Window of a school in Brandenburg (symbolic image): "Considerable doubts about the loyalty to the constitution and thus the personal suitability of the teacher candidate"
Photo: Patrick Pleul / dpa
Only a report in the Berlin »Tagesspiegel« revealed the case: 29-year-old Elisa W. taught at a primary school in Märkisch-Oderland, but at the same time she is said to have had contacts with right-wing extremist circles and to have moderated the compact TV of the right-wing demagogue Jürgen Elsässer with a wig and under a false name.
And although the Brandenburg Ministry of Education was probably already informed during the summer holidays about possible right-wing extremist connections of the trainee teacher, W. was initially left in service.
On July 27, i.e. during the summer holidays, there was a tip from the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution that the woman maintained professional and personal contacts with the Compact magazine, which is classified by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution as proven right-wing extremist. This was announced by a spokesman for the ministry on Tuesday to the dpa news agency.
Doubts about loyalty to the constitution
According to the spokesman, the ministry's management had been informed by the specialist department about the initiation of an investigation procedure. At that time, the department allegedly did not want to derive any direct consequences under service law because of the special status of the teacher candidate. It was only after the publication in the "Tagesspiegel" that the state secretary ordered last Thursday to invite the teacher candidate to an interview on Friday and to inform her of her immediate release from service.
There are considerable doubts about the loyalty to the constitution and thus the personal suitability of the teacher candidate, according to the ministry. "Until the case can be judged in a service law procedure, the teacher is therefore exempt."
At the school with 220 children and a dozen teachers, no one is said to have suspected anything of the woman's extremist activities.
Elisa W. was a civil servant on revocation as a trainee lawyer. According to the law, civil servants must commit themselves to the free democratic basic order "through their entire conduct" – i.e. also privately.
Film premiere with like-minded people
According to »Tagesspiegel«, W. worked as a presenter for the news channel »Compact. The Day«. The blonde woman wore a dark wig and appeared as »Anna Schneider«.
At the same time, she is said to have worked as a freelancer for a regional television station in Brandenburg. At the beginning of July, W. was seen in Nauen in the circle of other right-wing extremists, AfD representatives and members of the party »Die Heimat« (ex-NPD) at a film premiere. The compact production »In the stranglehold of the climate sect« was shown.
The Brandenburg Office for the Protection of the Constitution classifies Compact as a right-wing extremist. The medium has the goal of overcoming the free democratic basic order.
Jürgen Elsässer's company, based in Falkensee (Havelland), disseminates right-wing extremist content, conspiracy theories and Kremlin propaganda. Compact TV, for example, reports on the "war against Germany" and from Moscow on what "the mainstream" is allegedly concealing about the conflict in Ukraine. Elsässer, himself a former high school teacher, has described it as the "task of the opposition media" to "contribute to the overthrow of the regime."
The Left calls for clarification
After two teachers in Burg (Spree-Neisse) were transferred because of threats and right-wing extremist activities at their school due to a lack of backing from the ministry, the SPD-led education department must now once again be accused of not having acted adequately and quickly enough.
The opposition Left Party faction is now demanding clarification as to whether the Ministry of Education was already informed before the Tagesspiegel revelations and yet did nothing. Left Party parliamentary group leader Sebastian Walter announced an urgent request for the state parliament session this week.