No, dead Nazi Albert Speer is not really bidding to build President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. But a group of Canadian pranksters who ‘figured some kind of parody submission was in order’ has created and submitted one in Speer’s name.
More than 700 businesses have signed up for possible work on President Donald Trump’s proposed “big, beautiful” wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
But not everyone registering for the early-stage federal bidding process is serious. Some are looking to satirize or protest the controversial project.
Take “Trump Wall Solutions,” a firm ostensibly based in Toronto, Canada, which has signed up as an “interested vendor” in response to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) online solicitation.
The company’s listed principal? That would be Albert Speer, the Nazi war criminal who was Adolf Hitler’s personal architect. Speer, who designed the infamous Nazi party rally grounds in Nuremberg, died in 1981.
Trump Wall Solutions is actually a small group of Canadian pranksters mortified by the Trump administration and the border-wall plan, according to two men involved in the project who spoke with The Seattle Times by phone Friday.
“We just thought it was a bit absurd, this whole wall proposal. We figured some kind of parody submission was in order,” said Matt, one of the organizers, who said he works in architecture in Toronto.
He declined to give a last name, saying he travels to the United States and doesn’t want to draw the attention of authorities.
Matt and a few collaborators drafted an over-the-top set of designs and maps for a border wall, and they plan to submit it to DHS. “The point is to have a very overtly fascist submission,” he said.
A cover page for the draft proposal, in Germanic lettering, calls the project the “Tremendous Wall of Trump.” The mock-ups of the wall show a stark, gray structure adorned with rows of red and white banners with swastikalike “T” logos.
A draft letter to DHS declares that the wall’s design should be “tremendously monumental” and “a spectacle worthy of a mighty nation.”
They’re not the only ones who have responded to the federal government’s pre-solicitation notice with a less-than-sincere interest in building the wall. The Atlantic magazine’s CityLab has reported at least two of the interested contractors appear to be artists, from Germany and Virginia, “who may be trying to punk the process.”
Two DHS officials listed as contacts for the wall procurement did not respond to an email from The Seattle Times seeking comment Friday.
Trump and other wall supporters are unlikely to find humor in the Canadians’ parody. They argue that the giant border structure is necessary to protect the U.S. from illegal immigration, crime and terrorist entry.
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Trump’s budget proposal includes deep cuts to domestic spending, slashing funds for transit, diplomatic, environmental and community-development programs. But it would place a $4 billion down payment toward the border wall, which by some estimates could cost more than $20 billion. Mexico’s president has rejected Trump’s claims that his country will pay for the wall.
Hundreds of firms have signed up for the wall’s early bidding process, and the vast majority are serious engineering, steel, construction and security companies looking for a share of the contracts.
Earlier this month, The Seattle Times reported on four Washington state firms that had put their names on the list. As of Friday, that number had grown to at least eight.
The Canadians behind the Tremendous Wall of Trump say that behind their parody lies a serious worry about what is becoming of their neighbor to the south.
Asked whether it’s offensive to compare Trump’s wall with the genocidal acts of Hitler, the group responded in an email:
“Satire, by nature, is an extreme statement. The offence should be moderated by the fact that we are pointing to a slippery slope: excessive uses of power leads to tyrannical regimes. The political correctness, the banality of other submissions, is the real danger.”