The King of Germany Will Accept Your Bank Deposits Now
In 2008, as economic crisis swept across Europe, Peter knew his moment had arrived. Since before German reunification, he’d been a Trottel, a Depp, a Versager: a loser. Born in East Germany in 1965, he was a friendless introvert with an alcoholic father and an overbearing mother who made him clean his plate to the point of vomiting. Peter wanted to become a teacher, but his grades were too poor, so he worked as a cook. Then he married and had two children, started teaching karate, and became a video store clerk.
In 1991 an investor from near Stuttgart, in the prosperous West, persuaded Peter to co-found a slot-machine business with him. It was his big break, until it wasn’t. His partner used his knowledge of the German legal system to take the company. Peter was just another Ossi, poor and unsophisticated after nearly 50 years of communist rule, outmaneuvered by a slick Wessi. He and his wife split up the following year.
Adrift in the early 2000s, Peter began reading. He devoured esoteric texts and dabbled in black magic, claiming visions of angels and demons. He also pored over law books and developed what some attorneys describe as an astonishingly vast, if not particularly cogent, knowledge of the legal system. And he found a new belief that helped him make sense of his life’s failures: Germany wasn’t a legitimate country.
Peter Fitzek is part of a movement that denies Germany’s existence. He founded his own kingdom and bank—then the government started asking where the money went.