By John Helmer who has been the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to have directed his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. Originally published at Dances with Bears
No German currently employed by the country’s mainstream or internet media dares to disbelieve that dawn raids last Wednesday by 3,000 armed police and troops, capturing 130 premises and arresting 25 individuals – conducted in secret in front of dozens of press photographers and reporters – was a successful strike against the German state’s internal and external enemies. The official press release by the federal prosecutor adds that another 27 individuals have been targeted but not yet captured. “In addition, premises of non-suspects are searched,” the federal government statement said.
Even the leftwing Berlin newspaper, Junge Welt, reported its conviction that the operation was “reminiscent of the 1920s: A nobleman, military personnel and a judge belonging to the AfD wanted to instigate a coup with a group of Reich citizens.”
The light of Hamburg has gone blind.
No one in Germany is remembering the operation of June 29-July 1, 1934: that’s when Adolph Hitler, already chancellor but not yet fuhrer, with Heinrich Himmler of the SS, and Goebbels, arranged the liquidation of his critics and opponents led by Ernst Röhm, who was accused of receiving a large bribe from France to replace Hitler in a coup. Operation Hummingbird, Goebbels called it, to remove several dozen of the “politically unreliable”. The Night of the Long Knives the operation has been called ever since.
Speaking for Scholz, the German federal prosecutor’s office has announced the plotters were a terrorist organization planning to overthrow the state “through the use of military means and violence against state representatives; this also included commissioning killings.” The German Interior Minister of Scholz’s Social Democratic Party said the arrests prevented an “abyss of terrorist threat”. The Free Democratic Party in Scholz’s ruling coalition declared: “This is not about Germany at all, it is in truth about the destruction of parliamentary democracy.” The spokesman of Die Linke, the German left opposition, said the raid was “further evidence of the worrying presence of a militant, armed and internationally networked right-wing scene in Germany.”
Reported immediately by Financial Times, the Japanese propaganda organ in London, Scholz had struck against “the threat posed to western states by far-right extremism turbocharged by radical conspiracy theories such as QAnon”. The Washington Post uncovered experts to reassure Germans who have received Covid-19 vaccinations or who are Jewish that they are now safe from the “alleged plot to topple the German government, led by a self-styled prince, a retired paratrooper and a Berlin judge, had its roots in a murky mixture of post-war grudges, antisemitic conspiracy theories and anger over recent pandemic restrictions.”
The New York Times uncovered not only a German plot but evidence of how farsighted the New York Times itself had been in advance. “Among the items uncovered was a list containing 18 names of politicians considered enemies, possibly to be deported and executed, among them Chancellor Olaf Scholz, people familiar with the raids told The New York Times, requesting anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation. This was the latest of a series of plots discovered in recent years of extremist networks preparing for a day the democratic order collapses, a day they call Day X, the subject of a New York Times podcast series last year.”
In Warsaw the Poles are laughing.
Polish officials and independent analysts in Warsaw have judged the German government operation preposterous, incompetent, unoriginal. “It reminds me of the plot in Poland in 2015,” noted Stanislas Balcerac, “where an instable academician was propped up by Polish secret service agents to prepare a false-flag plot to attack the Polish parliament – the Brunon Kwiecien affair.” The Polish media are editorialising that the Germans who have been sharply critical of the Polish government for its attempts to lift the immunity of bad judges, are now silent while the German police have just now arrested Brigit Malsack-Winkemann, who is still a judge in Berlin. “If the Poles did the same,” according to Balcerac, “there would be an immediate international outcry.”
In Moscow, Dmitry Medvedev, the former president and currently deputy secretary of the Security Council, also laughed.
“Evidently the Germans have a shortage of black pudding”, he said on his Telegram account. “Everywhere there’s only baloney. And this is a good reason to add live blood to the liver sausage of the current chancellor. Scholz clearly benefits from such a switch. He is both a cook and a diner in the meal. Naturally, they hint at a connection with the Russians. And how else? All the malicious conspiracies, world wars, devastating earthquakes, and deadly epidemics are from us. We can be proud of this even though we have not yet succeeded. We will continue to test the strength of Germany. Maybe it will become a monarchy again? But seriously, this is a clear sign of a hereditary disease of the entire management model in Germany.”
Thomas Röper ** is the only German journalist to have investigated the truth of the matter. In Germany he and his Anti-Spiegel blog, published in St. Petersburg, where he lives, are considered a propagandist for Germany’s enemies. Here’s his report.
The original report in German can be read here. The following translation is verbatim, and has not been edited. The URL story links and references embedded in the text have been provided by Roper in his original publication. For the non-German reader brief translations or explanatory links have been added in square brackets.
An insider has contacted Anti-Spiegel who knows information about the background of the alleged coup attempt and the people involved.
I have been contacted by an insider with whom I have been in contact for some time, who knows the people involved in the alleged “coup attempt” and their backgrounds. This is an AfD [Alternative for Germany party] insider, who, however, has had nothing to do with the party for some time.
At this point, I must note that over the years several politicians have contacted me who sit or have sat in the Bundestag or have otherwise held higher positions in their parties. These are exclusively members of the AfD and Die Linke. As a rule, I take what they tell me as background information, which I do not report on, but which helps me a lot in understanding different processes.
In this case, however, my source allowed me to report on what has been told to me about the “coup attempt” and those involved. I therefore expressly point out that I could not verify most of what I write here, but I consider the source to be trustworthy. What I was able to verify, I have provided with sources.
The “coup attempt”
I have already written an article about the “coup attempt”, in which I came to the following conclusion: Either the version spread by the public prosecutor’s office and the media is not true, or the “putschists” are stupid.
The reason is obvious: every successful coup in history has had the leadership of the army on its side. The ultimate power in every state is the army, because it is the best armed. In the case of successful coups, therefore, the army either covered up the coup plotters by letting them do what they planned, or it carried out the coup itself. If the army was against a coup attempt, it would suppress it violently if necessary. There is no example in history for which the simple rule “a coup cannot succeed if the army leadership is not on the side of the coup plotters” does not apply.
But since no members of the Bundeswehr leadership were arrested, the “putschists” – if the official version of the story is correct – are rather naïve Hanseln [slang, oddballs]. They might have been able to break into the Bundestag and even take a few politicians hostage, but they would have been quickly eliminated by the GSG9 [German police spetsnaz] or the KSK [Germany army special forces] if they hadn’t surrendered themselves first.
The media were informed in advance
Many German media were obviously informed in advance about the planned anti-terrorist operation against the “putschists”, because many media were present at various locations almost from the beginning of the operation and reported live from there. Their editors published articles with background information on the alleged “coup attempt” and the participants so quickly that to anyone who writes articles it was obvious these articles had been written in advance. The media published information which was only mentioned later by the security authorities – this also shows that the media received the information before the public announcements.***
It is unthinkable that the media will be informed before an anti-terrorist operation against what is allegedly the largest conspiracy in history against the Federal Republic, because that would endanger the success of the operation against such allegedly dangerous “terrorists”. In the past, the media were never on site when, for example, operations were carried out against the RAF [Red Army Faction].
All this suggests that this is a orchestrated show event intended to worry the public. Or, as Julian Reichelt put it on Twitter:
“Inconvenient truth: If almost all editorial offices in the country know in advance of a secret operation, it is not a secret operation, but a PR operation”
— Julian Reichelt (@jreichelt) December 7, 2022
You can think what you want of Reichelt, but as a former editor-in-chief of the Bild newspaper, he knows first-hand how the media rabbit runs.
My insider contacted me in writing about my article about the “coup attempt”, congratulated me on my article, which he said he found very accurate, and he told me that he had inside information about Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss and Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, both of whom he knew and whose motives he could assess accurately. Then we talked on the telephone.
The insider describes Birgit Malsack-Winkemann as a “good-hearted woman who can’t hurt a fly, but who is quite chaotic and disorganized”. But first and foremost, she is simply a good-hearted person who was chosen as a scapegoat for the alleged coup. The fact that the media now portray her as a “dangerous and armed terrorist” is simply nonsense.
Birgit Malsack-Winkemann was a judge in Berlin and in the parliament term 2017-2021 she sat as a deputy for the AfD in the Bundestag. After her time in the Bundestag, she wanted to return to her position as a judge, whereupon the Berlin Senator of Justice filed an application to put her into temporary retirement. There was a court challenge which Malsack-Winkemann won on October 13, 2022, but the judgment is not yet final. Although the state of Berlin has announced that it will appeal against the decision, anyone who reads the press release on the grounds of the judgment will realise that the appeal should have had no chance of success.
The Show Trial
It was a political show trial which was apparently intended to intimidate other AfD deputies. This is the opinion of my source; after researching the trial against Malsack-Winkelmann, I am inclined to agree with this opinion. In her lawsuit against Malsack-Winkelmann, the Berlin Senator of Justice even ignored the constitutionally protected rights of deputies of the Bundestag, as can be read in the court’s press release:
“The statements made by the respondent in the German Bundestag should be disregarded from the outset in the assessment. According to the Basic Law, members of parliament may at no time be prosecuted for a statement in the Bundestag in court or officially. This constitutional protection against persecution is maintained after the expiry of the mandate and also extends to the retirement procedure.”
Although the media portray Birgit Malsack-Winkemann as a “right-wing extremist”, the court could not find any evidence for this, because the press release continues:
“Something else applies to extra-parliamentary behaviour of a member of parliament, which raises doubts about standing up for the free democratic basic order. The respondent’s membership of the AfD alone does not allow such conclusions. In the specific case, neither the statements of the respondent on Facebook and Twitter nor the existence of photographs showing the judge with members of the so-called wing of the party were sufficient for this.”
The “guilt by association” which politicians and the media like to use when, for example, they interpret a photograph as a sin just because you were photographed there with the “wrong” people, works in the media politically to discredit someone and start a smear campaign. Legally, however, this is not tenable. This is clearly shown by the court ruling and this is likely to be confirmed by the higher courts, because there are no statutory provisions against photos with the “wrong” people. Whatever Malsack-Winkemann may have posted on Facebook and Twitter was enough to outrage politically correct politicians and journalists, but it was not justifiable, as the court also found.
Malsack-Winkemann was allowed to work as a judge again after the verdict. My source thinks it is unthinkable that she could have participated in a crime for two reasons: first, it doesn’t fit her character; and second, her goal was to work as a judge again. That she would get involved in an “operetta coup”, as my source put it, is impossible, because now she is threatened not only with the loss of her job as a judge, but also with the loss of her pension.
My source considers it impossible that she would have participated in anything illegal right now, while her case is on appeal and she is under special surveillance anyway. But for Malsack-Winkemann’s opponents, this is a development they could only wish for: after the accusation that she was a member of a “terrorist organization” which organized a “coup,” Malsack-Winkelmann is finished professionally, financially, and socially, no matter how the story will end at some point.
And in addition, all insiders – for example in the AfD – are once again shown how dangerous it is to express oneself too critically of the government in Germany. Because again: the court found nothing justiciable in what Malsack-Winkelmann posted on social networks. Malsack-Winkelmann – before the new accusations of the “coup attempt” – has not been guilty of anything except to have criticised government policy.
This is a clear signal to all AfD deputies, so Malsack-Winkemann is probably intended as an example to them. This is the opinion of my source and based on the facts I was able to research, I can hardly disagree.
My source has known Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss for some time. They were therefore not friends, but in informal contact. Reuss is by definition a citizen of the Reich and – according to my source – “a duke who wants his title back.” According to my source, Reuss argues that there has been no valid constitution in Germany since 1919 because the revolution of 1918 was legally a putsch and since then no German constitution – neither the Weimar Constitution  nor the Enabling Act of the Nazis  nor the Basic Law  – has come into force by referendum. I only quote how my source describes Reuss’s point of view. I expressly do not adopt this argumentation as my own, nor does my source.
Reuss’s goal was to reach a peace treaty with the “great victorious powers” and to introduce a constitution in Germany which would come into effect by referendum. Whether Reuss dreams of a restoration of the monarchy, or how he wants to get back his title as duke (and probably also achieve the return of his ducal estates), we have not discussed.
Reuss wants a peace treaty and a new constitution
Reuss flew to the US some time ago and held talks “with Trump’s people” about a peace treaty and German sovereignty, my source said. This probably did not bring any concrete results. Subsequently, Reuss also tried to contact the Russian government, which, however, showed no interest.
This is not surprising, since Russia is of the opinion that it should not interfere in the internal affairs of other states. Germany, like any other country in the world, must solve its own internal problems, is the Russian point of view. I assume that the Russian government would conclude a peace treaty with Germany, but the initiative must come from the German government — Russia will not take action on its own.
That Russia would conclude a peace treaty [with Germany] is shown by the fact that Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Abe, who has since been murdered in an assassination attempt, conducted negotiations on a peace treaty a few years ago, but they have remained inconclusive. As you can see, Russia has no objection to ending the Second World War legally by concluding a peace treaty.
Reuss and the “great victorious powers”
Reuss called my source last month [November 2022] after a long pause and complained that the Russian side had “slammed all doors.” Russia has never signaled any interest in Reuss’s ideas and certainly no support. But now Russia – as Reuss complained to my source – has broken off all contacts with Reuss. What contacts these may have been, my source does not know. Whether Reuss spoke directly to anyone from Russia, or whether his girlfriend (a Russian) did, my source does not know. The source merely stated that Reuss called and what moved him.
My source advised Reuss not to seek further contact with Russia. My source justifies this with the fact that in the West everything is intercepted and everything is read, which is why Russia has become very cautious with contacts, because it is above all those affected from the West who are in danger. They can very quickly be accused of high treason because of any talks with Russia – a “hostile power”. That this is indeed the case is shown by the conviction a few weeks ago of a German whose “crime” was to have transmitted information by e-mail to employees of the Russian embassy openly accessible on the Internet. That was enough to be convicted of espionage in Germany.
In this – and in other conversations with my source – Reuss never talked about coup plans. According to my source, he wanted to reach an agreement with the “great victorious powers” in talks. Reus is — this is my impression after this information — decidedly naïve, which my source has confirmed. In the US, neither a Trump administration nor any other administration has an interest in allowing Germany its independence. The US wants – this was also true under Trump – to strengthen its control over Europe, not to release Europe into independence.
The Office for the Protection of the Constitution had known for a long time
The telephone conversation between Reuss and my source may also have been intercepted, because Reuss was under observation by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution [Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, the BfV]. This was announced by the head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution today on ZDF. Der Spiegel reports on statements by the President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang:
“Accordingly, the security authorities were informed early on about the coup plans of the Reichsbürger group. The constitutional protection authorities of the federal and state governments had come to this group very early on the track, said Haldenwang on Wednesday in a ZDF “special”. We have been monitoring the group since the spring of this year and have had a fairly clear overview of its planning and development.”
The clear warning
The group was therefore under surveillance by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution was aware of their plans. So the group never presented a real danger, everything was under control. If the statements of my source are correct, then the “group” did not even exist in this form, because Reuss had no plans for a coup and because the possibility that Malsack-Winkemann would have participated in something like a terrorist group or even a coup attempt, my source rules out.
From my source’s point of view, the story was staged by the security authorities to intimidate other government or system critics. My source said:
“I’m sure they’re going to present some chat messages. But I know that from AfD chats. Some weirdo writes at one at night and after five beers: ‘You should hang them all’. Of course, he doesn’t mean that seriously, but from something like that you can then construct plans for a coup or murder in the media.”
The fact that the media hype surrounding the alleged “coup attempt” is likely to be primarily an action intended to intimidate other government critics is also shown by a statement by the President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which can also be read in the Spiegel article:
“Haldenwang emphasized that the security authorities had a keen eye on the scene and knew what was going on there. He could only recommend everyone to keep their distance.”
A “PR operation” orchestrated by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution?
If one remembers the scandals of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in recent years, then it is very likely that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution was also involved here. No matter whether in the case of the Celler Loch, in which the Office for the Protection of the Constitution carried out a terrorist attack in Germany and attached to the RAF what came out in 1986, or in the case of Amri and the attack on Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz, in which the Office for the Protection of the Constitution wanted to conceal from the public that he had an undercover agent in the immediate vicinity of Amri – in practically every terror case in recent decades, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution has played a very questionable role. Not to mention the NSU [National Socialist Underground] and the documents of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which were classified as secret until St. Nicholas’ Day.
The fact that the prohibition proceedings against the NPD failed because the leadership of the NPD [National Democratic Party] was so infiltrated with informants of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution that the judges could not distinguish who was responsible for the NPD’s hostility to the constitution – the “real” NPD members or the infiltrated informants of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution – this fact must also be added to the context for understanding.
Since the President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution [Haldenwang] has announced that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution has been monitoring the group for a long time, and since the group officially wanted to actively recruit members from the security services, it would have been easy for the Office for the Protection of the Constitution to infiltrate informants into the group. And it can be assumed that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution did the same, because infiltrating “opposing” groups is its task as a domestic intelligence service.
The scandals of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution – above all the example of the NPD – give rise to the suspicion that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution exerted influence on the infiltrated group through informants. Whether the legal proceedings for the “coup attempt” will bring insights we shall have to follow closely.
It is obvious that the media were informed in advance about the police operation against the alleged putschists. This supports the theory that it was a staged operation. Reichelt put it well, so I’ll repeat his tweet here:
“If almost all editorial offices in the country know in advance of a secret operation, it is not a secret operation, but a PR operation”
All this supports my suspicion that the “coup attempt” is more of a media show – or, as Reichelt put it, “a PR operation” – but not a real coup attempt by a terrorist organization.
I repeat that I cannot verify most of my source’s statements. What I was able to check, I have linked to sources. Overall, however, the things that can be checked fit well with what my source told me. Whether all the conclusions of my source (and also my conclusions) correspond to the truth is not guaranteed.
But since this story looks like a “PR operation,” I have decided to report on what my source told me.