It’s tradition at our sister publication, Tip-Berlin, to annually shame the most embarrassing Berliners for their outrageous behaviours and shameful missteps. Here’s our pick of the peinlich litter for 2022, but you can read our colleges picks and order the full version (in German) here.
18- The cops
The racism and brutality of Berlin’s (potentially Nazi infiltrated) police force was well known, but for the longest time we didn’t have much hard evidence. A viral video of police executing a warrant in a Syrian family’s apartment put that debate to rest. The cause of the violence? The man had apparently taken the U-bahn without paying for a ticket. Investigations into the police officers are ongoing, but we know how they usually end. The police would be higher on the list, but we are (naively? Quixotically?) assuming there are some good guys on the force.
17- Frankziska Giffey, Berlin’s Mayor (SPD)
Einmal Neukölln, immer Neukölln. pic.twitter.com/avNGAEKMcr— Jenni Wu (@callmeuschi) September 25, 2022
Whilst the highlight of Giffey’s first year in office was definitely her retweeting the above photo, there were more than a few lowlights. Doing next to nothing about the housing crisis because she serves wealthy real estate interests and telling other German states that they were just jealous of Berlin’s emergency cash reserves wasn’t exactly classy. Who knows, she might not be the mayor for much longer, with the do-over of the election scheduled for February 12.
12- Dr. Motte, DJ
Summer seems like forever ago, but remember Rave the Planet? It was the revival of Love Parade, a techno street party that was cancelled years ago because of a trampling tragedy. It was reborn this year, but during the course of the event, organiser Dr. Motte was spotted waving a Querdenker flag. He later apologised, saying he wasn’t aware of what it meant. Sure thing, buddy.
6- Kunsthalle Berlin
A huge section of the old Tempelhof Airport building was supposed to be repurposed as an art space. A godsend for a city full of struggling artists, struggling to find studio (and apartment) space, right? Wrong. Kunsthalle Berlin decided the best idea was to have a committee of old white men install the uninspiring, really quite bland works of – you guessed it – yet another old white man. Shat the bed on that one guys. Do better.
3- Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, Ex-Judge and AfD Politician
The ex-AfD member of the Bundestag and lawyer from Wannsee will go down in history as a co-conspirator in one of the worst, ill-thought out coup attempts in history. Earlier this month a group of conspiracy theorists called Reichsbürger – a group who think the German government is illegitimate, corona virus was a hoax and vaccines are full of microchips – were thwarted in their attempt to install a little known prince as the head of a new German state. Read our full article about these weird racists here, or listen to our podcast here.
2- Andreas Geisel, Urban Development Senator and Former Interior Senator (SPD)
Some people just don’t know the word quit, but someone should really sit Geisel down and teach it to him. It’s not often that its so clear who was responsible for such a serious fuck-up, but in the case of the 2021 elections in Berlin (not enough ballots, wrong ballots at the wrong polling stations, 6 hour-long queues etc, etc, etc) the blame rests firmly with Herr Geisel. Has he apologised? Resigned in disgrace? Neither. He’s less likely to budge than a Letzte Generation protester on the A100.
1- Patricia Schlesinger, Ex-Head of RBB
Cronyism, a lavish bonus pay system, an extravagant bonus salary system, an expensive office rebuild, questionable consulting contracts for her husband, lavish dinners with political influencers at the RBB’s expense and crazy discounts for her official limousine. On and on the list goes, of all the things your Rundfunkbeitraggeld was wasted on. Patricia Schlesinger, the now ex-Head of public broadcaster RBB may not technically have broken the law, but she’s taken advantage of the system’s leeway, misusing unbelievable amounts of public money while all around her budgets were being cut.