He does not want to be “part of Ukrainian propaganda”.

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Of: Marc Hairapetian


Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach with Markus Lanz. (April 5, 2022). (Screenshot) © ZDF

“Ukrainian propaganda”? Markus Lanz stands out in his ZDF talk with a derailment, while Karl Lauterbach once again steals the show.

“Lupus est homo homini, non homo, quom qualis sit non novit” (“A wolf is man to man, not a man as long as he does not know what kind the other is”), the merchant says to Leonida in the comedy ” Asinaria” (“Donkeys”) by the Roman poet Titus Maccius Plautus (c. 254–184 BC). Even with the British mathematician and philosopher Thomas Hobbs (1588 – 1679), the more than 2000-year-old saying lost all humor. He used the quote for the potentially destructive relationship between states as a logical further development for the natural state of people he assumed among themselves, who would find themselves in a “bellum omnium contra omnes” (“war of all against all”).

The fact that man can be a wolf to man was also the subject of Ralph Nelson’s western “Soldier Blue” (“The Lullaby of Homicide”), which, when it was released in cinemas in 1970, was considered the “toughest film of all time”. The poster already hinted at what the audience should see: A whole company of US soldiers, sabers drawn, is riding towards a naked and tied up Indian girl. “Soldier Blue” was, especially in its final quarter, a cinematic reappraisal of the Sand Creek massacre that cavalrymen from the American Union committed in 1864 on the inhabitants of an unprotected settlement of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians in the Colorado Territory.

Markus Lanz on ZDF: Ukraine war as the central topic

Filmed at the height of the Vietnam War, just as the judicial investigation of the My Lai atrocities was making waves among American public opinion, Nelson castigated one of the most heinous crimes in the history of America’s western conquest with ferocity never before seen in cinemas : Women were raped and then their breasts cut off, children beheaded with sabers and then their heads impaled on spears while US soldiers danced around bawling.

Robin Alexander journalist at world
Catherine Eigendorf Journalist at ZDF
Karl Lauterbach Federal Minister of Health, SPD
Daniela Schwarzer political scientist

And now in 2022, similar recordings are returning to our living rooms: at the latest with the massacres in Bucha, it will be clear to anyone who has had doubts that Vladimir Putin’s Russian troops are waging a war of annihilation in Ukraine, in which the civilian population is not spared either.

Markus Lanz (ZDF): Reporter from Ukraine switched on

These horrific crimes against the population, in which, according to witnesses, probably Chechen and Kazakh special units and the notorious right-wing extremist (mercenary) group Wagner raped Ukrainian women again and again in front of their children, while many men were shot in the neck, take the first half from Markus Lanz’ talk show late on Tuesday evening.

ZDF reporter Katrin Eigendorf is connected from the Ukraine. The former Moscow correspondent, who was able to travel from Germany to Ukraine by train last week, spending hours in a darkened compartment, is visibly touched. Many of the pictures could not be shown on television because of their cruelty: “We saw corpses that were burned. Those are also smells that come with it.”

Markus Lanz (ZDF): When are you “part of the Ukrainian propaganda?”

The pain threshold for otherwise quite hardened war correspondents – with 50 other international colleagues she visited the scene of horror at the invitation of the Ukrainian government – has long been exceeded: “It’s a real massacre, it has another dimension.”

This time, Markus Lanz does not react at all sensitively to these shocking statements, but wants to appear as a supposedly professionally distanced journalist. In doing so, he scores an own goal that he didn’t think was possible: “At what point do you become part of the action?” he rightly asks at first. But then it comes: When are you still a neutral reporter and when are you “part of the Ukrainian propaganda”? Propaganda? The fact that he speaks of “Ukrainian propaganda” in connection with these irrefutable war crimes, like the Russian side, which accuses the Ukrainians of having “staged” the mountains of corpses, is really a lapse that cost many other (Western) journalists their professional lives could.

Political scientist at Markus Lanz (ZDF): “In my opinion, we have to take a look”

He must have thought so at the very moment when he said that, because a little later he tries to backtrack: “I’ll gladly admit that the term ‘propaganda’ is unfortunate in this respect.” Nevertheless, he sticks to it his position. Couldn’t Ukraine have invited two or three “neutral” journalists from a news agency, who would then have published “not so explicit” pictures?” Ruthless investigations into war crimes look different…

However, he is not wrong with his question “From what point do pictures really show the truth?”. Even if he doesn’t want to cast doubt on the massacres, he may be missing “the context around it”. With this objection he is not only alone in the evening round. At all times there have been heinous crimes in wars – without the “context around them”, which he vaguely named. Political scientist Daniela Schwarzer agrees: “In my opinion, we have to take a closer look. That is the horrid face of this war!”

Lauterbach on genocide near Lanz on ZDF: “I would be very careful”

Lanz’ regular guest Robin Alexander, in his capacity as deputy editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper “Die Welt”, who again and again, without being asked, but probably not unintentionally, becomes co-moderator and asks his own questions, contradicts the smart South Tyrolean: “People don’t come there go take photos. These are people who know their craft!” The slap for Markus Lanz was spot on!

Due to the on the one hand clear, on the other hand difficult topic, the most prominent guest of the talk show initially keeps a low profile, which is untypical for him. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) considers it premature to describe the events in Bucha as a “genocide”, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did. Likewise, an intervention by NATO: “I would be very careful about that. You don’t play with it!” But Karl Lauterbach wouldn’t be Karl Lauterbach if he didn’t warn of an impending “Third World War” in view of the hasty action of Western countries regarding the Russian attack on Ukraine. There are other means to prevent genocide. That is why he is in favor of further arms deliveries from Germany to Ukraine.

Markus Lanz (ZDF) – Karl Lauterbach wants voluntary isolation “to collect again tomorrow”

The criticism of the “united journalist alliance” Robin Alexander and Markus Lanz that Germany allegedly did not send any weapons to Ukraine for weeks after the “Zeitenwende” speech by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), he contradicts angrily: “That borders on defamation ! We deliver more than is publicly known and in some cases in a different way than is publicly known.” After all, you don’t have to blame everything on Vladimir Putin… This statement is a bit naïve, because the Russian secret services certainly haven’t stopped their activities.

But the always polarizing and sometimes unorthodox acting Karl Lauterbach, who therefore always promises a rating, then unexpectedly drops another bombshell during the second discussion complex of the evening, even self-critically speaking of “reversing a mistake”: the obligation to isolate after a corona infection stay according to his will! Actually, domestic isolation should be voluntary from May 1st. “I’ll collect that again tomorrow,” announced the clever SPD politician and occasional self-promoter, who prefers to make statements in the “I” form, on “Markus Lanz”.

Karl Lauterbach (SPD) admits mistakes with Markus Lanz (ZDF).

The completely overburdened health authorities could no longer check whether isolation and quarantine were being observed and would therefore have been relieved by the planned easing, but: “The signal that comes across is: Lauterbach says quarantine and isolation are no longer necessary, Corona is harmless. That does more harm than overloading the health authorities.”

Therefore, a compromise must now be made: According to him, the isolation will continue to be ordered by the health department, but will be reduced from seven to five days. Whether contact persons go into quarantine should be recommended as planned, but ultimately decided by the persons concerned on their own responsibility. “So, was abandoning the obligation to isolate a mistake?”, the surprised Markus Lanz probed after he had caught himself a bit. “Exactly,” confirms “Charlemagne,” “As a minister, you also have to be able to correct things that didn’t go well.” This attitude also commands “respect” from Robin Alexander.

Markus Lanz (ZDF) – Karl Lauterbach: “I made a mistake here”

“I’m constantly trying to optimize the fight against the pandemic,” explains Lauterbach, who knows that he is now the “hero of the evening. “I always try to get the maximum out of the population, to deliver as few people as possible to this disease,” he says, not immodestly. This is of course an allusion to his negotiations with Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP). Without compromises, the liberals would have gotten the “Freedom Day” longed for by quite a few people in this country. “Then we wouldn’t have had anything,” Karl Lauterbach uses the Plurales Majestatis.

After the broadcast, the health and, more recently, marketing expert summarizes his decision again on Twitter: “It would be wrong for the health authorities to end the order for isolation after a corona infection in favor of it being voluntary and it will not happen. I made a mistake here. That relieves the health authorities. But the signal is wrong and harmful.”

Lauterbach on compulsory vaccination from 60 at Markus Lanz (ZDF): “Everyone will understand that”

When it comes to enforcing compulsory vaccination, Karl Lauterbach is still confident of victory with Markus Lanz: “I think we will get compulsory vaccination through,” he said with a view to the vote in the Bundestag on Thursday. With compulsory vaccination for people over the age of 60, 90 percent of the deaths that can be avoided by vaccination could be prevented: “Everyone will understand that!” There is no point in mourning the general vaccination requirement from the age of 18: “I’d rather make vaccination compulsory from the age of 60 and save with it People.”

Markus Lanz on ZDF

Markus Lanz from April 5, 2022 on ZDF – link to the program in the media library

Robin Alexander, who has now completely taken over the part of the somewhat overwhelmed Markus Lanz, can’t resist a little teasing: Does “Lebensretter Lauterbach” actually resign if he should fail with his project on Thursday? “No, I wouldn’t have a reason,” says the 59-year-old health economist, doctor and politician in one personal union. The end of compulsory vaccination would be a huge defeat. But in that case he would not have to accuse himself of any “grotesque mistakes” that “would have cost lives” and would therefore necessitate a resignation. At this talk, Karl Lauterbach once again stole the show…! (Marc Hairapetian)

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