Many media knew about the Reichsbürger raid days in advance. Who is behind the media whisper? Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser could have liked the stir at least.
The raid was so secret that a lot of media knew about it. In order to prevent the feared “coup d’etat” by the Reichsbürger clique, the German state had mobilized more than 3,000 security officers. They were supposed to surprise and arrest about fifty suspects at the crack of dawn. At the same time, an army of photographers, cameramen and reporters armed with mobile phones set out to document the top-secret state action for the public.
Everyone thought they were in possession of world-exclusive information, but when they got to the scene of the crime, to their amazement, they met dear colleagues from the competition. A scene near the Frankfurt Palmengarten in the posh Westend was typical.
Bankers who were on their way to the office on their bikes on Wednesday morning suspected a press conference on the street. Cameras were set up, photographers from the important agencies dpa, Reuters and laif were on the lookout, and large print media had sent reporters to describe every detail.
Neither of them had an official invite, but each had a hot tip. This conclusion is valid because no competitor informs another about such a hot date. Discreet whisperers from authorities had organized the greatest possible attention for the “biggest anti-terrorist operation in our history” – according to the SPD parliamentary group on Twitter.
The pack had their prey. First officials with boxes and luggage came from the Frankfurt apartment building and then finally the main actor of the production: Heinrich XIII. Prince Reuss.
The princely scion, who was supposedly intended by the Reich citizens to be the German head of state, encountered one after the other heavily armed and hooded police officers and the telephoto lenses of the media. His photo went around the world. The Frankfurt scenario was repeated in many places where the police picked up suspects.
Journalists everywhere knew. Sometimes also Reich citizens. The “Tagesspiegel” reports that one of them called a neighbor from abroad that the police could come next week. She came.
Who is behind the media whispers and who benefits from the fuss? All deny. The most common Berlin conspiracy theory says that Interior Minister Nancy Faeser enjoys the stir. She wants to be a hero in the Hessian election campaign in the fall.
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FOCUS founding editor-in-chief Helmut Markwort has been a FDP member of the Bavarian state parliament since 2018.