Thursday, October 21, 2010
Guttenberg Is Everywhere!
All of a sudden either Germany’s defense minister or his wife are daily featured in the German news media.
Being a longtime watcher of Germany, it is very apparent to this writer that the most recurring theme in the German press and mass media is attached to the name Guttenberg. Guttenberg is everywhere. In newspaper headlines and feature articles, on tv, radio, on the Web and especially on the Bundeswehr’s web-based tv station, the Guttenberg theme is tantalizing Germany.
Germany it seems is enamored of all things Guttenberg. Last week, referring to Germany’s defense minister, Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, the German daily Handelsblatt gushed, “The average politician can get dizzy at his seemingly spotless appearance. For ‘K.T.’ everything fits. He is the most popular politician by far in the country” (October 14).
Adding to the aura surrounding “K.T.” is his glamorous wife, Stephanie. Of the baron’s wife, Stern magazine reports a survey indicating that 44 percent of Germans believe Stephanie Guttenberg is the right person to take over the portfolio of family minister (October 13).
It seems the Guttenbergs cannot put a foot wrong.
One of the most lavish of media features on the Guttenbergs was a spread published in the conservative Bild am Sonntag, the Bild’s mass-circulation Sunday edition. That newspaper even coined a new word to describe the Brandenberg couple, billing them in bold headlines across a double-page, full-color spread, “Diese Sehrguttenbergs,” which translates as, “These very good zu Guttenbergs” (September 19).
The front-page headlined the couple as “Germany’s power pair,” asking the question, “How do the Guttenbergs do it?”
Devoting the full front page and a three-page insert to the Guttenbergs, the Bild highlighted: “K.T. and Stephanie are Germany’s power couple …. The German people have a fiery desire for a royal family …. So much united power and glamor have not been seen in Germany for a long time …. They are a couple exhibiting the highest degree of symbiosis, a political twin appearance, joined by marriage, that has rarely been seen in Germany with such striking power …” (our translation; emphases mine).
The Bild referred to a Hamburg evening newspaper that declared: “Guttenberg and his wife present themselves as though they govern the country.”
Most recently, this week’s edition of Spiegel magazine features a “royal” shot of Guttenberg and his wife, Stephanie—great-great-granddaughter of Iron Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the architect of German unity—hand in hand on a red carpet, under the text, “The Fabulous Guttenbergs: Twosome for the Chancellery” (Deutsche Presse, October 18).
Stern magazine has referred to Guttenberg as the “Chancellor in Reserve.”
Germany is simply enraptured by its glamorous “power couple”!
Where is this all likely to lead?
Ever the politician at heart, Guttenberg has publicly denied any aspirations for the chancellorship. “This really is a bizarre discussion. It’s absolutely poppycock,” he told an interviewer on Bavarian public television.
His party might seek to disagree.
Whether or not Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has aspirations for his occupying the chancellory, one thing is for sure: The general public certainly does! Watch Germany’s “power couple” closely. They might just be on a fast ticket to gaining the type of power not seen in Germany since the old imperial days of the Kaiser, the glory days of the “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.”
If that is the case, then the Bavarian connection with Rome must be taken into account. That connection was strengthened on Saturday evening when Karl-Theodor’s father, renowned conductor Enoch zu Guttenberg, led the Klang Verwaltung orchestra and the Neubeuern choir in a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem Mass, performed in the Vatican’s Paul vi Hall. The concert was in honor of Pope Benedict and priests officiating at a watershed synod being held at the Vatican considering the Roman Catholic Church’s evangelizing mission to the Middle East.
Should Guttenberg indeed gain the chancellorship in Germany, he may find himself caught up in more than just an evangelizing mission in the Middle East. He might just be at the forefront of a regular crusade to recapture Jerusalem for a European Union which has been branded by our editor in chief as the prophesied seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire!