Maaßen can imagine a change in politics

Maaßen can imagine a change in politics

His farewell speech has caused a great stir in Berlin. About politicians and journalists Maaßen outraged in the strongest language. And he muses about a change in politics. The speech in the wording.


By Georg Mascolo and Ronen Steinke, Berlin

A remarkable sentence said Hans-Georg Maaßen, the dismissed head of the German domestic intelligence service, quite far at the end of his small speech. Maaßen spoke on October 18 before European intelligence chiefs. He said goodbye after six years from their confidential round, the so-called Bern Club, this time in Warsaw had come together. According to the manuscript of Maaßens speech, the South German newspaper, NDR and WDR, he said: He could imagine a life outside the civil service. Not only in the private sector. But also "for example in politics". In Germany he was, Maaßen, "as a critic of an idealistic, naive and left foreigners and security policy known."

It is all the more explosive with what drastic words Maaßen previously described the political landscape in Germany. About politicians and journalists who had spoken in the face of racist attacks in Chemnitz in September of "hunts", Maaßen outraged in the strongest language. He draws a comparison to Russian disinformation campaigns: "I have already experienced a lot of German media manipulation and Russian disinformation, but that politicians and media 'Hate Hunt' freely invent or at least unchecked spread this misinformation was for me a new quality of false reporting in Germany.

Maaßen had caused widespread indignation in September, when he suggested that video material with evidence of xenophobic violence in Chemnitz could be forged. Critics had reproached the constitutional protection president, he nourished conspiracy theories. In addition Maaßen: "The media and green and left politicians who felt caught by me in their false reporting, then demanded my release."

And finally, Maaßen describes the SPD, which had demanded its dismissal and thus ultimately prevailed, with a remarkable formulation: "In my view, this was for left-wing forces in the SPD, who were opposed from the outset, a coalition with the CDU / CSU the welcome occasion to provoke a break in this governing coalition. "

The speech in the wording

Dear Colleagues,

Today I want to say goodbye to you from this circle after more than six years of belonging. Many goodbyes are planned, eg. For example, if the employment contract is limited or if a certain age limit is reached, as with our friend Rob, other farewells are not planned and somewhat surprising, as with me.

The leaders of the three parties forming the Federal Government in Germany, Mrs. Merkel, CDU, Mr. Seehofer, CSU, and Mrs. Nahles, SPD, decided on September 23, that I should be replaced as President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. This has ended a government crisis in Germany. The SPD had threatened to break the coalition if I continued in office.

Background of the government crisis was the fact that I am on 7 September opposite the largest German newspaper imageNewspaper had questioned the correctness of the media and politicians widespread reports of right-wing extremist "hunts" or pogroms in Chemnitz. On August 26, 2018, a German had been killed by asylum seekers in Chemnitz. On the same day there were demonstrations in Chemnitz against the refugee policy of the federal government of ordinary citizens but also of right-wing extremists. There were occasional crimes. On the following day and on the following days, it was not the killing offense in the political and media interest, but rather right-wing extremist "Hunt-hunts against foreigners". According to the local police, the prosecution, the local press, the prime minister of the country and my staff, these "hunts" did not take place. They were fictitious.

I have already experienced a lot of German media manipulation and Russian disinformation. But that politicians and media "Hate hunting" invent freely or at least unchecked spread this misinformation was for me a new quality of false reporting in Germany. I had the following week against the imageNewspaper commented in just four sentences, clarifying that, according to the findings of all competent security authorities, such right-wing extremist "hunts" did not exist. In the following week, I made clear to the relevant parliamentary committees that a fight against right-wing extremism does not justify inventing right-wing extremist crimes. The media and green and left politicians, who felt caught by me in their false reporting, then demanded my release. In my view, this was for left-wing forces in the SPD, who from the outset were against forming a coalition with the CDU / CSU, the welcome occasion to provoke a break with this governing coalition. Since I am known in Germany as a critic of an idealistic, naive and left foreigners and security policy, this was also an occasion for my political opponents and for some media to push me out of my office.

Due to the decision of the three party leaders already mentioned, I will give up my office as soon as a successor is appointed. This is expected to be the case in the next few weeks. Federal Interior Minister Seehofer, who was very supportive of me and my position in this political debate and himself received much criticism from the media, would like to keep me as his adviser. Whether and under what conditions this should take place will have to be clarified in detail in the next few weeks. In any case, I can imagine a life outside the civil service, for example in politics or business. I never imagined that the fear of me and of the truth put parts of politics and media in such panic and hysteria that four sentences of mine are sufficient to trigger a government crisis in Germany.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is difficult for me to say goodbye to you after six years. I was very fond of listening to this circle and found a high level of collegiality and solidarity in all meetings and in all discussions. I have found that we have the same goals, share the same values ​​and fight against the same opponents of freedom and democracy. I believe that we have achieved a lot in the last six years. Much for the safety of my country. I have received a lot of support from you in solving our national security issues in recent years, and I have always tried to assist you in your work to make your countries and Europe safer. I want to thank you for all this. I would also like to thank you for the many personal and friendly moments that I was able to experience. I would be very happy to be able to keep in touch with many of you personally and privately after this time too. Lastly, I would like to express the request that you and my successor continue the cooperation in an equally intensive partnership. Thank you for your attention!

Maaßen must probably be in the temporary retirement

The head of the constitutional protection department, Hans-Georg Maaßen, is now not the special representative in the Federal Ministry of the Interior. According to dpa information, he is likely to be retired.

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