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German rower: 'It was my decision to quit'

The Local · 6 Aug 2012, 17:14

Published: 06 Aug 2012 17:14 GMT+02:00

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In an interview with news agency DPA, Drygalla distanced herself from far-right ideologies, and said that the last few days had been "rather stressful and rather surprising."

The 23-year-old said that she had been summoned to a meeting with German Olympic federation director Michael Vesper on Thursday, who asked her about her relationship with neo-Nazi Michael Fischer. "During the conversation and advice, I made the suggestion that I leave the Olympic village," she said. "It was my decision.

"I just wanted to take the burden off the team, who were still in the competition and had to concentrate on it," she said."

Fischer ran as NPD candidate for the Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania state parliament in 2011, but the party confirmed on Monday that he had left the party in May this year.

For that reason, Drygalla said she was very surprised by the media reaction. "I considered the issue over for me personally before the Olympic Games," she said.

She also added that Fischer's political views had always been a burden on their five-year relationship. "In many discussions with him I said that I didn't share his opinions and don't support them," she said. "When it reached its climax, we did not have a happy relationship. I thought about breaking up."

"I have no connection to his circle of friends and that scene and absolutely reject it," she said. Adding that she had never been to any neo-Nazi demonstrations, though Fischer had used her car to drive to some.

Since she left London, it emerged that Drygalla was briefly investigated by the secret service and German media reports say they these were given up upon finding no evidence of her involvement with the far-right.

Drygalla also said that it was her decision to step down from the police force last year, after officers questioned whether she could remain loyal to the force. "I came to the conclusion myself that there were conflicts, so I stepped down voluntarily," she said. "It was very difficult to leave, because I was giving up some future security."

The Süddeutsche Zeitung cast doubt on Fischer's claims that he was stepping out of the far-right scene, saying he still had many neo-Nazi friends listed on Facebook.

Story continues below…

The paper also found that he had disrupted a memorial service for a victim of a far-right terrorist in Rostock in February.

The Drygalla case has sparked a national debate in Germany, with Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière criticising the public reaction. "Where are the limits?" he said Monday. "Does the public have the right to screen athletes' circles of friends to see what's going on?"

The Local/DPA/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:44 August 6, 2012 by Masala
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:34 August 6, 2012 by Harry Grouse
It may< as well be 1939 can Germany not wake up!?
20:52 August 6, 2012 by Ronkneelives
What a depressing story. This young athelete has had years of hard work destroyed by what is in effect a bunch of politcally correct left wing thugs and bullies, proving that fascism can come from any political direction. Germany hang your head in shame
21:46 August 6, 2012 by Masala
kein sex mit nazis ... as the t-shirts say. It's a good basic rule and she broke it. No way she deserves to be in the Olympics. Best outcome.
23:47 August 6, 2012 by Ronkneelives
Spoken like a true fascist
03:53 August 7, 2012 by DOZ
Never judge a Young Adult by the Politics they keep. Most of America's Anti-War Anti-American Socialists Flower Children of the 60's, grew to be Capitalist Yuppies.
05:50 August 7, 2012 by hanskarl
Wrong. Neo-Capitalist Socialist Yuppies would be a better title.
07:02 August 7, 2012 by wenddiver
Wow, they just negated what little value an entire World War had. If the war had any value that justified such a huge loss in human life it was the idea of the Western Democracies that the value of the individual trumped the establishment authorized thouhts. Ever sinc Martin Luther's" here I stand moment" ended the Middle Ages and heralded in the Idea that the beliefs and conscience of the individual are just as relevant Western thought has moved forward by protecting the right of the individual to think, without penalty. When a State or an Authority figure use the power of the many to suppress the thoughts, feelings or in this case associations of a young girl with the power of a nation or an International Authority they embrace the ideals of Adolf Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc., not her.

Freedom is to hold the individual responsible for violations of laws against specific actions, not for their thoughts or beliefs. It is the difference between why the occupying powers arrested actually Communist spys and tolerated protests of the Western Democracies troops by leftists during the Cold War.

The Representative of Germany's Olympic Commitee who took the Authoritarian stance that the individual had to justify hrself to them was the one advocating the Totalitarian values and worse the actions that should be punishable. The kids of the White Rose, the Hitler Bombers, Dietrick Bohnhoffer and too many others were guilty, before they acted, by the regime , because of their thoughts, their thoughts were the actual crime in a totalitarian society. In a Free society an individual is allowed to be wrong or right, the government or Society justifies itself to the individual, not the other way around and Society is only allowed to punish crimes and not thoughts or associations.
08:30 August 7, 2012 by Ozichick
So it's a matter of one being able to have political beliefs so long as they reflect the opinions of a few narrow-minded bigots; namely left-wing morons! This athlete worked hard most of her life to achieve her status so Germany should hang its head in shame. Time to let Hitler go and move on!
13:48 August 7, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Agreed. Time to let Hitler go and move on. Her boyfriend and his comrades should do the same or she should dump him if she really does deserve to represent Germany.
05:46 August 8, 2012 by Tharwat
Hello everybody, would you be so protective if it would be the case of a wife of an extreme Islamic Jihad member who wishes to represent her country.... knowing that she has nothing to do with his daily activities.... its hard to build a wall in the bedroom of a 5 year relationship and I dont expect them to have any specially here in Germany, where people are free to choose their paartners, unlike Islamic countries where women have not much to say about being forced into a strange mans bedroom under the umbrella of marraige... so if our Olympian was in conflict with the essence of this man who had cost her a secure job and her sports dream and she is still with him then, there can only be one reason ( he is a billionair ).

thank you all for reading my crazy thoughts and comments (at 5 in the morning) have a nice rest of the week.... by the way shes good looking, and my friend is single so if you see her let her know ;)
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