooksonline.org]) in which the two title characters play awful pranks on people in the town until they are eventually ground down into feed by the miller. The other was a book that contained the Struwwelpeter mentioned above, wherein our young hero has his thumbs cut off: [www.fln.vcu.edu]

  29. bunnymen says:

    Neat!

  30. Balisong says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: Seriously, what’s with the conspiracy theory that Germany denies WWII? Where does this come from? Has anyone been paying attention to the movies coming out of Germany recently? Downfall, Sophie Scholl, Lives of Others – If they’re trying to act like it never happened, they’re doing a horrible job of it.

  31. TSS says:

    In the words of Kyle Broflovski, “Man. What the **** is wrong with German people?”

  32. welsey says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: Have you ever been to Germany? Especially Berlin…they’re definitely not “denying WWII” – very much in touch with their history and the reality of it.

    Also you can get this shower gel there called “Dusch Bad Lady”, which is completely unrelated to WWII. It’s what’s pictured in my little profile picture.

  33. G-Dog says:

    Wow, I didn’t know that Germans had access to violent video games in the 1920’s. As we all know, there was no violence in the history of human society until Grand Theft Auto.

  34. witeowl says:

    @G-Dog: Way to take my comment to an illogical extreme. You have exhibited an impressive level of obtuseness and conclusion-jumping.

    For those who didn’t get it, my point was this: why be taken aback by this single image when we’re all OK with kids interacting with violence for hours? That’s all. I had drawn no lines between which to read.

  35. themanishere says:

    I wonder what type of steel his ‘blade’ is…too bad it’s not a light saber. ZOOW!!!

  36. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    @nffcnnr:
    Candy corn?

    (I saw “Bad Santa” on cable last weekend)

  37. RvLeshrac says:

    I can’t believe I didn’t say this earlier, but… germans don’t deny the holocaust or WWII – they just get sick of foreign parties constantly asking about it. Its all the tourists seem to want to do.

    Imagine if everyone who came to the US just wanted to see the Japanese internment camps, the trail of tears, and Kent State.