Hubert Aiwanger didn’t understand it. He can be celebrated in the beer tent in Keferloh because he can remain in office. As a victor who survived “a smear campaign”. Cheers, thunderous applause. As for a fairground boxer. But one who has been hit on the head so many times that he has forgotten something crucial. As a teenager, he had the most dirt in his satchel. A leaflet allegedly written by Brother Helmut that is so hateful and sick that you can’t get it out of your head.

Aiwanger has no problem forgetting. Markus Söder also wanted to know in his catalog of questions why he was carrying the pamphlet against Jews with him at the time. He “didn’t remember that in detail,” Aiwanger replies. He quotes the brother as believing “I collected the leaflets to de-escalate”.

Aiwanger regrets because others are upset about him

Aiwanger cites one memory gap after the other in his reply to Söder. And an excuse that isn’t one: “I made mistakes as a teenager that I’m sorry for today. I regret hurting feelings through my behavior.”

Aiwanger does not regret because he has gained insight, but because others get upset and complain about him. A real apology comes without ifs and buts. It gives an insight into the inner workings of the accused and his transformation. Aiwanger doesn’t even realize what he’s apologizing for, because he doesn’t really want to remember anything anymore. In the end, the Free Voters chief prefers to exculpate himself: “Your youth should not be blamed for all eternity.” That’s how you accept your own apology.

With his decision, Söder put calculation before a clear stance

The Bavarian Prime Minister Söder knows these human weaknesses of his partner. He misses remorse and humility in him, said Söder on Sunday. Nonetheless, he holds on to it. This is understandable for tactical reasons. It increases the chances of the CSU with a view to the state elections, especially since Söder has excluded the Greens as a partner. And it is very true that a CSU leader will not allow himself to be instrumentalised by a left-wing teacher on a campaign of revenge. It is also true that aberrations from youth need not lead to a final reckoning in old age.

But the Aiwanger case touches on the darkest chapter of German history. The deputy prime minister is said to have spread Nazi slogans in his youth. Such an allegation must be clarified precisely and with a feeling for the victims. Aiwanger, however, scurries over it, stylizes himself as the pursued and attacks. Tomorrow a new one in the beer tent on the Gillamoos in Lower Bavaria. In the CSU, they will listen carefully to what the sometimes embarrassing relative will then escape again. Söder wanted things to continue like this: Today he put calculation before a clear stance.


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