Politicians Homestories: Why they do not explain anything

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Culture Homestories about politicians

There is no wagon train to the knowledge

| Reading time: 4 minutes

Matthias Heine

What does this picture tell us about Horst Seehofer? Nothing What does this picture tell us about Horst Seehofer? Nothing

What does this picture tell us about Horst Seehofer? Nothing

Source: picture alliance / Bernd Settnik

Journalists frantically search for human detail to help us decipher a politician. But Hitler's missing testicles do not explain Auschwitz. About a misunderstanding.

IIn 1932, shortly after the presidential election lost to Hindenburg, the Nazis decided to supplement “Mein Kampf” with “My Kitsch”. Adolf Hitler, who was previously known as BierhallenbrĂĽller and chief boss of brown-dressed thugs, should be brought to the electorate and human. In the spring, the photo book “Hitler, as no one knows him” with pictures of Heinrich Hoffmann, who showed the NSDAP boss already on the cover in casual Liegepose with a view of the Alps and German Shepherd on foot.

The image correction was so good that even in 1938 a reporter from the British magazine “Home and Garden” went to the glue, who gushed in a story about the tasteful interior of “Mr. Hitler's” chalet on the Obersalzberg.

Dictator's wife on high heels

What was Hitler's “Home and Garden” was for Stalin the “New York Times.” Their reporter Walter Duranty bribed the newly established dictator in 1929 with a series of exclusive interviews. Duranty thanked him by explaining to the Americans that while there was violence in the Soviet Union, shavings fell when it was planed, as has been customary in Asia since Tamerlane. The liquidation of the kulak class was a small price for progress, and in Ukraine, where Stalin targeted millions of people for starvation, there would only be harvest problems.

These old stories may be reminded again and again, because it can be learned from today's journalism: The human is in politics only a currency, with which one buys space in the media, on which then can not be reported about unpleasant. The most absurd recent example was a homestory called “A Rose in the Desert” about Asma al-Assad, wife of the Syrian president, who appeared in “Vogue” in 2011. In it, the journalist raved about the high heels, where the dictator's wife stalked through her difficult life, and the famous war photographer James Nachtwey wasted all his art on making the life of the Assad family look as peaceful as possible.

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But not only such offensively exhibited humanity is an illusion. Even the hidden private is not political. There is no way from Horst Seehofer's Kellereisenbahn to Abschiebegesetz or from Helmut Schmidt's menthol cigarettes to the retrofitting decision. Trump's life would have been able to lead from his golden loo in the Democratic Party. The qualities of Chancellor Helmut Kohl can not be measured by how he treated his wife or children. Nor do Hitler's vegetarianism and his uniqueness explain Auschwitz.

Nevertheless, there is an insatiable longing among reporters to find that vivid key detail from which the political man can be explained. Maybe the professionals do not even believe in it, but they only serve the superstition of the media consumers who hope to take a look through the veil of staging.

A little opportunism is there

On the other hand, however, speaks the between love poetry and edifying Prose iridescent fervor, in which the journalistic genre of politician portraits goes so often. On the one hand, it is due to the current zeitgeist and, on the other hand, to the political preferences of the industry in which the Green sympathizers are disproportionately represented.

A bit it is also naked opportunism: One just unchecked, those who are just in the light. But there was such a distance-free Savior-Smile poetry, as it is currently written about Robert Habeck and Anna-Lena Baerbock, even about politicians of CDU or FDP, as their parties did not look as shadowy as now.

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German prisoners of war in the camp Dinan, 1914, France, Europe | Use worldwide, no distribution to resellers.

Drum fire, stew, apron

A curious side-branch of this longing to look behind the mask is the Trump-Tweet astrology. Just as some of Habeck's socks want to recognize his state of mind, so do the others from Twitter's statements by the President to draw conclusions about his spiritual condition. If he says he has met the “Prince of Whales”, he must be demented. Both are wrong. The stockings speak only of the quality of current knitwear, the tweet only of the inadequacy of all car-correction programs.

(t) Heine-Matthias (t) Prince of Whales (t) Heinrich Hoffmann (t) Auschwitz (t) Horst Seehofer (t) Crime (t) Adolf Hitler (t) High Heel (t) Hindenburg

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