Daniel Pohl, 47 years old, and Markus Weber, 50, publish a “pub quartet” – with bars that, from their point of view, should be visited in Nuremberg, Erlangen or Würzburg. However, they are currently closed due to the corona. Weber and Pohl want to donate the proceeds of their latest “bar quartet” to the landlords concerned. The game is sold through local bookstores and on the Internet.
SZ: Mr. Pohl, a quartet about pubs while having pubs – perfect or unfortunate timing?
Daniel Pohl: We asked ourselves that too. Usually we bring out a new edition every year and replace a few places. Vouchers from the pubs are also included – redeeming them is rather difficult at the moment. But so many hosts fear for their existence. We just wanted to do something.
How much should the quartet collect?
5000 euros would be nice. We do the whole thing part-time, we don’t earn anything from it.
How do you get the idea: “Now we’re going to make a bar quartet”?
Maybe 15 or 20 years ago we were out in the evening and talked about our youth, about the fact that we always liked to play a quartet. That’s how it all started. The restaurants that we choose for our quartet don’t have to pay anything. You just have to be special in some way.
That sounds like nice research!
It was always fun evenings. In the beginning we did the “pub quartet” for six cities. We all looked at them and let the locals show us around. Now we’re going to be a little more pragmatic.
Your quartet sorted by “beer price”, “opening year” or “proximity to the cathedral”. In view of the circumstances, did you have to introduce special corona criteria?
Usually the card with the highest, best or oldest value in a category wins. That is why the bar that has more people has always won in terms of “capacity”. But in Corona times you may have to play it the other way around.
The photo is well known: 21 defendants are sitting in the jury room of the Palace of Justice in the city that the Nazis praised as their “Nazi Party Rallies” and that suffered severe wounds in the Second World War that they unleashed. Half a year after the military victory over German fascism, a trial began on November 20, 1945, which had never happened before, which helped the breakthrough of new principles of international law and gave people all over the world hope for crimes against peace and Violations of human rights would be prevented in the future, or at least atoned for and punished. A milestone seemed to have been set against new wars, also against new fascists.
The International Military Tribunal of the anti-Hitler coalition was determined, as Robert MW Kempner of the US prosecution emphasized, to clean up the »Augean stable«. But the tribunal was guided by the principle: justice, not revenge. Efforts were made to mark the breadth of social and individual responsibility for fascism, war and crimes against humanity in terms of judicial matters. This brought not only leading NSDAP members to the barriers of the court, but also the military and representatives from business and state bureaucracy, diplomacy and propaganda.
Extensive material has been viewed about them. To deny the crimes committed was impossible, to justify them unthinkable. Nevertheless, the accused pleaded innocent. Mostly they referred to Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Martin Bormann, Joseph Goebbels. From them the orders would come. To follow them would have been decency and honor. Crimes – no, they didn’t want to have committed them. They only saw themselves as being led and seduced, betrayed, deceived and deceived, more victims than perpetrators. Not much was missing and they would have asserted that they were not Nazis.
But they had become such. Appearance and discussion gave it away. It was clear what had brought them on the path to political adventurism. Above all, it was the feeling that, as a German, you were destined for “higher things” and that you were above all others. Nationalist and racist ideas offered the binding force to fight democracy and parliamentarism, to murder people who think differently, to want to destroy other peoples. This was always combined with the argument that everyone in the hostile world, especially the Jews, had conspired against the Germans. They were united in their striving, if not the whole world, at least to rule the European continent, for which new land would have to be won in the east and the peoples there expelled or subjected. Personal ambition, also a thirst for fame and traditional warrior and male honor may have driven them. Most of the defendants had not expected either the trial or a harsh conviction, since similar efforts after the First World War came to nothing.
Most of them came from secure middle-class backgrounds. Other paths in life were open to them than those chosen and followed by them. With two exceptions – Wilhelm Keitel and Fritz Sauckel – they came from families of the property or the educated bourgeoisie, that is, from parts of society that are deliberately and deliberately referred to as their “middle”, far from class relationships. The majority of the fathers belonged to the civil service, were teachers and career officers; one was active in the colonial administration. Two fathers worked as lawyers and one was a successful businessman.
Did they, who grew up in such circumstances, have to fear social catastrophes? Eight had attended grammar schools or an upper secondary school, six had graduated from high school. Two graduated from cadet schools en route to the military, and one received his instruction at a teachers’ seminar. While three embarked on an officer career, five enrolled at universities. Of these, four made it to a doctorate; they all obtained doctorates in law.
Almost everyone had solid foundations for a solid bourgeois existence through their origin and education. Nobody was faced with the inevitable compulsion to begin their second, political, career at Hitler’s side. But they all did so, most of them long before January 30, 1933. They were later joined by Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodl, who had been accepted into the Reichswehr as professional officers in the Imperial Army. Arthur Seyß-Inquart and Ernst Kaltenbrunner only came to the fore in the Greater German imperialist policy under the sign of the swastika with and after the “Anschluss” of Austria.
In almost all cases, however, the definitive life decisions were made immediately after the end of the German Empire and under the impression of the German defeat in the World War. Many went to the battlefields enthusiastically in 1914 in order to achieve victory for their fatherland. For the three professional soldiers in the German army – Göring, Keitel and Jodl – this was a matter of course. Three others were soldiers as reserve officers. In 1918, the patriotism of murder, which had been turned outwardly, turned into hatred of the revolution and the republic among “served” and “unserved” people. They believed that “Marxists” and “November criminals” as well as their alleged instigators, the Jews, had destroyed their ideals of life. They hated the people who had risen up for historical action in 1918 and despised them as “mob”. At the same time, they longed for conditions in which these masses would obey and follow them. in the “fight against Versailles” and for “Germany, Germany above all else in the world”.
After 1933 a new phase of life began for her. Their careers have taken them to the top of the state pyramid. In 1945, nine held the post of ministers or heads of the highest Reich authorities. Wilhelm Frick and Hermann Göring had served as Reich ministers since 1933, Hans Frank since 1934, Joachim Ribbentrop since 1938, Arthur Seyß-Inquart since 1939 and Alfred Rosenberg since 1941. Keitel was their equal as head of the Wehrmacht High Command. Ernst Kaltenbrunner headed the Reich Security Main Office, and Sauckel exercised the office of general representative for labor deployment. They were the “fellow” leaders, although in the proceedings of the Tribunal they repeatedly blamed Hitler and, next to him, Himmler for the undeniable murderous acts. In Nuremberg they referred to their national goals, which they described as noble, and to their alleged self-sacrificing love for the German fatherland. None of them would have wanted war. They were pushed to brutal warfare by the resistance of the enemy. And they pleaded that crimes were committed in all wars and that they were also committed by the anti-Hitler coalition.
This prompted the US prosecutor already quoted to make a mocking and sarcastic counter-speech: If we just put together the stories from the front row of the defendants, we get the following ridiculous overall picture of Hitler’s government; It was composed of: A man number 2, who knew nothing about the excesses of the Gestapo, which he himself had set up, and never suspected anything about the extermination program against the Jews, although he was the signatory of over 20 decrees that persecuted this “race »Set to work. A man number 3 who was just an innocent middleman who relayed Hitler’s orders without even reading them, like a postman or a delivery boy. A foreign minister who knew little about foreign affairs and nothing at all about foreign policy. A field marshal who gave orders to the Wehrmacht but had no idea what practical results these would lead to. A security chief who was under the impression that the police activities of his Gestapo and his SD were essentially the same as those of the traffic police. A party philosopher who was interested in historical research and had no idea of the powers to which his philosophy spurred in the 20th century. A governor general of Poland who ruled but did not rule. A Gauleiter of Franconia, who was busy editing filthy writings about the Jews, but who had no idea that anyone would ever read them. An interior minister who did not know what was going on inside his own office, much less knew anything about his own department and nothing about the conditions in the interior of Germany. A Reichsbank president who did not know what was being deposited in the steel chambers of his bank and what was being extracted from them. And an agent for war economics who secretly ran the whole armaments industry, but had no idea that this had anything to do with war. “
The Nuremberg court granted the defendants a fair trial. His judges showed admirable patience. The accusation that “victorious justice” was practiced in Nuremberg was born out of power-political interests and aims to avoid facing the “unbelievable facts” for which masses of “credible evidence” were presented and documented in court. The judges of the four victorious powers have set a historic milestone beyond which there is no turning back.
Prof. Manfred Weißbecker, fascism researcher in Jena, wrote the book “Steps to the Gallows” with Kurt Pätzold. Life paths before the Nuremberg judgments «.
He wanted to become a “saint” and instead of chlorine gas he wanted to use tools that were “up close and personal”. The goal was to “kill as many people as possible”. That’s how the prosecutor sees it. She accuses Fabian D. of having been on the verge of an assassination attempt at the beginning of the year, one that would have endangered the security of the Federal Republic of Germany. He had already procured the weapons for this and informed about the execution on the Internet. That’s the starting position on Thursday. It is the first day in the trial of an alleged, almost right-wing terrorist at the Nuremberg-Fürth district court. Before he could act, the police arrested him earlier this year.
D., 23 years old, has put on a black suit with a white shirt for the day. He wears black glasses and an undercut, and he hides his face behind a blue folder. The electrician from a village near Cham in the Upper Palatinate has been in custody for almost ten months. In the meantime he was in temporary accommodation, which is ordered, for example, if someone becomes psychologically abnormal.
In the courtroom, he looks tense but focused. In four days of the trial the court wants to find out what kind of person Fabian D. is. Are the allegations well founded? How did he radicalize himself? Is he guilty? For the first time, Fabian D., an alleged member of the right-wing extremist group “Feuerkrieg Division”, is on trial.
Right at the beginning, the defense lawyers asked Fabian D. to speak and said: Yes, D. had obtained weapons. But these were intended to shoot in the shooting club. Yes, he was in right-wing extremist chats. But attack plans “never” had. He didn’t want to harm anyone.
What is certain is that D. ordered a “decorative weapon”, model AK47 from Kalashnikov, on the Internet. He apparently wanted to use this as a template to make an assault rifle functional. He ordered accessories, a rifle case, alarm pistols and air rifles. According to the statements of a work colleague who is in the rifle club, D. asked how he could activate a blank pistol. Then, according to the public prosecutor’s office, the 23-year-old was looking for “places of prayer”, a mosque or synagogue, to murder people.
As precisely as the indictment of the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office reads, the more blurred is the picture that emerged on Thursday of the man in the hall. His mother describes him as calm. As someone who was teased as a “giant baby” at school because he didn’t want to drink alcohol. Later, D. was given the name “Heydrich” by colleagues, she says. Apparently because he was dominant towards Czech colleagues, reports a former colleague. In a few words, he was able to appear very firmly, says another. Fabian D. later reinterpreted that nickname for himself. This is Reinhard Heydrich, a high-ranking SS man who was commissioned by Hermann Göring with the “final solution to the Jewish question”. Under this pseudonym, D. posted contributions in chat groups of the right-wing extremist “Fire War Division”. No longer as the victim of bullying, but as one who announced that he would take action.
Because of the bullying at school, the mother says, he became solitary. He doesn’t say too many words at all, his father says later. In his granny flat in the basement of his parents’ house, he withdrew with his computer, gambled for years, had almost no friends, read a lot, at some point cooked himself because he no longer liked his mother’s food and there had been arguments about it. The family relationship seems cool.
Fabian D. is said to have researched locking technology on the Internet
Did its radicalization begin from 2018? That remains fuzzy. His cousin tells the court that he has pursued terrorist attacks worldwide. D. saw the Christchurch terrorist’s live video in New Zealand in 2019 and showed it to him. He was particularly concerned with the Halle assassin. The assassin Stephan B. tried to break into a synagogue on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur in 2019. A massive wooden door had prevented him from killing dozens of people in the church. Then B. murdered a passer-by and a guest in a kebab shop. With this impression, Fabian D. is said to have researched locking technology on the Internet. If he put his plan into action, nothing should stop him, not even a door, the prosecution believed.
D. actually wanted to join the armed forces, cybercrime division. But it broke off after a few days. He then apparently pursued his plans for the action from the basement apartment in his parents’ house. A former colleague testifies that a lot revolved around his computer, and he is said to have said at work that he also boasted that he had guns and knives. He once surprised her by asking if she was afraid of knives and then pulled one out of his military pants. “He seemed to want to show off with the knife,” says the colleague in the courtroom. He didn’t work long at the company. His performance was “below average”.
When investigators arrested him in February, he was cooperative. He gave them access to the closed chat group of the “Fire War Division”, where he asked what he had to do to become “famous”. He is said to have even offered to pass on information from the scene. And he positioned himself politically with the AfD. He was well read on the subject of the “Third Reich”, says an investigator. But it remains unclear what exactly drove him. Where he wanted to do what he did. During a pause, he carefully moves the chair to the table before leaving the hall. He doesn’t turn to the auditorium where his parents are sitting. The process continues.
In the TV drama “Ökozid”, Germany will be charged with failure to take climate protection measures in 2034 with Angela Merkel at the helm. Director Andres Veiel wants to change politics, ARD wants to change the lives of citizens. But is that your job? .
Since he announced that he might end the life of the lion Subali, the Nuremberg zoo director Dag Encke has been criticized. About the conservation of an endangered species and the question: when is it legitimate to kill an animal?
Because most of the flights were canceled in the corona pandemic, smaller airports lack the money. Does the state have to step in?
Berlin / Frankfurt Gereon Arens finally wanted to be in the black: for twelve years he had invested in his aircraft maintenance company in Haitec, set up workshop hangars at Hahn Airport and hired more than 400 employees and 38 apprentices. Arens proudly reports that, as the last independent maintenance company, a Boeing 747 can be screened. A success story in the structurally weak Hunsrück region. “Then Corona came,” says Arens.
And so this year will probably be the bitterest in the company’s history for Haitec. Because without flights there are no orders, and an improvement is not in sight as long as the virus continues to spread.
Because Arens banks want to see collateral, the way to state development banks is blocked for him. And state aid is no way out either: “So far we have not fit into any aid fund,” says Arens. For the economic stabilization fund, its total assets were minimally too small.
30 to 40 percent of the employees had to send Arens on short-time work. In the next year he actually wants to train new mechanics, business people and computer scientists.
Arens is not alone with such problems: According to the industry association BDLI, 70 percent of industrial employees are on short-time work. A total of a quarter of a million people in Germany make their living at airports and with airlines. Because there is little hope for improvement, 60,000 employees – and thus one in five – will probably have to look for a new job. In total, more than 800,000 direct and indirect employees are asking how things will go next.
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Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Ministers made a decision on Wednesday that Bavarian universities struggled with for days: Should there be face-to-face events despite the increasing number of infections? Or a purely digital start of the semester? What are the consequences of the nationwide partial lockdown by the end of November? The past few days have been particularly confusing: for twenty hours, the start of the semester in the hybrid operation of classroom and digital teaching seemed to be an illusion. At the universities of applied sciences (HaW), some feared having to close again after four hybrid weeks. Then Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder said on Thursday that universities have priority and that day care centers and schools will remain open.
On Friday the phones glow at the universities, e-mails rush out, video messages are re-recorded. Students, employees, professors, everyone wants to know: What applies on Monday when the winter semester officially begins at the universities – due to Corona two weeks later than usual and with new rules. The constant changes are the most difficult, one hears from several presidential offices. In Augsburg, university boss Sabine Doering-Manteuffel seems surprisingly calm. “Maybe we are slowly hardened,” says the spokeswoman for the eleven Bavarian universities. “We tried to find a unified approach as quickly as possible.” The universities are sticking to the hybrid semester, but the corona rules of each region must be taken into account.
“The universities can decide for themselves how they deal with face-to-face events,” says the Ministry of Science. In general, Minister Bernd Sibler (CSU) is holding back with regulations. The universities have to develop their own hygiene concepts, the following rules are mandatory: A distance of 1.5 meters must be observed in lectures. No more than 200 people are allowed to sit in any hall. Masks are required in all buildings; if the incidence value is over 35, this also applies in the seminar. On Friday, all of Bavaria was on the map of the State Office for Health.
The University of Passau announced the switch to digital operation on Wednesday. Weeks ago, President Ulrich Bartosch was concerned and quarreled about the effects that presence operations could have on the number of infections in Passau: Around a fifth of the 52,000 residents are students who come from all over Germany for the semester. Online teaching is now the norm, with the exception of face-to-face exams and practical events that cannot be carried out online.
Doering-Manteuffel does not go that far in Augsburg, but there too the university cat will initially roam the campus alone. The library and laboratories remain open, but on Friday Doering-Manteuffel sent a “very clear appeal” to their employees to hold as many courses as possible digitally. Especially since Augsburg’s mayor ordered the rules of the partial lockdown from Friday in view of the high number of infections. Numerous classroom offers for freshmen have been canceled, but the student councils have organized a lot digitally, says Doering-Manteuffel. There are online game evenings, digital campus and library tours, timetable advice and a Corona hotline.
At the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), too, student councils offer a varied welcome program for first-time students. “A lot is happening below our radar, too. The students organize themselves in Whatsapp or Facebook groups,” says FAU boss Joachim Hornegger. On Friday he too sent an appeal to colleagues to offer as much online teaching as possible. In November there should only be a presence where it is “absolutely necessary”. The endeavor to attract freshmen is important to all universities, they should be given special support and preferably experience presence in order to arrive at the right place in the course.
Basically, Corona does not seem to have a deterrent effect, Minister Sibler reported a new record: 403,000 students are enrolled in Bavaria, 67,750 of them freshmen. In view of the partial lockdown, the student spokesmen of the state branch conference are now calling for the extension of examination deadlines to be discussed again and asking whether the winter semester can even be part of the standard study period. Without these worries, freshmen should be able to experience a “fear-free” start to their studies.
At the European Campus Rottal-Inn, three quarters of the freshmen did not even come to the university. “Only 100 made it to the region, the others are based in their home countries,” says Horst Kunhardt. The Vice President for Health Sciences of the Deggendorf University of Technology (THD) heads the purely English-speaking campus in Pfarrkirchen. His students come from all over the world, many are not allowed to travel due to corona. “We have switched completely to online lectures,” says Kunhardt. Be it bleak on campus, the area is closed.
Kunhardt has known what a lockdown feels like since Tuesday. Strict restrictions apply in the Rottal-Inn district. Still, he sounds relaxed on the phone. The first four weeks at the university went well, the hybrid operation worked, there were CO₂ traffic lights and an app for tracking contacts. Only the offices are manned at the moment, but the phones are hot. Kunhardt’s colleagues translate and explain the rules of the district office, send out newsletters and also provide psychological support. “Special measures in special times,” says Kunhardt. And: “Let’s make the best of it.“
Christians could let migrants drown – this is what a Nuremberg pastor said in a church newspaper and thus triggered vehement criticism. The evangelical clergyman Matthias Dreher had in Correspondence sheet formulates that a Christian can, “as long as he does not see a dying person in front of him like the Samaritan, let migrants who neglect responsibility drown”. He justified this with “the doctrine of two kingdoms, which leaves operational structure policy to the state”. People are deliberately putting their lives in danger on the sea route to Europe, he continues. However, their desire for a better life does not oblige Christians “ethically to appropriate fulfillment aid.” Bavaria’s regional bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm clearly contradicted the contribution on Tuesday: “His argument is based on the claim that the sea rescuers are the reason why people risk crossing the Mediterranean Sea. This claim has been refuted.” The city dean of Nuremberg, Jürgen Körnlein, also replied on the website of the dean’s office: “Under no circumstances should you let people drown!” From a Christian point of view, this requirement is “unconditional”. When asked, Dreher was surprised by the reactions, but said he stood by the article and did not want to comment further.
For the Swedish fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz (H & M) it will be expensive: Because it had spied on employees, the company is now to pay a fine of 35.3 million euros. Hundreds of employees at the service center in Nuremberg fell victim to the surveillance – the company had violated data protection, the Hamburg commissioner for data protection, Johannes Caspar, justified the decree on Thursday. The case documents a serious disregard for employee data protection. “The amount of the fine is therefore appropriate and appropriate, company to discourage violations of the privacy of their employees, ”he emphasized.
When asked, a spokeswoman for the Verdi service union also commented on the verdict: It is hoped that the action will have a deterrent effect on all companies that violate the privacy of their employees. The federal specialist group leader retail, Orhan Akman, said opposite young world: “The data protection scandal in Nuremberg shows how urgent a digitization collective agreement is at H & M, which also ensures the protection of personal and personal data.” Digitization should not lead to transparent employees.
The fine is the highest so far that has been imposed in Germany for violations of data protection. In 2019, the Berlin data protection officer imposed a fine of 14.5 million euros on the real estate group Deutsche Wohnen. H & M now has two weeks to appeal the decision. The case is the responsibility of the Hamburg commissioner for data protection, because the company has its German headquarters in the Hanseatic city. In Nuremberg, H & M operates a call center with around 600 employees. As was already known last year, information about their private living conditions has been recorded and stored for some of the employees at least since 2014.
When they returned to the company after a vacation or illness, the employees were asked by superiors for interviews, some of which were semi-private, said a Verdi spokeswoman last year (see jW dated December 18, 2019). Specific vacation experiences, but also symptoms of illness and diagnoses were documented. In conversations in the corridor, the superiors collected details about the employees’ private lives – including family problems and religious beliefs.
The procedure was discovered after one of the superiors had filed the notes in a publicly accessible folder in the computer system. After it became known, Verdi stated that it could not be assumed that it was not a matter of a lower management level. “That was done according to plan for years,” Verdi secretary Felix Bussmann had explained at the time.
After the announcement of the decision on Thursday, the group management also stated that the handling of the data did not comply with the guidelines and instructions. Take full responsibility and apologize to those affected. They were also promised compensation. Data protection advocate Caspar therefore also suggested conciliatory words: he assessed the efforts of the group management expressly as positive “to compensate those affected on site and to restore trust in the company as an employer.”
It’s been half a year since so much has changed in one fell swoop in Bavaria’s major cities than it has been in a long time. The local elections brought a new political start in many places. Time for an interim assessment.
Before such moments, they were quite jittery, even in the CSU: press conference in a maximally large framework for the application for the Capital of Culture, the final application book is presented, nothing should go wrong now if Nuremberg wants a real chance of leaving the field as the winner in the end. With the predecessor Ulrich Maly (SPD) nobody would have had any concerns, on the contrary. Sure, the 100 pages of application fight at an intellectually demanding cultural sociologist level, a Maly would have gotten a grip on that. Marcus König (CSU) but? Behind the scenes, some had reservations. König looks back on the imposing life of a climber: secondary school, bank branch manager, town hall manager of a city of half a million – but can someone like that also be a cultural capital?
You didn’t know that at the end of the presentation, but nobody asked that question anymore. King initiated and over, he let others, who can do better, go first. The mayor of culture and the head of applications said that in the end they were more in focus, König seemed to be of little interest. He cut a fine figure as an introducer and transitioner, and as a boss you have to be able to do that too. But not many can do it, especially not in politics.
Six months after the local elections, it is difficult to capture critical voices about Nuremberg’s new mayor. Not even with the Social Democrats, from whom he wrested the OB chair. One of the SPD leadership even had “tears in his eyes” when König apologized to the NSU victims on behalf of the city in such a forceful way that had never been seen in Nuremberg before. But not only that: König also worked hard to save both Nuremberg Karstadt branches, he fought for a climate protection fund and initiated the first 365-euro ticket for a big city – that’s where the politically left-wing side of the city got involved difficult with criticism.
At least once he seemed to want to do good to his own party, the CSU. As legal director he named a man who had previously been noticed by the Greens with restrictive handling as head of the immigration office. The Greens left the cooperation negotiations, the CSU and SPD remained. König should not have planned it that way. A mistake, one could say, but one that should be good for the culture of debate.
A grand coalition with a green cooperation partner, that was the constellation in Augsburg before the spring election. The overwhelming power of the three governing parties was so great that any contradiction in the city council was barely audible. That has changed since Eva Weber took over the mayor’s office for the CSU – the first woman at the top since 2035 years, as she calculated at the time. The contradiction in city politics is clearly audible, but not because Weber is now mayor. But because the CSU and the Greens have knocked the SPD out of the government and started a black-green experiment that does not often take place nationwide in a city of this size. “I’m often asked in the Bundestag how it works,” says Volker Ullrich, Augsburg CSU boss and member of the Bundestag. The city is under observation, the SPD is also taking unusual paths for Bavaria, it has teamed up with the left to form the “Social Fraction” and is now shooting sharply against black and green. There are enough topics that ignite disputes: Sometimes it is about the renovation of the state theater, which is significantly more expensive than estimated. A referendum, however, is in preparation. Sometimes it’s about activists from “Fridays for Future” who camp in front of the town hall to make their calls for measures against climate change heard.
Many observers thought that the CSU and the Greens quickly split up when it came to disputes, but no dispute from the coalition was heard. In fact, the parties in Augsburg have nodded internally to the coalition agreements with a large majority: With Weber at the top, the CSU is more ecological than ever. The Greens are so realistic that they support the goals of the local bicycle request. But they also say that you cannot do away with the car right away. Weber’s coalition dismissed criticism from the SPD about “mere ecological rhetoric” as “populist”.
Mayor Eva Weber set out to establish a new tone in Augsburg’s local politics: cooperation across parliamentary groups, inclusion beyond the government alliance. The tone has become rougher because there is now a strong force outside the government alliance. Internally, however, the coalition is characterized by harmony – despite close observation.
That was a mistake, in the first few weeks, no question about it. Ingolstadt’s Lord Mayor Christian Scharpf grins, holds the beer mug high at the stand with the gingerbread hearts – at the “Mini-Wiesn”, the replacement for the Whitsun Festival, which was canceled due to Corona. Distance in the group picture with the mayor? Hardly, the face mask was taken off for the photo. The town hall confessed this with remorse, after grumbling from citizens. However, Scharpf’s interim results cannot spoil. In Ingolstadt you can hear from every warehouse: good start! Certainly you don’t get too close to Scharpf if you claim that his sensational election victory was based to a lesser extent on technical issues and primarily on questions of style. After almost five decades of CSU reign, the Social Democrat won against incumbent Christian Lösel. Local transport, families, senior citizens, clubs – the content of the program was to be expected, especially for the SPD. And from an economic point of view, Ingolstadt had by no means been badly governed by the CSU before. Rather, what seemed attractive to many citizens was the sensitive part of his promises: transparency in politics, governance with broad cooperation in the city council and without power blocs. An end to the long-term squabble that arose because of the corruption scandals surrounding the clinic and the real estate deals of Lösel’s predecessor. In short: a “political climate change”, which the lawyer who previously worked in the town hall administration in Munich wanted to embody, unencumbered by “rope teams”.
A first conclusion? With eleven parties and groups, the city council is split up, and votes are now actually being held with changing majorities. The climate is considered to be “detoxified”. Scharpf appointed two women to act as his deputies, one from the CSU and one from the Greens – the three strongest parliamentary groups represent a non-partisan top city. The involvement of the deselected CSU was not right for every city council, but it has established itself – it should expressly not be a giant coalition. “The city council is now a collegiate body in the real sense of the word,” says Christian Lange from the Bürgergemeinschaft Ingolstadt (BGI), who was practically the opposition member on duty during the old term of office. He feels “integrated” and “valued” in political work. “I find it difficult to find mistakes,” says Lange. At most, Scharpf often initially appears as a “pure moderator” without his opinion being clearly recognizable – but that is exactly his concept.
Anyone looking for an interim reference for the mayor will eventually end up with the letter that Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) sent to Regensburg in August. A letter of congratulations on Gertrud Maltz-Schwarzfischer’s 60th birthday. But the letter read just like these job references, which are formulated benevolently but contain little tangible information. Herrmann wrote that Maltz-Schwarzfischer devoted themselves to their task with “verve and commitment”. That she has set priorities “in the areas of culture and the environment”. Everything is correct, but everything is very shadowy.
Maltz-Schwarzfischer (SPD) represented Mayor Joachim Wolberg, who was suspended for allegations of corruption, for three years before she officially took office in the local elections. “I have not been elected mayor,” she had repeatedly emphasized up to now, “that is why I do not see my task first and foremost as developing great visions for the future”. Now it is chosen. But if you ask around in Regensburg, you still hear a lot of people who do not recognize their visions. Instead of being a visionary, Maltz-Schwarzfischer makes a name for herself as a crisis manager, as was the case with the corruption affair before. For example, with entry bans in public places, which existed in Regensburg before the Free State imposed stricter corona measures. Maltz-Schwarzfischer has to listen to criticism from the Jusos, the youth organization of their party. Also from the Greens, who would have liked to be part of the government. But Maltz-Schwarzfischer chose a more conservative alliance with the CSU, Free Voters, FDP and CSB. “The gray coalition,” scoffs ex-Mayor Wolbergs, who is now on the city council for the “bridge”. Wolbergs also does not find Regensburg to be future-oriented enough under the new management. He says: “The SPD is no longer in power in this city, but the CSU.” You have to know: Maltz-Schwarzfischer’s SPD has only six seats in the city council, the CSU has 13.
Maltz-Schwarzfischer scores points with many Regensburg residents for their open-mindedness. She called for the cancellation of a concert by Xavier Naidoo, known for his conspiracy myths, and planning to perform in town in 2021. And when the refugee camp burned down in Moria, she immediately agreed to take in refugees in Regensburg.