Angela Merkel — and well, just about everyone else in Germany — better brace themselves. French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo launched a German version Thursday, the first version of the often cheeky, sometimes offensive weekly, in another language and country. The new version comes nearly two years after a jihadist attack at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris that killed 12.
The cover of the inaugural German issue shows Merkel lying on her stomach on a car mechanic's hydraulic lift. "With a new exhaust, she'll be good to go another four years," quips the mechanic. The cover also asserts that Volkswagen, the German carmaker hit by an emissions cheating scandal last year, "stands behind Merkel."
If that isn't offensive enough, the initial 16-page edition was preceded by a publicity poster that featured Merkel sitting on the toilet reading a copy of the magazine. With a print run of 200,000, the first issue was for the most part greeted warmly by German media.