Media scientist Weber: Now also plagiarism allegations against Scholz

Status: 14.09.2021 3:58 p.m.

The plagiarism seeker Weber has now also targeted a book published by SPD chancellor candidate Scholz. So far he has criticized three passages in the text. The exam has not yet been completed.

After the Chancellor candidates from the Greens and the Union, Annalena Baerbock and Armin Laschet, the SPD candidate Olaf Scholz now also faces allegations of plagiarism. According to the Austrian media scientist and plagiarism seeker Stefan Weber, the current Federal Minister of Finance has also copied “Land of Hope. A New German Reality” from others in his book – albeit to a much lesser extent than his two competitors in the race for the Chancellery.

So far Weber has chalked three places in the book in which Scholz used formulations from other publications, but without naming the corresponding source. According to the media scientist, the quotations come from an article in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and from the Federal Agency for Civic Education.

According to Weber, the review of Scholz’s book has not yet been completed. Neither the SPD politician nor his party have so far commented on the allegations.

17 critical passages in Laschet’s book

In the past weeks and months Weber had already examined the book “The rising republic. Immigration as an opportunity” published by Laschet and the book “Now. How we renew our land” by Baerbock, which appeared on the market in June, for possible plagiarism.

Weber drew his conclusion on Monday: There are 17 critical text fragments at Laschet. The book came out in 2009. But after a letter from the reader, Weber took another closer look at the work – with the result that Laschet is said to have taken, among other things, a longer paragraph from an article by the Munich political scientist and former Bavarian minister of education, Hans Maier, published in 2006. The source reference to the article is missing in Laschet’s book.

“Mrs. Guttenberg of the political non-fiction book”

However, the allegations against Baerbock are much more extensive: Weber claims to have found at least 100 problematic matches with foreign texts and then finished the review. Initially, the “Bild” reported about it.

Just a few days after the Green politician’s book was first published, Weber had raised initial allegations of plagiarism. He spoke of copyright infringement. However, Baerbock’s book is not an academic treatise, so it is subject to less strict criteria. Footnotes, for example, are not required. Nevertheless, Weber renewed his sharp criticism:

Obviously, it is just as brazenly copied in political discourse as in science, but it has so far not been documented in such a formative way from anyone as from Annalena Baerbock. She is Mrs. Guttenberg of the political non-fiction book.

But also from Laschet and Scholz “one would expect that they would use their own words whenever they were not quoting directly,” Weber said.

Baerbock and Laschet admitted mistakes

Both Baerbock and Laschet had admitted errors after the plagiarism allegations. At the end of July, the CDU politician declared: “At least one author of the material used in the book is not mentioned in the running text or in the list of sources.” Laschet explicitly apologized for this. His book should now be checked for further possible errors.

At the beginning of July, the Ullstein-Verlag, which had published Baerbock’s book, announced that future editions would be provided with sources. This applies to both the printed and the e-book version of “Now. How we are renewing our country”.

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