This is where I work

The Tageszeitung (taz) has a pretty fierce rivalry with the Axel Springer publishing group, which prints the conservative-leaning tabloid Das Bild and daily Die Welt, among others. When I was first given a tour of the taz building back in the fall, my guide brought me up to the lovely rooftop deck and pointed out the huge Springer building a block away. “The enemy,” she said.

Of course, it’s a fairly one-sided rivalry: The taz has a fraction of the revenue, readership, and reputation of Springer. But the tazlers have gotten their revenge in little ways.

First, they managed to get the street that runs from taz HQ to the Springer building renamed, from the neutral Kochstraße to Rudi-Dutschke-Straße, after the radical 1960s student leader. (Dutschke and his compatriots routinely attacked Springer and once blockaded the company’s newspaper distribution.)

But the tazlers weren’t satisfied. After Bild editor Kai Diekmann sued the taz over a satirical article alleging that Diekmann had undergone unsuccessful penis enlargement surgery (Bild is famous for its sensational sex stories, as well as its topless Page One Girl), the taz struck back by transforming the east wall of its building — the one facing Springer — into a giant (unwelcome) memorial to Diekmann:

To answer your questions: The penis is 16 meters (52 feet) and five stories high; its tip is a cobra; and the accompanying figures are holding various (real) sensational Bild headlines, such as the fitting “First Goal Scored with a Penis.”

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