«Stork heinar» in court

For more than a year, the motif of "Storch Heinar" — a disheveled bird with a side parting and a Hitler mustache — has been emblazoned on numerous shirts, bags and mugs. A satire on the fashion label "Thor Steinar" popular in the right-wing scene — and now a case for the judiciary.

This has apparently gone down so well that the operating company MediaTex felt disparaged and prompted to file a lawsuit for infringement of trademark rights. On 23. June takes place the hearing before the regional court Nuremberg Furth. That "Storch Heinar" alludes to right-wing extremist fashion, its inventors do not deny at all. "We want to point out that the brand 'Thor Steinar' has a high status in the scene and is symbolically occupied," says co-initiator Mathias Brodkorb. The Rostock SPD member of the state parliament constantly has to deal with right-wing radicals in his political work. Since 2006 the NPD sits with six delegates in the Schwerin state parliament. The idea for "Storch Heinar" was born in December 2008 in a larger group over a glass of wine. Brodkorb, deputy chairman of the SPD state parliamentary group, insists, however, that everyone involved had a clear head. Endstation Rechts wanted to deal with the problem of right-wing extremism "in a youthful satirical way," he explains.

Side parting and two-finger beard The result is an unsightly stork fantasy creature with a severe side parting and a two-fingered beard, peering out from under a crooked Wehrmacht helmet. The narrow-chested Adebar with the protruding black feather tufts is apparently well received. The garments with "Storch-Heinar" motifs are selling throughout Europe, according to Brodkorb. In the meantime there is also already dog clothing. Proceeds from the sale go to the work of Endstation Rechts. In addition, the activists also invented a story around the stork. "Heinar is a very poor sow," Brodkorb describes the stork, who suffers from numerous physical ailments and social deficits.MediaTex, based in Zeesen, Brandenburg, did not find Heinar funny and reacted immediately. Immediately after the project was launched, it applied for trademark rights to "Storch Heinar," but this was rejected by the German Patent and Trademark Office. In 2009, MediaTex sued for infringement of trademark rights. The company did not want to comment on the legal dispute when asked by ddp and only confirmed that it had filed a lawsuit. Away from questions of trademark law, political scientist Hajo Funke finds such persiflage completely legitimate. "You can ironize the appearance of the right-wing scene without slipping into its proximity," says the professor of the Free University of Berlin. For him, the stork is "purely a matter of taste".

"We'll figure something out" Brodkorb and his comrades-in-arms do not let themselves be put off by the legal dispute, but have immediately followed up. To help pay for the upcoming legal costs, they have designed a new T-shirt. The so-called Savior shirt with Heinar and the words "World War Loser Winner" is based on a campaign by soccer club St. Pauli, which surprisingly beat then-World Cup winner FC Bayern Munich in 2002. By selling T-shirts with the imprint "World Cup Winner Winner" the struggling club improved its finances. Brodkorb and Endstation Rechts do not have to fear a lawsuit for violation of trademark rights in this case. "We asked the association and the company that owns the trademark rights and they immediately went along with it," Brodkorb reports with a smile. The brown shirt additionally appeared in an edition limited to 18 (!) limited "Guldenen Edition" at 50 euros per shirt. "They were sold out in the nuh," says the SPD politician. Despite the legal dispute, the initiators of "Storch Heinar" by no means want to back down. "Whatever the outcome of the lawsuit, we'll come up with something to keep the clothing store going," Brodkorb says emphatically.


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