Rock music icon Kim Larsen has come under fire for comparing the nation’s soldiers serving in Afghanistan with the Nazi soldiers that occupied Denmark during the Second World War.
Appearing on DR’s ‘Hos Clement’ news talk programme on Tuesday, Larsen said it was “insane that we are occupying another country, just like it was crazy when the Germans occupied Denmark”.
He added that when he speaks with returning soldiers, they can never explain to him why they believe they are in Afghanistan.
“They say something about democracy, but you don’t occupy another country to promote democracy,” Larsen said.
Kristian Jensen, a spokesperson for the opposition party Venstre, said the comments insulted both Danish soldiers and the resistance fighters during the 1940s.
“Kim is a fabulous singer, but a political fool,” Jensen wrote on his Facebook page. “Denmark is in Afghanistan at the request of the legally elected government and the UN. If they asked us to leave, we would do so right away.”
Michael Aastrup Jensen, another Venstre MP, demanded that Larsen apologise immediately.
“It cannot happen fast enough,” Jensen told Jyllands-Posten. “He has a moral responsibility as a prominent artist not to insult Danish soldiers.”
Jensen said Larsen had crossed the boundaries of free speech.
“He has not done anything illegal, but he has violated the laws of decency,” Jensen told Jyllands-Posten. “It is outrageous that he would attack soldiers in the media when they have no outlet to defend themselves.”
Larsen stressed several times during the program that he had “sympathy” for the Danish soldiers. His manager said that the singer has no comment on the controversy.
This is not the first time Larsen has stirred up the waters with comparisons to Nazi Germany.
During a 2010 interview in Jyllands-Posten, he also compared Denmark’s “occupation forces in Afghanistan” with the Germans occupying Denmark.
In 2008, Larsen funded a protest campaign against anti-smoking laws bearing the slogan “Gesundheit mach frei”, a reference to the “Arbeit macht frei” slogan placed over the entrance to a number of Nazi concentration camps.