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Exposing The Worst German Media Liars, Part 2: Richard Herzinger

Falsifying history, manipulations and lies are all favorable means of the professional Russia-hater and warmonger who still lives in the last century

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

“To defend ‚the free world’ is still a highly relevant duty, although this proud expression – after the end of the Cold War – has gone out of fashion."  Richard Herzinger

Richard Herzinger is the political correspondent of Die Welt a daily that belongs to Axel Springer AG. The latter is one of the largest media groups in Germany and Europe and one of its principles is:

“Supporting the Transatlantic Alliance and solidarity with the United States of America in the liberal community of values” 

Hiding themselves behind slogans like “free world” or “liberal community of values” that “don’t mean anything but nobody is going to be against” [Noam Chomsky], they openly promote NATO expansion, Western military interventions and western Ukrainian nationalists. In their eyes this justifies killings of hundreds of thousands in Iraq, Libya, Serbia, Syria, East Ukraine etc., as something noble and right, since it is necessary in order to defend whatever is behind the slogans “free world” and “liberal community of values”. 

Translation of the 3rd Principle of Axel Springer Corporate Principles & Guidelines

Can a media outlet with the above principle be neutral towards Russia? Can journalists working for such a media outlet and adhering to those principles report objectively about Russia?

Herzinger’s passion for NATO expansion, western interventions and the western Ukrainian nationalists in Kiev reach at times such a bizarre level that it is very hard to tell if they are meant to be satire or serious arguments.

For example, according to Herzinger, NATO’s East expansion actually saved Russia from revenge attacks by former Soviet Republics or, as Herzinger puts it: “NATO’s East Expansion prevented revenge against the oppressor”. In Herzinger’s world the Russians were the oppressors of course.

What can we say? Lucky Russia that NATO actually saved her from attacks by the Baltic States, Romania or Bulgaria!

Like Benjamin Bidder, introduced in Part 1 of the ‘Gatekeeper Series’, Richard Herzinger, in his gatekeeper role, also distinguishes between the news and the truth. He presents a distorted reality to his readership using the same methods as described in the article about Benjamin Bidder. Those are: providing no evidence, using sources with no evidence, lies, abusive language towards people who don’t agree with his narrative and, of course, Russia is always to blame even if not involved.

However, there is something even more concerning about Richard Herzinger’s writing: it is his clear attempt to falsify history. Especially the history concerning Russia and western Ukrainian nationalists: While on the one hand he marginalizes western Ukrainian collaboration with German Nazis in WWII, he on the other hand minimizes Russia’s role and her contribution to liberating Europe from Nazi terror.

He is not even ashamed to attribute the same historical significance to the occasional, individual and often forced Russian collaboration with Nazi occupiers and to the systematic collaboration by western Ukrainian nationalists based on real ideological affinity.

The attempts to falsify history by this professional Russia-hater and warmonger will be discussed in greater detail in the 5th example given below.

Falsifying history helps to convince the ‘bewildered herd’ that whatever we do is noble and right:

“It’s necessary to completely falsify history. That’s another way to make it look as if when we attack and destroy somebody we’re really protecting and defending ourselves against major aggressors and monsters.” – Noam Chomsky –

Examples of manipulations, revisions of history and lies by Richard Herzinger:

No. 1 – Lies about the "Russian Invasion of Ukraine"

Herzinger complains:

“How the West still ignores Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”

He regrets that:

"Berlin still won’t admit that East Ukraine is occupied by Russia”

Herzinger tries to construct some evidence for his lie using nameless sources:

“Observers in the region report that only 10% of the fighters are actually locals.”

However, Mister Herzinger doesn’t tell us who those observers are and whether or not the ‘observers’ undertook a survey or just went by the looks to come up with the 10% local fighters…?

He tries to convince his readership that:

“Renown (but nameless) and independent military experts estimate that some 10.000 Russian soldiers are present in East Ukraine.

So why do the responsible politicians in the West don’t call what’s happening in East Ukraine by its name – a Russian invasion and occupation!”

Maybe they’re just confused by your math, Mister Herzinger. And they don’t know which number to take! Let’s do the math:

  • The rebels in east Ukraine count some 42.500 fighters [according to Stepan Poltorak, Ukrainian Defense Minister].
  • The ‘observers’ found out that only 10% are local fighters. That leaves us with some 38.250 Russian soldiers in East Ukraine.
  • The nameless but renown and independent military experts, however, claim that there are 10.000 Russian soldiers in East Ukraine.

Well, Mister Herzinger, now I am confused too…!

No. 2 – Richard Herzinger on How to Defend the ‘Free World’: INTERVENTIONS! INTERVENTIONS! INTERVENTIONS!

Herzinger’s mindset:

“Kiev deserves every help by the free world” (Link)

“The deployment of US-military instructors in Ukraine is seen by Moscow as a provocation. However, it is the least the West can do for the country beside the perspective for a NATO membership.” (Link)

          “If only had the West intervened in Syria” (Link)

          “Where the West retreats, violence returns” (Link)

Satire or not, you decide…!

No. 3 – Herzinger on Russia’s Victory Day Commemorations

According to Herzinger, “Putin makes [Victory Day] commemorations into a new battlefield”:

“The Kremlin cynically exploits the anti-Nazism commemorations with the aim of claiming the liberation from the Nazi barbarism primarily, if not exclusively, for the glory of Russia, therefore minimizing the role of the Western allies in the war against Hitler.

According to Putin’s dictum, the Soviet Union was nothing else but historical Russia under a different name. Thus, he erases the memory that other, former Soviet but now independent nations like Ukraine, who didn’t suffer less under the German occupation, also took part in Hitler’s defeat.”

Let’s see what Putin actually says about it:

“Our entire multi-ethnic nation rose to fight for our Motherland’s freedom.”

“We also pay tribute to our allies in the anti-Hitler coalition. We are grateful to the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for THEIR contribution to the Victory.”

“We are thankful to the anti-fascists of various countries, who selflessly fought the enemy as guerillas and members of the underground resistance, INCLUDING IN GERMANY ITSELF.”

The last paragraph alone should make Herzinger blush. But it won’t, since he just has contempt and hate left for the Russian Nation.

No. 4 – Herzinger’s Manipulations on MH17

Showing no respect for the people who died in this tragic event, Herzinger ‘knows’:

“How Putin boldly exploits the tragedy”

And he also ‘knows’ that this tragic event will be part of Putin’s strategy:

“The first reaction of Putin on the catastrophe of the Malaysian Airlines in Ukraine shows that Putin wants to incorporate the tragedy into his strategy: Putin as a peacemaker.”

While Putin has been asking for a thorough investigation into the tragic event, Mister Herzinger ‘knows’ who was responsible:

“…Clues show that the plane was downed by pro-Russian separatists by a Russian built surface-to-air missile mistaking it for a military aircraft…”

Herzinger finds it important to stress where the missile was manufactured that was apparently used by the separatists.

He refers to an article by Julia Smirnova, where she – expectedly - blames the rebels for the tragedy. Her prove is a video that shows presumably intercepted conversions by the rebels minutes after the tragic events.

I actually don’t know if the audios in the video are fakes or not, however, the following facts don’t make the video/audio suitable as evidence for accusing one side:

  • Picture that presumably shows W. Garanin is in fact one of Musa Khamzatov
  • Pictures of ‘Major’ and ‘Grek’ are actually of the same masked person. Grek’s voice in the audio has a strong East Ukrainian accent, whereas in reality Grek doesn’t have an accent and his real voice sounds much younger
  • SBU [Ukrainian security services] released the Video/Audio

A more detailed analysis of the video can be found at Zero Hedge.

As for Putin incorporating the tragic events into his strategy: the only ones I see that have incorporated this tragic event into their strategy were the US. They used this tragedy to put more pressure on the EU states that opposed new sanctions against Russia. Seven weeks after the catastrophe the EU decided to introduce new sanctions against Russia.

No. 5 – Herzinger falsifies Russian and Ukrainian History

As Samuel P. Huntington writes in his book ‘Clash of Civilisations’, Ukraine is:

“… a divided country with two different cultures. The cultural line between the West and the Orthodoxy runs through the heart the country.

In the past the West of the country was alternately part of Poland, Lithuania and Austria-Hungary respectively.

Great parts of the population consider themselves part of the ‘Uniate Church’ that practices orthodox rituals but accepts the authority of the Pope.

Ever since the Western Ukrainians have spoken Ukrainian and are heavily nationalistic oriented.

The East Ukrainian Nation has always been mainly orthodox and has mainly spoken Russian.

Russians make up 25% and those with Russian as their mother tongue 31% of the Ukrainian population.”

When writing about historical events concerning Ukraine, one always has to take into consideration the above facts [the two Ukrainian cultures]. Herzinger, however, ignores those completely. When he says that:

“…Like the Russians, the Ukrainians were also, according to the Nazi race ideology, considered ‘Untermenschen’, who were foreseen to be enslaved or exterminated…”

He forgets to mention that the Nazis very well distinguished between the two cultures in Ukraine. They eventually ‘upgraded’ the western Ukrainian nationalists as Slavs superior to the Russian Orthodox Slavs, and this was well received by the western Ukrainian nationalists, since they also considered themselves a superior Slav race [Gunter Friedrich’s doctoral dissertation ‘Kollaboration in der Ukraine im Zweiten Weltkrieg’, published by Bochum University, Germany]

Herzinger also complains that:

“…there has been a crazy notion spread in parts of the Western public that the majority of Ukrainians or the Ukraine itself was in association with Nazi Germany…”


“…As much as the real history of Ukraine during WWII has been distorted by Russian propaganda, the facts about equally comprehensive Russian collaboration have been kept secret…”

Herzinger desperately tries to put the Russian occasional and individual collaboration into the same historical context as collaboration by the western Ukrainian nationalists, thus giving it the same historical significance.

However, he is correct that not the whole of Ukraine collaborated with the Nazi occupiers. The nationalist western Ukrainians led by OUN, whose elite was financed even before the war by Nazi-Germany, collaborated with Nazi occupiers. In other words the ideological predecessors of the Maidan Junta that in February 2014 overthrew the legally elected government, collaborated with the Nazi occupiers. Yatsenyuk, hoping that Germany hasn’t changed after the WWII asked Germany for help to fight the Russians, because: “We can all very well remember the Soviet invasion of the Ukraine and Germany. This must be prevented from happening again.”

Gunter Friedrich distinguishes between two different motives for collaboration: political-ideological and non-political. The collaboration by the Ukrainian Nationalists, according to Friedrich had political-ideological motives. He says that the political ideology of the Ukrainian Nationalists was very similar to the Nazi ideology. It was a fascist movement that defined the homogeneity of a nation, like the Nazis did, in the biological-race sense.

To support his false historical assumptions Herzinger uses the following examples as a historical prove for a ‘comprehensive Russian collaboration with Nazi occupiers’:

·       Kaminski’s ‘Lokot Republic’

·       Vlasov’s Prisoners Army

·       Stalin’s non-aggression pact with Hitler

First of all we need to be precise as to what we mean when speaking about collaboration. The commonly accepted definition of collaboration by historians and history scientists is “…cooperation between the local government and/or the population with the occupying forces…” [Kooperation und Verbrechen – Formen der Kollaboration im östlichen Europa]

In order to give more weight to his argument about the ‘comprehensive Russian collaboration’, he misuses for this purpose the non-aggression agreement between the Soviet Union and Hitler’s Germany before WWII. This is a clear distortion of historical facts.

He knows that the Kaminski’s ‘Lokot Republic’ and his by force recruited militia of 12.000 people [the recruits were threatened either to be killed or their relatives to be taken hostage if they don’t join the militia] and Vlasov’s prisoners army, both collaborations of which neither was based on ethnical differences nor on biological race-ideology, wouldn’t be enough to put stains on Russia’s noble fight against the Nazi occupying forces.

Herzinger also claims that 1.7m people lived in the ‘Lokot Republic’, however, our research comes to some 213.000 inhabitants [Area of Lokot 7450, Brasovskiy region 20000, Navlya 5200, Navlinskiy region 56400, Dmitriev-Lgovski 7500, Dmitrievskiy region 16000, Suzemka 5500, Suzemskiy region 15800, Komarichskiy region 19300, Sevskiy region 18800, Dmitrovskiy region 41177], while Wikipedia speaks of 581.000 people.

But as we have seen, Herzinger does not intend to be historically precise.

To be continued…!

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