Following last week’s police raid against 25 people plotting a coup in Germany (the European Conservative reported), Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) announced plans to remove anti-democratic forces from government-affiliated positions in public service. One of the leading figures in last week’s raid, accused of conspiring against the government, had been working as a judge; another was an officer of the German Bundeswehr. Faeser said she wanted to rework the disciplinary law to remove suspects preemptively from their positions, while simultaneously overturning the concept of the presumption of innocence. Henceforth, the burden of proving oneself innocent lies with the suspect.
The very day the police raided more than 150 homes of potential conspirators, Faeser appeared in the German talk show Maischberger. Asked about the planned amendment to the disciplinary law, Faeser said that “it’s about a change in disciplinary law, allowing us to build on actual misconduct.”
BLOCKQUOTE If someone is guilty of fantasies of a coup, wants to overthrow the basic democratic order, then he has no more business in public service. Then you have to be able to get someone out quickly, and I think we found a good idea how to do that, because you can easily change the disciplinary law in order to get someone out of civil service by means of an administrative act, leaving him with the burden of proof to say, ‘I’m decent and I didn’t do anything wrong’.
Faeser’s comments come at the heels of a statement from the Interior Minister of the State of Lower Saxony, her party colleague Boris Pistorius. In an interview with t-online, Pistorius demanded a culture of watchfulness and action within governmental institutions: “He who covers for somebody else, endangers the entire organization.”
A hint of opposition to these plans comes from the CDU. Christian Haase, Federal Chairman of the Municipal Politics Association of the CDU-CSU Union, criticized Faeser for wanting to “fire civil servants based on the suspicion of an anti-constitutional attitude. This is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” It remains to be seen, however, whether the CDU will oppose such an amendment of the disciplinary law. One day after Faeser’s statements, Federal Chairman of the CDU Friedrich Merz congratulated the members of the traffic light coalition on their first anniversary, stressing that the CDU “extended a hand to the traffic light coalition during the first year of its work.”
While the discussion centers around the removal of judges, soldiers, and police, the proposed change would also affect teachers in schools and universities. Curricula in Germany have become increasingly left-leaning over the past decade, and politicians have long tried to hinder conservatives and right-wingers from teaching at schools. Given that Nancy Faeser published a guest commentary in the newspaper Antifa as recently as 2021, it is likely that her measures against anti-democratic civil servants will focus heavily on removing right-wingers and conservatives from the apparatus. And with the inversion of the concept of the presumption of innocence, the witch hunt against conservatives will resemble the investigative methods of its early modern counterparts even more.