The False Narrative of a “Manhunt” in Chemnitz

Last August three young men were attacked by culture-enrichers in the eastern German city of Chemnitz, and one of the victims later died. There were mass demonstrations in response the following week. An antifa group used a brief video of a confrontation that took place during the demos, and mischaracterized what happened in it, claiming that it showed a “manhunt” of foreigners by right-wing extremists. The media eagerly ran with the story — the arbiters of German politics and culture are Wessis, and are always ready to look down on Ossis as backward racists.

The government took its cue from the media. Even Chancellor Merkel chimed in to condemn the “manhunt” in Chemnitz. When the president of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans Georg Maaßen, said that the intelligence services had no indication that any such manhunts had occurred, he was pressured into resigning his position.

Now, almost ten months later, the government of Angela Merkel has finally admitted that it got its information from the mainstream media, and had never done any actual investigation of the allegations about a “manhunt” in Chemnitz.

So at last there is a clear chain of custody for the false narrative about what happened in Chemnitz: It was manufactured by a far-left antifa group, accepted and amplified uncritically by the mainstream media, and then adopted equally uncritically by the federal government of Germany. A member of the government whose sense of integrity required that he tell the truth was forced out of his office, and the government officially stonewalled any questions about the narrative for many months afterwards.

The two videos below concern the eventual debunking of the Chemnitz narrative. The first shows a brief speech in the Bundestag by Ulrich Oehme, who represents Saxony for the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany). Mr. Oehme draws the chamber’s attention to the government’s deliberate propagation of the false narrative on Chemnitz, and demands that Angela Merkel step down as chancellor.

The second video is a report by Epoch Times that gives a detailed description and a timeline of events between August 2018 and June 2019.

Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translations, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling.

Video 1: Dr. Merkel, Step Down!

Video 2: A Timeline of the False Narrative

Video transcript #1:

00:00   Mr. President. Ladies and Gentlemen of parliament. As you know, I’m a Saxon, from the Erzgebirge and Chemnitz.
00:09   In other words, one of those people who, in your opinion, come from the dark parts of Germany. Those parts of
00:14   Germany that the Federal Government uses as a scapegoat to distract from its own incompetence and failed policy.
00:20   What really happened in Chemnitz? The weekend of the Chemnitz city festival,
00:27   in the early morning of Sunday August 25, three young Germans were seriously injured with knives.
00:34   Each one of them was stabbed, but Daniel Hillig died at the scene of the crime.
00:38   In spite of this bloody act, the city festival continued that Sunday. People with a conscience and moral attitudes
00:48   couldn’t understand how the festival could continue after such a crime, as if nothing had happened.
00:54   This was the obvious reason for the spontaneous demonstrations that took place once the festival ended.
01:05   Festival visitors, including families with children, joined this demonstration. I was there myself.
01:12   While we were marching, we were constantly provoked by people standing apart.
01:17   And this is exactly where the video “Bunny (Haase) you stay here” was made,
01:23   which was later used by the Federal Government and Chancellor Merkel as evidence of a manhunt.
01:28   This was done without verifying its origin or giving information about its distribution via the Antifa Zeckenbiss
01:35   portal. And by the way, it took us six months to receive an answer to our inquiry, just so listeners outside understand.
01:45   That is the reason we are here today. The intriguing question is: why did the Chancellor attach such importance
01:51   to this FAKE video? The Chemnitzer police, the public prosecutor’s office of Saxony, the Regional Free Press
01:58   and later even the entrenched President of the Constitutional Protection Agency himself confirmed that
02:02   NO manhunts took place in Chemnitz. This video was perfectly suited to distract from the failed refugee policy of
02:09   our Chancellor. She and her press spokesman Seibert deliberately assented to this, and that’s the real scandal.
02:19   It’s scandalous that the population of Chemnitz, of Saxony and the entire republic have been permanently damaged
02:25   in international terms by this.
02:30   In the social media networks of the Arab community, the reporting that took place caused calls for hatred and hostility
02:36   toward Germans. And what’s interesting in this context is the terminology that was used.
02:41   I would like to quote here two sources, with your permission. The first source: “In the area of the central station
02:48   angry mobs were a disturbance at the festival and paralysed public transport.”
02:54   And the second: “Such angry mobs, and hunting down people dot, dot, dot.”
03:00   Do you notice anything about the style of speech used?
03:03   Both statements were made by state authorities about the citizens of Chemnitz. Both were made by governments
03:09   who feared for their power. The first was about the citizens of the GDR on 9th of October 1989, and the other
03:17   by federal spokesman Seibert at the press conference on 27th of August 2018.
03:29   Don’t let it worry you, though. The people in Chemnitz and in Saxony and in the rest of the country have seen through you.
03:36   Your great speeches about the unity of the nation are simply hypocritical. You stand up here and pass judgement
03:43   on the same people whom you praised the day before for their courageousness and peaceful revolution 30 years ago.
03:49   This shows that you are no longer concerned about the well-being of this country and its people,
03:53   but only about your political survival. From these events following the murder of Daniel Hillig and the action taken
04:00   by the Federal Government, above all, the lack of empathy shown to its citizens, there can only be one conclusion:
04:04   Doctor Merkel please, please protect our country and our people from further harm and step down.

Video transcript #2:

00:00   For the most part false reporting and rumours don’t happen by coincidence. They are purposefully spread.
00:05   What if left-wing extremists purposefully use it to distract from a crime committed by migrants and fabricate a story
00:12   about something that never really happened?
00:17   And what if the left leaning media runs with the story, spreading it without checking?
00:21   Imagine the government’s press secretary, even the Chancellor accepting it without any verification and disseminating it.
00:27   A warm welcome to Epoch Times In Focus. My name is Florian Godovitzs.
00:32   Today we are going to examine a comment from a guest author Jürgen Fritz.
00:36   The title of the article is: “Will government spokesperson Seibert and Merkel now have to answer for their hate speech?”
00:45   “For the most part false reporting and rumours don’t happen by coincidence. They are purposefully spread.” That’s what the blog
00:51   “Die Kieker (Die Spoekenkiekerei)” wrote on the 30th of August 2018 in the wake of the fictitious Chemnitzer manhunts claims.
01:02   The blog continues: “The claims in this case that on Sunday, August 26th there were ‘manhunts’, ‘foreigners chased down’
01:15   and ‘pogroms’ in the city of Chemnitz still remains unverified. Almost all the media outlets adopted this narrative in the days
01:23   that followed, although there is no evidence of it to this day. There are no victims or suspects, there are no videos or testimonies,
01:32   the police have no knowledge of it, and the editor-in-chief of the local regional newspaper says that his reporters
01:40   saw no such thing. This is a classic case of Fake News.”
01:46   How did this information come into existence? We have tried to illustrate the course of events.
01:54   According to Fritz, if his research is correct and indeed genuine, the implications are incomprehensible.
02:02   The article ends with the following words: “Concerning the alleged fact of the alleged manhunt scenes the government spokesman
02:10   Steffen Seibert literally said this on following Monday at 11 a.m.” —Angry mobs hunting down people with a different appearances
02:19   or origins or the attempt to spread hate on the streets will not be tolerated in our cities and has no place.
02:28   I speak for the Federal Republic of Germany in condemning this in the strongest terms.”
02:34   Although the “manhunts” were never verified then or now, they became official facts because
02:40   of the Federal Government. According to Fritz, the government spokesman adopted the Antifa version without hesitation
02:50   and criminalised the peaceful but disorderly protests of hundreds of citizens with the slogan “manhunts”.
03:00   That nearly every media outlet took part for days is the actual scandal.
03:06   In November 2018, after weeks of research, Tichys Einblick was able to contact the person who filmed the 19-second video
03:16   from Chemnitz that was seen around the world. The claim and then later assertion from the radical leftist group Antifa Zeckenbiss
03:26   was that it showed migrants being hunted down or a manhunt. This portrayal was then adopted uncritically by many leading media outlets
03:36   and even by the Chancellor and her government spokesman. Later it was used as an instrument to distract from
03:46   the presumed migrant murder or homicide of the 35-year-old Daniel H.
03:53   Here is a clear-cut reconstruction in short form of how everything might have happened.
04:01   Antifa Zeckenbiss made up a story around the video images, claiming it showed hate crimes or migrants being hunted down
04:09   by right-wingers, which was then obviously very gratefully received by many mainstream media outlets.
04:18   According to Fritz, here another huge campaign was launched, a campaign of lies, that went all the way up.
04:25   Straight to the top of the chancellery. This is when president of the constitutional protection Hans Georg Maaßen dared to doubt
04:34   the “truth” monopoly of some media outlets. As the former president of the federal intelligence service Gerhard Schindler
04:43   puts it, “the real manhunt was launched.” It wasn’t after the immigrants but rather the constitutional protector Mr. Maaßen,
04:54   because in just a few sentences he let us see what the truth is about. On Friday the 7th of June 2019
05:05   the alleged Chemnitz manhunts of August 26, 2018, will be the subject of a one-hour debate in the German Bundestag.
05:15   This answer from the federal government came at the request of the AFD inquiring about the sources of information and
05:24   background knowledge that the government spokesman Steffen Seibert and Chancellor Angela Merkel used when
05:32   they spoke about manhunts and roaming mobs on the afternoon and evening of August 26, 2018 in Chemnitz.
05:40   The police in Chemnitz, the public prosecutor’s office, as well as local media who were present that day in Chemnitz confirmed
05:50   exactly the opposite —that there were no “manhunts” of migrants. In response to the inquiry, the federal government of Germany
06:02   makes the absolute appalling admission: “The political context of the federal government was based on media reports.”
06:14   Phrased correctly, a very certain kind of media was used. It was the false, scurrilous and unverified narrative of the Antifa Zeckenbiss,
06:24   thus making themselves accomplices of left-wing extremists.
06:30   The reply from the federal government continues: “The regional and national press reported that people with a migration
06:39   background had been chased down by those who left the marches. Violence was used against people with a migration
06:49   background due to their appearance.” So before the start of the press conference on 27th of August 2018, Steffen Seibert,
07:03   the spokesman for the federal government, mentioned “manhunts” the first time, without contacting with the Saxon police, without
07:10   contacting the public prosecutor’s office, without speaking with political decision-makers in Saxony, and neglected
07:19   to contact any local emergency services. Nevertheless, he rants in Antifa Zeckenbiss jargon, using the word “manhunt” to stir up hate
07:33   and cause division among the German people; pitting one side against the other. He wasn’t alone.
07:39   The Chancellor did the same thing one day later: she spoke about “manhunts” without having any contact with the Saxon police,
07:48   or the public prosecutor’s office, without speaking with political decision-makers in Saxony, and she never spoke with the local
07:56   emergency services. She did adopt the unverified Antifa Zeckenbiss narrative and jargon.
08:04   Apparently there was also no contact with the local hospitals to inquire whether injured people had been admitted.
08:14   Whether people were actually injured obviously didn’t interest anyone in the government.
08:22   The truth is more than likely that not a single person was even touched, let alone hurt, let alone hurt so badly that
08:30   they should have been admitted to the hospital. No, it was about something completely different here.
08:37   This was about creating a targeted distraction from the actual crime: The migrant murder or homicide of the 35-year-old Daniel H.
08:46   Therefore a targeted campaign against the right was initiated or at least heated up further.
08:54   The federal government has refused to answer why it never contacted all of the above-mentioned parties to obtain information.
09:05   This means both the government spokesman Seibert and the Chancellor herself adopted the narrative of a specific left-wing
09:14   mass media without verification. These same media outlets disseminated unverified statements from the left-wing
09:21   extremist group Antifa Zeckenbiss, which turned out to be lies. In so doing they incited parts of their own population against
09:30   other parts of the same population. In every normal functioning constitutional state this would not only have to lead to
09:37   their immediate resignation, but also to an immediate examination of what extent criminal offences had been committed
09:45   by both Seibert and Merkel, and they would have to be held accountable accordingly.
09:52   From all of us at Epoch Times in Focus, thank you for watching and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel, click the like
10:03   and notification buttons so you don’t miss any of our videos. Until the next time.

2 thoughts on “The False Narrative of a “Manhunt” in Chemnitz

  1. Doesn’t surprise me.

    Anyone know what kind of reaction the main stream media in Germany have been handling this since this has come out?

    Mike from Brooklyn

    • No news about the alledged manhunt.
      And more than that: if there is a real manhunt with people getting injured, there are no reports as well….
      provided the hunted person was a AfD lawmaker or politician. The media began talking of manhunt, then government spokesman quoted that there were media reports about manhunts.And sure enough that is prove of the plain and pure truth.

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