BERLIN - The editor-in-chief of Der Spiegel
on Sunday said a front cover illustration of US President Donald Trump beheading the Statue of Liberty, which split opinion at home and abroad, was a response by the German magazine to threats against democracy.
Published on Saturday, the cover depicts a cartoon figure of Trump with a bloodied knife in one hand and the statue's head, dripping with blood, in the other. It carries the caption: "America First".
It followed a series of attacks on Berlin's policies by Trump and his aides that have marked a rapid deterioration in German relations with the United States.
"Der Spiegel does not want to provoke anybody," editor-in-chief Klaus Brinkbaeumer told Reuters TV after the cover set off a debate on Twitter and in German and international media, adding he was surprised by the impact of the illustration.