Due to the mask requirement in Germany, Lufthansa has to fear disadvantages in international competition. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach is not the only one to blame: Olaf Scholz has to plead guilty twice.

All roads lead to Zurich, but the journeys vary in terms of comfort. Roger Köppel, the freedom-loving publisher of the “Weltwoche”, had invited to his famous summer festival, and the independent spirits from all over Germany accepted his invitation. In conversations on the Limmat, they realized that the freedom above the clouds is not as limitless as Reinhard Mey sang.

The colleagues who had flown in from Hamburg and Munich had to wear a mask as Lufthansa passengers. The guests who came from Berlin were also on a Lufthansa plane, but did not suffer from the obligation to wear masks. They were lucky that the flight was handled by Swiss, which leaves its passengers alone. Long live free Switzerland.

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Although Swiss is a subsidiary of Lufthansa, it disregards the regulations of the German government. So far, nothing is known about legal measures. For Lufthansa, the obligation to wear a mask is a growing problem in two ways. Firstly, their flight crew have to argue with passengers on a daily basis who feel restricted in their freedom. Some cling to cold drinks forever to keep the mask off their face.

Second, Lufthansa must fear disadvantages in international competition. In the USA, Great Britain, France and the Scandinavian countries, masks are not compulsory on airplanes. That’s a lot of temptation to change, even for regular Lufthansa passengers who don’t want to fly across the Atlantic behind a mask.

In its distress, Lufthansa tries to improve its situation with a liberation. She protested against the mask requirement. That won’t be of any legal use, but it will probably ease the mood on board. If the bosses argue against the mask requirement, the pursers will stop harassing maskless passengers.

No help can be expected from the government. Chancellor Scholz missed the opportunity. After the whole of Germany could see on television how he flew to Canada without a mask in the government plane and with him a delegation of business leaders and the Berlin journalist elite, who were just as privileged, he could have taken the flight to the front.

Instead of getting angry about the distribution of the pictures, he could have abolished the mask requirement for everyone. But no: he tightened it. The masks worn during operations are said to be insufficient. Scholz now orders FFP2 masks. We poor Germans. Scholz is twice to blame. He has appointed the panic prophet Lauterbach as Minister of Health and he also follows his confusion.

What’s going on in this country? Aggressive fanatical minorities set the tone in this society. The youngest victim is Winnetou. The “virtue mob” – I’m expressly quoting a neologism by Heinrich Heine – intimidated Ravensburger Verlag to such an extent that it withdrew its book “The Young Chief Winnetou”. ARD let it be known that it no longer wanted to acquire any new licenses for Winnetou films.

ZDF, which still owns the rights to Karl May films and also wants to show them, humbled itself on Facebook. The station asked its users to avoid the “I word.” So when I write now that I liked to dress up as an Indian as a child, I’m provoking the shitstorm of a rabid minority, of which we don’t know how many there are. I also like to spread the word that the Karl May Games are going ahead unimpressed.

FOCUS founding editor-in-chief Helmut Markwort has been a FDP member of the Bavarian state parliament since 2018.