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Guttenberg gives up Dr. title for good

The Local · 22 Feb 2011, 09:34

Published: 22 Feb 2011 07:58 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Feb 2011 09:34 GMT+01:00

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The conservative Christian Democrat had already temporarily given up his doctorate title while his alma mater the University of Bayreuth looked into the claims that he plagiarized several passages of his 2006 dissertation.

But in a letter sent late Monday, the minister said a close inspection of his thesis showed "serious errors... which are not compatible with scientific work," university spokesman Frank Schmalzle said.

In his first public speech since the scandal emerged, Guttenberg told a crowd of CDU supporters in Kelkheim, Hesse on Monday night that the decision to give up the title was painful, particularly after investing seven years of work in the endeavour.

After reviewing the dissertation, Guttenberg said he realized he had “lost sight of the sources here and there.”

He also apologized to anyone who had been hurt through his mistakes, particularly his thesis advisor.

“I also stand by the rubbish that I wrote,” he added, saying he had not intentionally copied the work of others.

Internet sleuths have set up a collaborative website, or Wiki, to comb through the 475 pages of Guttenberg's work, concluding there was evidence of unattributed copying on 270 of them.

When the 14 pages of content and 65 pages of footnotes are taken into account, this amounts to a large chunk of the dissertation.

Story continues below…

The suave and popular 39-year-old, dubbed "Baron Cut-And-Paste" and "Zu Googleberg" by the German media, acknowledged on Friday that there were "mistakes" in his thesis but denied plagiarism.


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Your comments about this article

08:35 February 22, 2011 by Kayak
Karl-Theodor who?
08:55 February 22, 2011 by catjones
What do you expect from a DEFENSE minister?
09:48 February 22, 2011 by tallady
Go away,please go away.
10:08 February 22, 2011 by Krim
It is up to the University of Bayreuth to decide and not him.
10:09 February 22, 2011 by Ami-In-DE
I think this man is a class act, and through this whole ugly experience took the high road. He's a conservative CDU member, who is working hard at his Defence Minister job (despite it not being his preferred post in the first place), supporting his troops in Afghanistan, and travelling there several times putting himself in harms way.

But being good-looking, of noble roots, conservative, and supporting his NATO responsibilities is evidently too much for the liberal media, the title-neurotic Germans, and the bleeding heart internet WikiGeeks. They finally found some mud on him.

Plaigerism should never be allowed in large amounts, and it appears that that was the case with this man, so it is right that he should relinquish his title. But how widespread is this problem? Let's see if the WikiGeeks and the media now turn to some other titled politicians, perhaps in other parties (SDP, FDP, etc.) and conduct the same ferocious analysis.

I'm quite sure this will NOT happen--the roots of these attacks on zu Guttenberg were politically motivated.
10:20 February 22, 2011 by cobalisk
Well, thank heavens he is 'good looking' and from 'noble roots'...

So if he was from a working class family he should be run out of town?

Guttenberg said last week the charges were 'absurd' and that he was giving up his Dr. title 'temporarily'.

Now he states there were in fact serious errors and he is relinquishing his title for good.

Class Act? Class clown is more apt.
10:42 February 22, 2011 by mixxim
He can't be a doctor. I told him I had a cold and he told me to see a real Dr.
10:46 February 22, 2011 by Ami-In-DE
If he was from a working class family, and was more liberal, less conservative, he probably wouldn't have been attacked by so many in the media.

And he handled the situation absolutely properly: He temporarily gave up his title until Univ. of Bayreuth did its assessment, and when they came back with their recommendation, he accepted their decision and relinguished his title. As I said, he's a Class Act. You sound like more of a class clown.
10:49 February 22, 2011 by mjkeoo
The Holy Roman Empire Is Back

10:52 February 22, 2011 by marimay
A 'Class Act' wouldn't have plagiarized in the first place, ami.
10:53 February 22, 2011 by minga
Class act?

- C&P Ph.D thesis

- Opening of soldier's letters

- Outsourcing the drafting of new legislation to a private law firm (whose major clients were the finance crisis culprits)

He is being attacked because he had made good use of the media to project himself. Remember the episode when he visited Afghanisthan with his wife and a TV anchor?
11:12 February 22, 2011 by Ami-In-DE

- zu Guttenberg had nothing to do with opening soldier's letters. If you have hard proof otherwise, show it.

- probably bringing the wife along to Afghanistan was not a good move, but travelling with a TV anchor? Why not? Many TV anchors have reported from war locations in the past. And hollywood actors, too. (Clooney, Jolie, Penn, etc.)

But go ahead and be a sheep follower, its the safe way to go.
11:22 February 22, 2011 by minga
He used the media to project himself. Now the same media is poking fun at him. His own coalition partners (FDP) once labelled him "complete disaster", long before all these incidents.
11:36 February 22, 2011 by LecteurX
Why are conservatives on this forum so hellbent on making fools of themselves? It happens all the time, also with left-wing politicians, and they get all the blame they deserve. When Ulla Schmidt, the Social Democratic federal minister for Health was caught using her official car while on holidays in Spain in Aug 2009, she nearly lost her job, and she definitely would have, if the coalition government she was taking part in had not been swept aside by Merkel's victory in the elections a few weeks later, which made her removal from office a pointless exercise.

Where were the right-whingers then?

Even ex-Chancellor Schröder came under fire over a flight between Hannover and Vienna that had been paid for by a private company and was made to pay back the trip in order to save himself from dismissal.

So would you please give us a break with your senseless and partisan moaning? Do you realise that half your post consists of absolutely insubstantiated "ifs" and "woulds"?

Start thinking with your cortex rather than your reptilian brain, and please stop insulting our intelligence, then we can have a debate.

Then, that you think that cheating and plagiarising half the contents of a PhD thesis is fine as long as you're not caught, and denying the claims with a straight face despite overwhelming evidence until the situation is no longer tenable is "absolutely properly" handling the situation, it says volumes about your moral standards.
13:03 February 22, 2011 by Johnne
lol....I laugh when I read some comments, the so called conservative ideology for the love of war. And a defence minister visiting afghanistan with his fake Phd degree is "noble" and conservative. Oh my God! I think Ami in DE thinks that´s all being conservative means. You should even change your name to a more sensible one the "ami in DE" sounds very unpopular anyway.
13:30 February 22, 2011 by Surferjoe
An "Ami in DE" is popular in the part of Germany I live in Johnne. Folks around here remember the blood the amis expended not so very long ago in Europe as well as the support the US has been in the fight against the many stripes of fascism from Nazism to communism to Islamofascism. As an immigrant to western civilization you might not have an appreciation or respect for europe's basic human rights guarantees but they are very much in line with the american constitution. If anyone is becoming unpopular in Germany its the immigrants who want to tear down the system and institute Sharia law.

As to "Dr." Guttenberg, he should have the grace to resign from government at the very least and Merkle should indeed pay a political price for not insisting that he does. People who worked hard for their doctorates must take a very dim view of the good ex-doctor to say the least. He has brought suspicion and distrust on the whole world of academia and reinforced the general wariness of the political elite.
14:03 February 22, 2011 by ktwop
He is clearly a liar and a fraud. He devalues all the genuine PhD's in Germany and makes a mockery of the hundreds of honest doctoral candidates.

But Angela Merkel believes he is doing a good job. Perhaps lying and cheating are the most important qualifications needed.

At least he maintains the equality of German politicians in comparison with the free-loading Ministers of the French Republic and the false-expenses claims of British politicians.
14:53 February 22, 2011 by LecteurX
There, there, Surferjoe, no need to get so misty-eyed about the cuddly "Amis". They started fighting fascism when it finally suited their own interests to do so, after Europe had been a hellish battleground for well over 2 years, not to mention Asia. Also, they fought communism because it was in their interest to curb the influence of USSR, nothing else. They're not better or worse than other nations - they just pursue their very own interests and have more means to do so than other nations. Tell me how exactly they promoted human rights in Chile and in most Latin American countries again? And how exactly they fight what you call "Islamofascism": by propping up Mubarak till the very end, by arming Saddam Hussein against Iran in the 1980s, by training and arming Bin Laden and the Talibans against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s or by backing up such regimes as Saudis? Wow indeed, that's quite an impressive record in their Middle-East policies, isn't it?

As I said, they were just pursuing their own interests.

"As an immigrant to western civilization you might not have an appreciation or respect for europe's basic human rights guarantees but they are very much in line with the american constitution."

Isn't that a ridiculous generalisation??? Under your very eyes you see Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans toppling dictators despite gunfire directed at them, dictators who had been stooges of the West (at least in the case of the former two) in the name of "stability", and you have the nerve to tell us that only Europeans and Americans want their dignity and human rights to be respected? Man, reading Sarrazin has not done you too much good.

At the end of the day, this is a topic about a German minister who cheated about his PhD thesis. What on earth have immigrants to do with this? You don't get enough immigrant-bashing all day, so you need to drag it along in any discussion, no matter how irrelevant, just because one immigrant says something?

Seems to me that some old-fashioned German habits are still around...
14:57 February 22, 2011 by Johnne
@suferjoe or whatever your name is. Don´t respond to my comment with that low informed mind of yours. What do you know about immigrants pal? if you point one finger at someone, you´re definitely pointing the rest four at yourself. You are a an immigrant where ever you are and you don´t even know it! who fought for who? don´t be so racist and ignorant boy! and don´t think people like you have a say here:-)) you think you know anything about immigration? you need to first go back to school for 3 years and come back to this forum to address me.

Oh! you think you can insult immigrants just because you´re white? hm? or because you were born in the west? what is western in you pal? NOTHING! see who´s talking about amis liberating europe lol!where were you then? did you participate in liberating europe or germany? I´m sure you didn´t cos if you did, you wouldn´t be such a nonentity. You low level racist thing. Can you tell me your roots? I know mine & I´m very very proud of what I am, who I am, this country, the US soilders that actually liberated this country (the real amis) not the fake ones like you uneducated nothings that hide under the US umbrella here. What have you done in your life rather just being a white person? eh? tell me!

And I love the present day beliefs of the good western people, afterall people like you are NOTHING even in your own country..but me, I am worthy in my country, I´m a well educated black man,I´m an entreprenuer (even as an immigrnat in europe)I pay my tax, "for junkies like you to afford internet & beer" & I´m happily married with two fine kids. And you? you just sit there and think you can open your dirty mind to think negative about me just because I´m an immigrant?? lol..God! I can only laugh about you. And who told you other countries don´t have constitutions?? you see how ignorant you are? do you even know where Africa or Asia is? maybe you think you can get there with a train from your village right? yeah I know stuff like you. You don´t know nothing so just shut up ok? just leave it & stop being jelous/insecured cos of me:-)
15:20 February 22, 2011 by idiot
> liberating europe

16:06 February 22, 2011 by Surferjoe
"As I said, they (amis) were just pursuing their own interests."

And aren't we lucky! If they hadn't been we'd all be speaking Russian now. Its always been fashionable for the left to hit the amis over the head here in europe. Envy is a unbecoming quality at any time but to bite the hand that gives you a leg up, mixed metaphors aside, is stupid and counterproductive. The West needs to stick together now more than ever.

I'd reply to Johnne's post but I find it mostly unreadable. Perhaps if go back to school for three years more as he suggests I'll be able to appreciate Dr. Johnne's erudite postings a bit more.
16:20 February 22, 2011 by idiot
> If they hadn't been we'd all be speaking Russian now

Where is the problem with that?

For all "western world" economy giants, but especially and much higher for the US economy were the WKI and the WKII the super booms.

Its may said, that were rich because of this, but its more sad that ppl who declare themself as smart asses, also declare the incoming of US forces to europe in the late of both wars as liberation of europe.

> The West needs to stick together now more than ever.

Why, should be the ppl in the "west" be afraid of something?

Why the ppl in the west should stay together now more then ever?

Sounds paranoid. Explain that.
17:15 February 22, 2011 by LecteurX
Oh well, oh well, Surferjoe, I always find it amusing when people run out of proper arguments and bring on the lethal weapons: the "IFs" and the "WOULDs"! Congratulations! So we "would" all be speaking Russian, yeah? Who told you that? Your crystal ball?

"The West needs to stick together"... what's that now? No wait, actually I wish the West would stick together too; indeed I wish the whole of mankind would stick together instead of fighting the wars of the moneyed elites. But "sticking together" does not mean flattening yourself like a carpet under the Big Boss's feet. It's been clear for years that the US was wrong to invade Iraq, the Neocons lied to the world to justify this, luckily France and Germany stayed out of this mess. Were we wrong not to have "stuck together" with them on that one? There was a country that used to invent lies to invade others, you know: "Seit 5 Uhr 45 wird jetzt zurückgeschossen", does that ring a bell?

Sticking together does not mean toppling Allendes of the world and replacing them with Pinochets, thousands of km from your shores, or invading former allies (which Iraq was) to grab their oil on a whim.

Maybe you're right, Western Europe's interests vastly overlap the US's interests, that makes us "lucky" as you put it. As soon as it is no longer the case, you'll see if you "luck" lasts much longer. In any case, Latin American countries know that too well.

And you say what? "Envy"? I beg your pardon?

You sound like a rightwing nutter. I don't want to hit the "Amis" on the head, I just laugh at rightwing nutters like you who sycophantically approve of anything the Big Boss does without being able to admit that the US, as all other nations, made some terrible mistakes as well, especially putting the interests of big corporations above those of the people (they did that at home too).

And your rhetorics about immigrants, Sharia law and human rights is just a sickening mess anyway. This plus your ridiculous statement about "envy", coming strictly out of nowhere, is enough for me to realise I should stop wasting my time.

Have a nice evening, peace on you and may God have mercy on you some day and grant you a little capacity for autonomous thinking. You seem to be quite literate nevertheless, so maybe stopping reading Huntington, Sarrazin and all that rubbish, would be a good starting point.
17:31 February 22, 2011 by Surferjoe
Sure envy, thats what its called. And we don't need a crystal ball to know what would have happened had the amis not stuck around in europe after the war. As we all know the Russians did not stop their march westward out of the goodness of their hearts. As for autonomous thinking LecteurX, its plain that you wouldn't recognize it if it came up and kissed you.
17:41 February 22, 2011 by Johnne
Sufferjoe, how do you know what I wrote when you couldn´t read my comment? can you see that you can´t win with hate? part of what I meant about the "amis not being so popular" is the Iraq invasion & all those wrong policies that always backfire. You know yourself it had nothing to do with immigrants. What have immigrants done to deserve that much hate from people like you? think of it yourself! as LecteurX mentioned, peace be on to you. I guess you must have learnt a lot from a very sensible person like him. I pray for you I pray that God remove the spirit of fear and enviness from your heart/mind. Immigrants didn´t offend you, leave us be.
17:54 February 22, 2011 by LecteurX
Repeating vacuous claims ad infinitem won't make them any more valid.

> what "would" have happened...

> It's "plain" (oh, really? care to explain why?) that you WOULDn't recognise it IF it came up...

"Would", "if"... Yawn.

No need to say more. I'll leave all the fortune-telling to you, I'll stick to the fact-based discussions - the part that you conveniently choose to avoid. Pah!
18:01 February 22, 2011 by idiot
> And we don't need a crystal ball to know what would have happened had the amis not stuck around in europe after the war. As we all know the Russians did not stop their march westward out of the goodness of their hearts.

Under the premise of liberation from the evil will no one realize what this - indeed nice resulting for whole europe but especially for germany - intervention of US in WWI and WWII had right?

And now stop telling this bullshit.

If russia would have taken europe, the one you want to be envy would have suffered one of theire biggest economy crisis in the history if not the ruined rest of europe would have offered giant markets to the US.

And before you start whining or posting furios now: Answere my question above.

What brings you to the statement that the "western world" need to stay close together? I see big markets in other parts of the world. Right now the the situation is bearable with an ailing US economy as main customer of european and especially german products.

I dont see any effort on staying togetehr closer then ever now. Is it maybe the fear of the total collapse of US economy, your holy nation? Dont worrie sweatheart, europe fix the US once again - for theire own interests this time :-*
18:40 February 22, 2011 by Surferjoe
Are you really the simpleton you pretend to be LecteurX? I hope not. In case you are I will point out the obvious. It was absolutely in America's interest to safeguard Europe as America has proved over and over again. If the Nazis or the Russians had overrun europe it would have been a tragedy for the whole world including the US but it would have been a calamity for europe itself. How does permanent lodgings in a consentration camp appeal to you? Both the nazis and the russians and now the Islamofascists would be glad to provide them for you.

Count your blessings courtesy of Uncle Sam LecteurX. Without him chances are you would be starving along with a large percentage of the rest of humanity. Idiot.
18:46 February 22, 2011 by marimay

You really are a cuckoo bird.
23:01 February 22, 2011 by Surferjoe
You owe it to yourself to become educated about the parallels between Islamofascism and fascism marimay. As Christopher Hitchens makes the following comparison:

¦quot;The most obvious points of comparison would be these: Both movements are based on a cult of murderous violence that exalts death and destruction and despises the life of the mind. ("Death to the intellect! Long live death!" as Gen. Francisco Franco's sidekick Gonzalo Queipo de Llano so pithily phrased it.) Both are hostile to modernity (except when it comes to the pursuit of weapons), and both are bitterly nostalgic for past empires and lost glories. Both are obsessed with real and imagined "humiliations" and thirsty for revenge. Both are chronically infected with the toxin of anti-Jewish paranoia (interestingly, also, with its milder cousin, anti-Freemason paranoia). Both are inclined to leader worship and to the exclusive stress on the power of one great book. Both have a strong commitment to sexual repression-especially to the repression of any sexual "deviance"-and to its counterparts the subordination of the female and contempt for the feminine. Both despise art and literature as symptoms of degeneracy and decadence; both burn books and destroy museums and treasures.

I'll leave this subject to the rest of you to thrash out for yourselves. In the meantime is "Dr" Guttenberg still minister or has he done the right thing...
07:38 February 23, 2011 by marimay
You owe it to yourself to worry more about the freedoms that are taken away from you on a daily basis in the US.

When you go about chasing make believe you're distracted from whats going on behind your back.
10:49 February 23, 2011 by Surferjoe
There's nothing make believe about 9/11, 7/7 in England, the Madrid bombings, the shoe bomber, the attack on the USS Cole, the underware bomber, the Bali bombings, etc.etc.etc.etc.

It isn't Islamophobia when they really are trying to kill you."
11:26 February 23, 2011 by LecteurX
SurferJoe, you dare call me an "idiot" just because I happen to disagree with your freakish racist and neo-conservative views. That speaks volumes about how seriously we need to take your dire warnings about "fascism".

I note that you finally acknowledge that it was the US's interest to rescue Europe (and Asia btw, don't forget the billions of people there, ah, I forgot, they're not "Western" so they're irrelevant), which is ALL I said in the first place. All that makes the cuddly Americans a notch better than their past and present enemies is their avowed commitment to such values as human rights and individual freedoms, but then that doesn't account to much when those professed values stand in the way of Big Business making Big Money, as the US has pretty well demonstrated over and over throughout the last century, be it at home, close to home or in far-flung countries thousands of miles away. Examples abound, I gave you but a few very factual cases in my previous posts, but you keep ignoring these and rambling on about IFs, WOULDs and now "chances are", which is no better. You also carefully tiptoe around the very valid and inambiguous questions raised by others here, which is because the answers have not yet been drummed into your brains by your propapanga masters, so you can't answer them. Instead, all you have to provide us is fantasies, speculation and grand quotes on the few catchphrases on which you've read the rubbish that taught you how to "think".

Permanent lodgings in a concentration camps are not my taste, probably I'd have ended up in one if we were in a fascist state, "chances are" you wouldn't, seen what your ideology is, you would have flourished under such a state, and the sad thing is that you can't even realise this. I'll note that even the US has its own concentration camp, the most notorious one being Gitmo, but there are others...

Finally, I'll point out to you that "a large percentage" of humanity is ALREADY starving, in countless places where agriculture was destroyed by the US-led IMF and other institutions, that all these food problems would be solved with a mere 20% of the yearly armament expenditures worldwide or even less. I don't need to name the one country which already spends one half of said expenditures, and how very little tackling starvation accounts in the US agenda, because Big Business prefers Big Weapons to food.

Your "reasoning" (which rather deserves to be called "parroting or others' ideas") is appallingly simplistic, which is usually the case with conservatives. So simplistic that you have to resort to insults and epithets to make up for the gaping holes in your knowledge. That's truly pathetic. Now for sure I've wasted enough time on you.

Bye, hatemonger.
12:42 February 23, 2011 by Johnne

It is obvious that you are indeed a shameless person. you ought to logg off and never come back to this forum, people like you intend to turn this website to your skinhead-campaign website, hoping to catch some followers right? yeah right :-) well sorry "skinhead" you ain´t got a chance here.
13:31 February 23, 2011 by Surferjoe
Of course I should know better, sorry to disturb you both. Have a nice day.
07:05 February 24, 2011 by Talonx
@ Surferjoe

...the Christian Genocides in Africa, Northern Ireland, nuclear weoponry, the majority of wars being fought in the world today. Hitch needs to recognize that all religions are created equal when it comes to condoning and promulgating violence.

BACK TO THE TOPIC, this man (Guttnberg) is slime, pure and simple, wash him away.
13:18 February 24, 2011 by Surferjoe
Thats not quite true. As the saying goes all muslims may not be terrorists but a great percentage of terrorists are muslim. Jihad in whatever manner is explicitly part of the muslim religion. And I don't think its fair to say that Christianity is responsible for most of the wars or nuclear weapons. The new testament in the bible which postdates the old testament is one of love and compassion even for sinners. What christians in name only perpetrate cannot be counted against a religion to which they pay only lip service.
18:01 February 24, 2011 by avserb
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
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