Friends and acquaintances are worried about the former chancellor

“You also know Gerhard Schröder privately – how is he?”

Some of the former chancellor’s old confidants did not answer this question at all. They stop, wondering what to answer. Anxiety can be felt. And then they talk, at least a little bit. But please do not mention their names in any way.

One of these counties recently wished the former chancellor a happy birthday at his home. How does Schröder react to such a thing? “He is happy that we are there, that we are talking together again.”

Is Putin also discussed in such rounds? “Yes.” Does Schröder get advice from his friends? “Of course, for example he is now quitting his job in Russia. That he should generally take it easy and enjoy the rest of his life. And that he urgently needs to stop interviewing. “With what he recently said to a reporter from the New York Times, he is not doing himself or anyone else any honor.”

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The problem is: Schröder does not listen to advice of this kind.

At least the former chancellor admits they have good intentions. One visitor describes it this way: “He rubs his back a little to say goodbye. “But you can feel very clear: you can no longer achieve that.”

Former Chancellor under criticism: Politicians are seeking sanctions against Schröder

Schröder has been sharply criticized for not resigning from his posts at Russian energy companies, despite the Russian attack on Ukraine.

Many of the old friends are puzzled as to what to do next. Things should not be left as they are, it was said these days and not just in concerned party districts. A skate game with prominent entrepreneurs also came to the conclusion that something needed to be done. Just what?

Schröder turned 78 on April 7th. A big celebration was out of the question. On his 70th birthday, 200 guests came to a reception in Hanover City Hall, where he was still an honorary citizen at the time. Today not only is he no longer an honorary citizen. He is more isolated than ever.

Gerhard Schröder can no longer lead a normal life

Of course, Schröder is to blame. And of course, most Germans see no reason for sympathy or even regret. Hasn’t he filled his pockets for years?

After the start of the war on February 24, Schröder chose to remain permanently in the public eye as an employee of a war criminal. Of all his mistakes about Russia, this one was the worst. In doing so, Schröder not only harmed himself and not just his party, but the whole of Germany.

However, Schröder is now receiving a severe sentence for this. The former chancellor can no longer lead a normal life in the country he led from 1998 to 2005.

Schröder almost never leaves his apartment in an old villa in Hanover. There is always the danger of directing the hand. Tabloid reporters stand guard outside the door. If anyone comes to visit, like Sigmar Gabriel recently, they face the camera that works.

A visit to a restaurant, say the trustees, is probably no longer a tempting prospect for Schröder: “He has to wait for the other guests to sit a little further away, for them to keep their distance from a former mayor. to the German government as if they were. a leper. “

Recently, Schröder himself has aggravated his situation in an interview with Katrin Bennhold, correspondent from Berlin of the New York Times. Bennhold brought with him to Hanover a freelance photographer, French Laetitia Vancon, who lives in Munich.

Visually, Schröder maintained his composure. Photos of the statesman a. D .: Schröder in front of his portrait, Schröder between a statue of Willy Brandt and a piano, Schröder in front of the heavy wooden door of his office.

In terms of content, however, Schröder discovered new weaknesses. Among the more than 4,500 words in the article, there is none that suggests a new distance from Putin, on the contrary. Schnoddrig comments Schröder on Putin’s jailed opponent Alexei Navalny. Bennhold asks him if Navalny was poisoned – Schröder asks him again: “Yes, but by whom?”

New York Times interview: Schröder defends Putin

Schröder also explicitly defended Putin against allegations of massacre of civilians on the outskirts of Kiev, Bucha. He believes, Schröder told the New York Times, that the orders did not come from Putin, but “from the lowest levels”.

Was not Schröder aware that Putin later explicitly honored the 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade, which was stationed in Butscha? No, say Schroeder’s friends, such details no longer reach. He is now on the road without professional support. In fact, at that time, all the employees in his former chancellor’s office in Berlin had already turned their backs on him.

Former Lower Saxony Justice Minister Christian Pfeiffer – a longtime supporter of the former chancellor – sees Schröder’s statements as evidence of a personality change that worries him: “The man we are seeing now is no more “Gerhard Schröder we remember from his time as chancellor.” In 2003, in a major speech against Germany’s involvement in the Iraq war, he demonstrated strong independence and a clear advantage. ”.

Others show something stylistic. Earlier, as a lawyer and later in politics, Schröder always cultivated maximum intellectual acumen. Now he treats himself with a happy ambiguity – even in conversations with one of the most important newspapers in the world on the most serious topic of this time.

Bennhold writes that in the interview Schröder drank copious amounts of white wine mocking his critics. In fact, everyone should press the stop button at this point and pause for a moment. How seriously should one take statements from political interviews that appear to have been made under the influence of alcohol?

SPD party leader Esken demands: Schröder must leave the party

SPD leader Saskia Esken suggested that former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder leave the SPD.

For the CDU, Schröder’s theme comes just in time for the state elections in Schleswig-Holstein (May 8) and North Rhine-Westphalia (May 15). In a round of the internal strategy of the federal CDU in Berlin, the election campaign in both federal states was advised not to “leave indignation for Schroeder in any speech”. NRW Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst has already started and called Schröder’s interview “disturbing”.

Politicians from the Greens and the FDP also invest and give fire. FDP leader Christian Lindner is demanding that the former chancellor be stripped of his state post. European green politician Reinhard Bütikofer would like Schröder to be on the next list of EU sanctions.

The SPD also distances itself from Gerhard Schröder

Schröder’s beating is well known, even his party can not break away from him quickly enough.

The SPD headquarters in Berlin no longer offers the “Gerhard Schröder Coffee Spikes” in their online store, which came in a group of 6. Even non-political institutions distance themselves from the young German non-person with a magnificent gesture. The famous Berlin bar, Ständige Austausch, removes the term “Altkanzlerfilet”, which was used to describe a currywurst, from Schröder’s menu and accompanying photograph should also be removed.

Saskia Esken, co-chair of the federal SPD, introduced the Social Democrat version of ruthlessness. She urges the former chancellor to leave the party as soon as possible and not wait for the party to be expelled. Esken recommends that the Germans try a new perspective: “We must stop perceiving Schröder as an old statesman, as a former chancellor.”

In Schroder’s decades-old circle of trustees in Lower Saxony, there is talk of a cold snap. Indeed, it is now less of a political drama than a human one. The former chancellor was an old man who needed help, even though politicians, the media and he himself did not want to admit it: “Gerdi actually needs help, but he does not accept it. “He lost, but he remains stubborn and thinks he has to go through this alone.”

Schröder himself left unanswered a request from the editorial network Germany (RND) for the major concerns his environment is now making for him.

How far will Schröder push himself into his irresistible opposition? Some fear he will take seriously Putin’s alleged bid to be elected to Gazprom’s supervisory board in addition to his position at oil company Rosneft. The deadline is June 30.

Schröder critics say the former chancellor simply cannot fill the channel financially. Friends argue that it’s not about money for him, just about prestige: tragically, jobs in Russia are what still make him stand out in a world that otherwise has completely collapsed for him. He puts aside the fact that everyone, including Putin, now uses him only as a toy for their own purposes. Instead, he is sticking to the former statesman’s still influential fiction.

Can Soyeon Schröder-Kim help her husband?

Who is pulling the 78-year-old into reality? Soyeon Schröder-Kim, his fifth wife, an economic consultant from South Korea, born in 1970, does not seem to have helped much so far. When Schröder gave the world the impression of a potentially promising mediation mission by visiting Putin in Moscow in March, Schröder-Kim raised the height of the fall for both. On Instagram, she posted a photo of herself in the window of a luxury hotel in Moscow, with her hands tied in prayer, her eyes closed, with Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral illuminated in the background. It seemed as if she sincerely hoped that her husband would change the course of history in these supposedly fatal hours.

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In reality, talks with Putin failed and members of the Ukrainian government, shaking their heads, spoke of a “tragedy.”

Who or what offers comfort in such a situation? In May 2020, Schröder-Kim spoke surprisingly openly as a guest on the NDR Talk Show about drinking wine with her husband: “Just meet red wine with her. I’m not a wine fan right now, but just drink together for my husband to drink less. “

For a while you could see photos on Instagram of both of them raising their glasses with pleasure. Schröder-Kim has not posted photos of this type in a long time. Even friends see this as a bad omen.

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