The Documenta has become a controversial topic, the “Jüdische Allgemeine” even called for Claudia Roth’s resignation. The Greens had repeatedly defended the exhibition, despite warnings about anti-Semitic motives. Other politicians do not see themselves as responsible either.

Claudia Roth does not think about resigning. She is so proud of having landed the position of Minister of State for Culture that she does not respond to appeals to her responsibility for the anti-Semitism of the documenta.

It doesn’t seem to affect her that the “Jewish General” is calling for her resignation. She is just as unimpressed that her head of cabinet, Olaf Scholz, describes the picture as “disgusting” and does not visit the exhibition.

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Despite warnings about anti-Semitic motives, Claudia Roth had repeatedly defended the Documenta. Her party friend, the Hessian art minister Angela Dorn, doesn’t want to take responsibility either. She claims that the Documenta management “always assured her” that there was no evidence of anti-Semitic imagery in Kassel. This brings us to the buck game with the managing director of the documenta.

Sabine Schormann hides behind the thesis that she is not an authority that can have the artistic exhibits presented for examination in advance. You are also not allowed to check the posts. She didn’t talk about her duties as mistress of the house.

When the picture was published, there was great horror. The visitors saw a badly caricatured Jew with buck teeth, bloodshot eyes and an SS rune on his hat. Who painted the picture? The members of the Indonesian curatorial collective Ruangrupa demonstrated that they can play the buck just as cleverly as German politicians.

In the first round they hid behind Corona. They later confused the public with a kind of Ponzi scheme. 53 Lumbung artists were allowed to commission dozens of other works. Each artist was free to dispose of around 50,000 euros.

The system was not transparent for the organizers. The politicians, who are now energetically demanding consequences, will have to search a long time to find someone to blame. At the end of the chain, only one person is left hanging: the taxpayer. The federal government, the state of Hesse and the city of Kassel have invested a total of 42 million euros in the scandal documents.


There is a second scandal in Kassel. Heinz Bude, the director of the Documenta Institute, claimed in the ZDF program “Aspekte” that the vast majority of contemporary artists have sympathy for the BDS. This campaign aims to isolate Israel economically, culturally and politically. Who puts such people in such posts?

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The dominant topic in Elmau was Ukraine. The leaders of the G7 nations talked about it in all nuances. Prime Minister Selenskyj can be satisfied with the density of discussions. What must torment him is the speed of the help.

The pace could be faster. Unfortunately, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is not one of the drivers. He often talks about Germany having to coordinate with its partners. He gives the impression that he likes to be cautious at the end of the convoy. SPD chairman Lars Klingbeil probably also had this mentality in mind when he called for more leadership from Germany.

Ukraine needs quick support. The ticket to the EU is worth nothing if the democratic state of Ukraine no longer exists.

FOCUS founding editor-in-chief Helmut Markwort has been a FDP member of the Bavarian state parliament since 2018. This text was published on July 2, 2022.