Correction to report from 26.02.2017
It is now a year ago, almost to the day, that for the 2nd anniversary of the Germanwings crash the “Welt am Sonntag” revisited the topic again in order to “deal with it”, as they wrote. A three-page article with the headline “Chronicle of an announced catastrophe” appeared on 26.02.17.
Before the appearance of the article, there were repeated attempts by the editors, Dirk Banse and Michael Behrendt, to contact us, attempts which did not cease even after our reply letter explaining that we had no statement to make.
Because their last of several letters, on 18.02.2017, did not provoke a reaction from us, both men appeared on our property on Sunday morning, 19.02.2017, and surprised Günter Lubitz, who coincidentally happened to be present in front of the house. Angered by this personal intrusion, the two were expelled from the property under threat of police intervention.
For reasons of space, we will not include the entire correspondence here, but it can be found under the following link for all to read:
In the article it was claimed that we had approached the Welt am Sonntag via correspondence. The reality is that we responded only after the newspaper’s first letter pressing us for information. Our written response was our refusal – namely, that for certain reasons we did not yet want to express our opinion. So, in fact, we did not “contact” the Welt am Sonntag, but rather the newspaper contacted us.
Incidentally, the Welt am Sonntag was not the only medium we responded to in a similar fashion, but in all other cases our refusals were always respected and no other news outlet misrepresented the facts in order to create a news story.
In one of the reporters’ letters to us, they claimed that they possessed a “number of documents” and that they were “investigative journalists” with the unbiased aim of reporting the whole story. However, the published article once again attempted to substantiate a negative image of Andreas. There was no “news”, nor any answers to speculations or lingering questions.
It remains doubtful if the Welt am Sonntag would have offered an objective report had we indeed consented to share information.
We do not want to split hairs and attempt to weigh every word of every article. But it has certainly been done by others. For example, Franz Josef Wagner in his BILD column, and in the same online portals, wrote: “The Parents (Lubitzes) call it an accident …”, but, in fact, the BEA Final Report itself states: “Accident on 24 March 2015”!
A day later Mike Passmann of the BILD went even further: “Now the parents of Lubitz speak publicly for the first time and report doubts”. (Based on our letter of refusal)
In the same article lawyer Giemulla (victims’ lawyer) comments: “For the survivors of the fatalities, it is a shock to be confronted with alternative facts”. But no “alternative facts” were presented in the article.
Furthermore, at the time of publication our reply letter was almost a quarter of a year old.
Although we had offered nothing, written or spoken, we were again placed in the negative headline spotlight.
This is how Springer journalism works.
further bogus press reports: