“FOCUS online”: Suspicious reporting by the Süddeutsche Zeitung could destroy Aiwanger
“Any medium who raises serious allegations that fit their own sentiments but are difficult to prove is risking a lot – also for the entire guild. Suspicious reporting is controversial. It’s tricky because the ‘smoking gun’ is missing, so you can’t prove an allegation. (…) Suspicious reporting is fatal for the accused – in any case. Irrespective of actual personal guilt, a political or social career can be destroyed simply by the seriousness of the allegations.
And was it really permissible to make such an accusation on the basis of anonymous sources – especially since only a few weeks before the Bavarian state elections, which provokes the accusation that a medium massively influences an election? So that the political stance of journalists may determine a publication more than the underlying facts?”
“World”: Even the “mildest” variant of this story burdens him
“Of course, one has to ask oneself why the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reported on a 35-year-old anti-Semitic leaflet in the hot phase of the Bavarian state election campaign, which the current Minister of Economics and Deputy Prime Minister of Bavaria, Hubert Aiwanger (free voters), published when he was 17 year old is said to have written. But the question is secondary in the face of the disgusting pamphlet that still leaves you speechless today. (…) And even if not all the details have been completely clarified: Even the ‘mildest’ variant of this story burdens him.”
(…) “During election campaigns, such harmful discussions can hardly be sustained without drawing consequences. In the end, the voters will judge.”
“Neue Zürcher Zeitung”: The attempt at a political execution has failed
“On Friday, the Munich newspaper with national claims wanted to expose the deputy Bavarian Prime Minister Hubert Aiwanger as a notorious right-wing extremist. As things stand, an attempt at a political execution has failed. The alleged Aiwanger affair turns out to be more and more an affair of the SZ. (…) Neither in these thirteen minutes [Lesezeit] in one of the following texts, however, the SZ manages to prove that the one-page leaflet was written by Hubert Aiwanger.
The “Auschwitz Pamphlet” is an SZ pamphlet. It marks a collapse of technical, press law and media ethics principles (…) It would have been the task of the editor-in-chief to prevent such a journalistic oath of disclosure. (…) Ultimately, “The Auschwitz Pamphlet” shows the abysses into which journalism can end up that lets its own worldview befuddle its senses.”
“Time”: “It is striking what Aiwanger does not say”
“So has Hubert Aiwanger become wiser? (…) Or, as political opponents are now accusing him of, in the reporting of the SZ about his school days, in which Aiwanger is said to have shown sympathy for Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP and practiced Hitler speeches in front of the mirror, the actual Aiwanger comes to the appearance? A radical right-wing misanthrope who only disguises himself as a democrat.
(…) Aiwanger now had the chance to explain himself and how the stupid boy from back then became a responsible politician. But he didn’t use it. (…) It is striking what Aiwanger does not say. He uses neither the word ‘Jew’ nor ‘anti-Semitism’ in his statement. He expresses no retrospective horror at what happened at the time or his own stupidity, he draws no political conclusions. (…) Can Söder hold Aiwanger? Not anymore after this declaration.”
“Bild” columnist Franz Josef Wagner: I don’t know how you can get something so sick into your brain
“The youthful sins of the Aiwanger brothers are unforgivable. The first prize in their pamphlet is a free flight down the chimney in Auschwitz. I don’t know how you can get something that sick in your brain. (…)
They are not youthful sins. Youthful sins are joyful. The youthful sins of the Aiwangers are black and evil.”
“Bild” guest author Michael Wolffsohn: Not all dirt is anti-Semitic at the same time
“Is that leaflet anti-Semitic? It’s inhuman, but is that automatically anti-Semitic? Anti-Semites scorn Jews as Jews. (…) Not a word of it in this dirty text. Note: Not all dirt is anti-Semitic at the same time.
As a Jew, I refuse to let informers abuse us Jews for their daily political purposes. Shortly before the elections in Bavaria, they want to brand the conservative Aiwanger and his free voters as Nazis and, derived from this, anti-Semites. Anyone who equates conservative with ‘Nazi’ and ‘anti-Semite’ is clueless and slanderous. Whoever does it anyway, let us Jews out of this lousy game.”
“Spiegel”: It looks like the end of a cheap thriller that shows: there are two perpetrators!
“It seems like the end of a cheap thriller that shows: there are two perpetrators! The prime suspect has a sinister twin brother, that’s it! End of the story? Hardly likely. Because often enough the good brother in the film is not sooo innocent. He knows what his twin is up to and lets him do it – sometimes he is even an accomplice.
(…) Should one really believe that the two brothers saw the Holocaust so differently that one thought up the most disgusting jokes and jokes about it, while the other, as an upright democrat, turned away with a shudder? Or were the Aiwangers possibly also brothers in spirit? And last but not least: Can you grow out of such an attitude?”
“t-online”: What arose in the Aiwanger house back then is centuries-old hatred of Jews
“The SZ relies on several witnesses who heard about the incident in the late 1980s. (…) The fact is, nonetheless: we still don’t know who wrote the inhuman text. It would therefore be important for the debate that the SZ emphasizes this even more clearly. (…) And the consequences of an incomplete research will now influence the outcome of the Bavarian state elections.
(…) What should emerge from this process in any case must go beyond the political. We need a debate about the content of this nearly forty-year-old pamphlet. Because what was created in the Aiwanger house back then is not a youthful sin. It is a centuries-old hatred of Jews that has been boiled up again and again. Despite the describable and yet incomprehensible horror of a perfidiously planned mass murder of millions in Germany, this hatred lives on to this day.”