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Guttenberg's father likens plagiarism scandal to 'tsunami'

The Local · 10 Jul 2011, 14:25

Published: 10 Jul 2011 14:25 GMT+02:00

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"We are still picking up the pieces," he wrote, in a book excerpt published on Sunday by Focus magazine.

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg resigned his post as defence minister in early March, after admitting that he plagiarized significant portions of his doctoral thesis. He also dropped his Dr. title, admitting that he made “serious errors,” though unintentionally.

Guttenberg's alma mater, the University of Bayreuth, officially stripped the popular politician of his law doctorate.

Now, his father has come to the disgraced politician's defence, slamming journalists for their relentless coverage of the scandal. He also accused reporters of "publicly bashing" his son and abusing press freedom.

"Relatives and staff were downright ambushed – to the point that people close to me were offered bribe attempts in the five-figures to get information on our private lives," he wrote.

Enoch zu Guttenberg said his son had never given him a reason to doubt his truthfulness. "I can't look into my son's head, but I think I can see into his heart," he said.

Karl-Theodor's task now, Enoch said, was proving the integrity of his character among those who trusted and loved him.

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"It's about credibility, which is something you can't lose at high points or in times of defeat," he said. "That's something that he and we have to fight for. Losing credibility would be losing the family's identity."

The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:20 July 10, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
I think it's more than just mildly ironic that Mr. Guttenberg's dad complains about the yellow press manhunt on his son in the plagiarism scandal.

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and his wife, like few other celebrities (if you can call them that) in recent years, immensely profited from the boulevard media touting them as a kind of ersatz royal family to the unwashed masses, and if not that, at least Germany's next chancellor family. And when Karl-Theodor suddenly found himself on the receiving end of the yellow press's usual bold-faced sensationalism, through his own wrongdoing, no less, well, what did he expect? That they were going to handle him with velvet gloves??

It's a bit like in Goethe's "Der Zauberlehrling" - "Die ich rief, die Geister,

Werd ich nun nicht los".
16:30 July 10, 2011 by harcourt
I wonder where his father was when little Karl wanted guidance about honesty and integrity??
17:53 July 10, 2011 by Aelfgifu1
He wrote a whole book so fast? Something tells me it's not his own work. ;)
17:55 July 10, 2011 by pepsionice
Payback is often sweet. The next SPD chancellor with a degree? Imagine a hundred journalists going after him. The next Green guy of significance in the government? Figure at least two hundred journalists checking out his degree. In ten years....the only top level political figures will be former plumbers or farmers....without degrees.

Find me one single German politician with a masters degree who hasn't bent the rules on the thesis....and I'll be shocked. It's the same in the US. Everyone in the education establishment has cheapen the degree process and it's just not worth the effort anymore.
20:10 July 10, 2011 by Loth
Like the Terminator in the movies, I have this feeling he will be back.
20:10 July 10, 2011 by strahlungsamt
Every job I ever had in Germany, I had to be super-perfectly exactly correct in everything I did, and even then it wasn't enough. If I showed a degree and it turned out to be a lie or a fake, I would be out the door in 3 seconds. In Germany it's Ordnung, Ordnung, Ordnung.

So why is it this multi-billionaire inbred royal twerp can get away with it and I can't?
20:51 July 10, 2011 by DrStrangelove
@ pepsionice

"Find me one single German politician with a masters degree who hasn't bent the rules on the thesis....and I'll be shocked"

Consider yourself shocked, then. There is a website dedicated to the detection of plagiarism in Nils Schmid's thesis -


Nothing has been found in several months.

I don't think this is an exception, but rather the rule - I'm pretty sure a lot more theses have been looked at and passed muster in the last couple of months.
21:15 July 10, 2011 by catjones
Bribes in Germany? Heavens to Betsy it must be the start of a new week.
10:04 July 11, 2011 by Rant&Rave

"He wrote a whole book so fast? Something tells me it's not his own work. ;) "

03:33 July 12, 2011 by lunchbreak
New Flash - The family has indeed lost all credibility. Getting it back will take some mighty heavy lifting.
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