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Udo Ulfkotte

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Udo Ulfkotte
Ulfkotte in 2007
Udo Konstantin Ulfkotte

(1960-01-20)20 January 1960
Died13 January 2017(2017-01-13) (aged 56)
EducationUniversity of Freiburg
Occupation(s)Author, journalist, conspiracy theorist

Udo Konstantin Ulfkotte (20 January 1960 – 13 January 2017) was a German journalist and author who worked for the German main daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) from 1986 until 2003. From the end of the 1990s, he wrote several bestsellers and increasingly advocated right-wing populist, Islamophobic, and conspiracy-theory positions,[1][2][3][4][5] and maintained that journalists, including himself, and leading newspapers published material that had been fed to them, or bought, by the CIA and other Western intelligence and propaganda agencies.[6]

Life and career[edit]

Ulfkotte was born in Lippstadt in Westphalia and grew up in Dorsten and Warburg. After graduating from high school in 1978 at the Marianum Gymnasium in Warburg, he studied law and political science at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg.[7] In February 1987, he received his doctorate under Dieter Oberndörfer at the University of Freiburg with a dissertation on continuity and change of American and Soviet politics in Near and Middle East 1967 to 1980.[8]

In October 1986, he became a member of the political editorial board of FAZ, where he belonged to the foreign policy department until 2003 and dealt with Africa, the Arab states and the United Nations.[9] According to his own statements, however, which were doubted by Jan Fleischhauer,[10] he lived mainly in Islamic countries between 1986 and 1998 (including Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan) and travelled to over sixty states.[7] These stays would have helped shape his image of Islam.[11] According to Michael Schmidt-Salomon, he is said to have understood himself as a "born-again Christian".[12]

Already during his studies, he was an employee of the CDU-oriented Konrad Adenauer Foundation[9] and from 1999 to 2003 belonged to the planning staff of the foundation.[13] He was regarded as a specialist in security management and business espionage.[14] Ulfkotte was a lecturer in security management in the field of business administration at Leuphana University of Lüneburg from 1999 to 2007 and taught competition observation in the United States.[14] From June 2005 to June 2006 he was chief correspondent for the personality magazine Park Avenue of the Hamburg publishing house Gruner + Jahr.[14] His articles appeared among others in the magazines, Capital, Cicero, Junge Freiheit and the news agency German Telegraphic Service. Ulfkotte has been a guest at several talk shows and a press club.[15]

In 2004, the Frankfurt am Main public prosecutor's office searched Ulfkotte's private and office space because of the "suspicion of incitement to the betrayal of their secrets" of the Criminal Code. Ulfkotte is said to have known about state protection proceedings before they became publicly known. He denied bribes and described the suspicion as politically motivated. The German Journalists' Association (DJV) commented on the measure: "If it was a question of silencing a journalist in times of widespread fear of terror, it would have to be massively protested against it".[16] The procedure was closed in 2005.[15]

Ulfkotte wrote books on intelligence and Islamism. From 2008, his books have been published by Kopp Verlag, which is known for its conspiracy theory and right-wing populist publications.[17] He was also a regular author of the internet portal Kopp-Online and editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine Kopp-Exklusiv.[14] Because of his provocative right-wing views, he was considered one of the key figures between the Neue Rechte and Kopp.[18]

Political activities[edit]

Ulfkotte was a co-founder of the anti-Islamic association Pax Europa in 2006,[19] which joined Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE), as part of the counter-jihad movement.[20] In 2007 he initiated the European Friends of Democracy and Values.[21] In the 2007 Bremen parliament election, he supported the right-wing populist voters' association Citizens in Rage (BIW), which he joined in June 2007.[22]

Ulfkotte at a Pegida rally in 2015

Also in June 2007, Ulfkotte signed the anti-Islam organisation Federal Association of Citizens' Movements (BDB)'s "Wertheimer Appell" against their supposed "creeping Islamisation" of Germany.[23] On 11 September 2007, Pax Europa together with Stop Islamisation of Denmark (SIAD) and the British No Sharia Here, planned a Europe-wide demonstration against the "Islamisation of Europe" in Brussels. This was on 9 August 2007 banned by the Mayor of Brussels Freddy Thielemans.[24] Pax Europa and SIOE approached the far-right Belgian party Vlaams Belang for their assistance.[25] The associations complained against the ban and were represented by the Belgian lawyer Hugo Coveliers, whom Filip Dewinter of Vlaams Belang, had given them.[26] The lawsuit filed on 30 August 2007 dismissed. After initial cooperation,[27] Ulfkotte and Pax Europa distanced themselves from Vlaams Belang and the Cologne branch of the German League for People and Homeland (DLVH), the Citizens' Movement Pro Cologne, which had called for participation in the demonstrations. In 2008, Pax Europa merged with the BDB[28] to form the Citizens' Movement Pax Europa (BPE).[23]

The German Centre Party announced before the Hamburg parliament election in 2008 that Ulfkotte was a non-party candidate on list space 2 behind the party chairman Dirk Nockemann, but he did not stand for election.[29] In July 2008, Die Welt reported on death threats on the internet against Ulfkotte and his wife in connection with an anti-Islamic video posted on YouTube, which was not from the Ulfkottes, but was falsely attributed to them.[30] At the beginning of December 2008, Ulfkotte left the association Citizens' Movement Pax Europa (BPE), which he founded, because of its "increasingly extremist courses".[14][19]

On the 22 December 2014, Ulfkotte appeared as an "official" speaker at the Bogida demonstration controlled by Pro NRW, where he made "16 arguments" in support of Pegida.[31] He took part in a Pegida event in Dresden as a speaker on 5 January 2015.[31]

Bought Journalists[edit]

In 2014, Ulfkotte's book Gekaufte Journalisten (English: Bought Journalists: How Politicians, Intelligence Agencies and High Finance Control Germany’s Mass Media) was published. In this work, he stated that the CIA and other secret services pay money to journalists to report stories in a certain light. According to Ulfkotte, the CIA and German intelligence (BND) bribe journalists in Germany to write pro-NATO propaganda articles, and it is well understood that one may lose their media job if they fail to comply with the pro-Western agenda. This is part of a larger pattern of media corruption he describes in the book.[32] An English translation was released under the title Presstitutes.[33] Several media outlets rejected Ulfkotte's claims as frivolous.[6]

Der Spiegel observed that "Ulfkotte's book was published by Kopp, a melting pot for conspiracy theorists. Kopp publishes works by ufologists, and by authors who claim the Americans destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center themselves in 2001. Ulfkotte's book was on the bestseller lists for months. According to the magazine, "Bought Journalists is the bible of all those who have renounced their faith in the German media. Ulfkotte's critics see the book as a vendetta against the FAZ, which he left on bad terms."[34]


Ulfkotte died from a heart attack on 13 January 2017 at the age of 56.[35]


English-language books[edit]

  • Presstitutes Embedded in the Pay of the CIA: A Confession from the Profession. Progressive Press. 2019. ISBN 978-1615770175.
  • Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News. Next Revelation. 2017. ISBN 978-1944505455.

German-language books[edit]

  • Volkspädagogen: Wie uns die Massenmedien politisch korrekt erziehen wollen [People's educators: How the mass media want to educate us politically correctly]. Kopp. 2019. ISBN 978-3864456947.
  • Mekka Deutschland: Die stille Islamisierung [Mecca Germany: The silent Islamization]. Kopp. 2019. ISBN 978-3864456664.
  • Gekaufte Journalisten: Wie Politiker, Geheimdienste und Hochfinanz Deutschlands Massenmedien lenken [Bought journalists: how politicians, secret services and high finance control Germany's mass media]. Kopp. 2014. ISBN 978-3864451430.
  • Vorsicht Bürgerkrieg!: Was lange gärt, wird endlich Wut [Caution civil war!: What has been fermenting for a long time will finally be anger]. Kopp. 2009. ISBN 978-3938516942.
  • Heiliger Krieg in Europa: wie die radikale Muslimbruderschaft unsere Gesellschaft bedroht [Holy War in Europe. How the radical Muslim Brotherhood threatens our society]. Eichborn. 2007. ISBN 978-3821855776.
  • Der Krieg im Dunkeln: die wahre Macht der Geheimdienste [The War in the Dark. The True Power of the Secret Services]. Eichborn. 2006. ISBN 978-3821855783.
  • Grenzenlos kriminell: die Risiken der EU-Osterweiterung: was Politiker verschweigen [Limitless criminal: The risks of the EU east expansion: What politicians are silent]. Bertelsmann. 2004. ISBN 978-3570002001.
  • Der Krieg in unseren Städten: wie radikale Islamisten Deutschland unterwandern [The War in our Cities. As Radical Islamists Infiltrate Germany]. Eichborn. 2003. ISBN 978-3596163403.
  • Wirtschaftsspionage: wie deutsche Unternehmen von ausländischen Geheimdiensten ausgeplündert und ruiniert werden [Economic espionage: How German companies are looted and ruined by foreign intelligence agencies]. Goldmann. 2001. ISBN 978-3442151257.
  • Propheten des Terrors: das geheime Netzwerk der Islamisten [Prophets of the Terror. The Secret Network of the Islamists]. Goldmann. 2001. ISBN 978-3442151967.
  • So lügen Journalisten: der Kampf um Quoten und Auflagen [Journalists Lie in Such a Way. The Fight for Ratios and Editions]. Bertelsmann. 2001. ISBN 978-3570001998.
  • Gencode J: Roman [Gene Code J.]. Eichborn. 2001. ISBN 978-3821808604.
  • Marktplatz der Diebe: wie die Wirtschaftsspionage deutsche Unternehmen ausplündert und ruiniert [The thieving marketplace: How the business espionage looted and ruined German companies]. Bertelsmann. 1999. ISBN 978-3570001981.
  • Verschlusssache BND [Classified Material Federal Intelligence Service]. Koehler und Amelang. 1997. ISBN 9783733802141.


  1. ^ Hanrahan, Brían (25 March 2017). "Post-Truthers: Welcome to Conspiracy Central, Berlin". Handelsblatt. Archived from the original on 1 November 2020. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  2. ^ Simpson, Patricia Anne; Druxes, Helga (2015). Digital Media Strategies of the Far Right in Europe and the United States. Lexington. p. 125. Udo Ulfkotte and Eva Herman... now promote right populist esoteric views
  3. ^ Benz, Wolfgang (17 March 2014). "Quellentext: Islamfeindlichkeit und Antisemitismus ähneln einander". Dossier Rechtsextremismus (in German). Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung.
  4. ^ Shooman, Yasemin (2014). »… weil ihre Kultur so ist«. Narrative des antimuslimischen Rassismus (in German). transcript. p. 92. ISBN 978-3837628661.
  5. ^ Schiedel, Heribert (2011). Extreme Rechte in Europa (in German). Steinbauer. p. 46. ISBN 978-3902494542.
  6. ^ a b "Rechtspopulismus: Umstrittener Publizist Udo Ulfkotte ist tot". Spiegel Online (in German). 14 January 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Udo Ulfkotte". ulfkotte.de (in German). Retrieved 14 April 2024.
  8. ^ Liebold, Sebastian. "Dieter Oberndörfer (geboren 1929)". In Jesse, Eckhard; Liebold, Sebastian (eds.). Deutsche Politikwissenschaftler – Werk und Wirkung. Von Abendroth bis Zellentin (in German). Nomos. p. 575. ISBN 978-3832976477.
  9. ^ a b Lukas, Ingeborg (2000). "Sie redigieren und schreiben". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). pp. 119, 134.
  10. ^ Fleischhauer, Jan (6 March 2015). "Im Wald" (in German).
  11. ^ Anastasiadis, Georg; Menner, Werner (30 July 2007). ""Ein Tsunami der Islamisierung"". Münchner Merkur (in German).
  12. ^ Schmidt-Salomon, Michael (2016). Die Grenzen der Toleranz: Warum wir die offene Gesellschaft verteidigen müssen (in German). Piper. p. 19. ISBN 978-3492310314.
  13. ^ Hein, Jan-Philipp (16 March 2007). "Autor Ulfkotte plant anti-islamische Partei". Spiegel Online] (in German).
  14. ^ a b c d e Benz, Wolfgang (2013). Die Feinde aus dem Morgenland. Wie die Angst vor den Muslimen unsere Demokratie gefährdet (in German) (2 ed.). Beck. p. 71. ISBN 978-3406662607.
  15. ^ a b Geisler, Astrid (18 July 2007). "Der Kreuzretter". Die Tageszeitung. p. 5.
  16. ^ Rübel, Jan (1 April 2004). "Staatsanwaltschaft durchsucht Privat- und Büroräume von Autor Udo Ulfkotte". Die Welt (in German). p. 4.
  17. ^ Heß-Meining, Ulrike (2011). "Right-Wing Esotericism in Europe". In Backes, Uwe; Moreau, Patrick (eds.). The Extreme Right in Europe. Current Trends and Perspectives (in German). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. p. 402. ISBN 978-3525369227.
  18. ^ Hunger, Anna (2015). "Gut vernetzt – Der Kopp-Verlag und die schillernde rechte Publizistenszene". In Braun, Stephan; Geisler, Alexander; Gerster, Martin (eds.). Strategien der extremen Rechten: Hintergründe – Analysen – Antworten (in German) (2 ed.). Springer. p. 431. ISBN 978-3658019839.
  19. ^ a b ""Stürmer-Stil": Publizist Ulfkotte verlässt islamkritische Bewegung". Die Welt (in German). 2 December 2008.
  20. ^ Aked, H.; Jones, M.; Miller, D. (2019). "Islamophobia in Europe: How governments are enabling the far-right 'counter-jihad' movement" (PDF). Public Interest Investigations. University of Bristol: 36.
  21. ^ Lucardie, Paul (2007). "Populismus im Parteiensystem in Deutschland und den Niederlanden". Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte (in German) (35–36): 44.
  22. ^ Hartleb, Florian (2013). "Bürger in Wut (BIW)". In Decker, Frank; Neu, Viola (eds.). Handbuch der deutschen Parteien (in German) (2 ed.). Springer. p. 191. ISBN 978-3658009625.
  23. ^ a b Ansari, Humayun; Hafez, Farid (2012). From the Far Right to the Mainstream: Islamophobia in Party Politics and the Media. Campus. pp. 39–40.
  24. ^ Engelmann, Kerstin; Günther, Friederike; Heise, Nele; Hohmann, Florian; Irrgang, Ulrike (2010). Muslimische Weblogs. Der Islam im deutschsprachigen Internet. Medien und politische Kommunikation – Naher Osten und islamische Welt (in German). Vol. 20. Frank & Timme. p. 132. ISBN 978-3865962393.
  25. ^ Diab, Khaled (11 September 2007). "Villains of the pax". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  26. ^ "Ik verdeel de bevolking in twee kampen, ik been en breekijzer". De Morgen. 17 August 2007. p. 6. Anti-Islam-Politiker Udo Ulfkotte trifft sich mit Philip Dewinter und Hugo Coveliers: ‚Ich teile die Bevölkerung in zwei Lager, ich bin ein Brecheisen.' Udo Ulfkotte (l.) zu Gast bei Philip Dewinter. ‚Natürlich bin ich gern auf Dewinters Vorschlag eingegangen, einen Anwalt für unsere Organisation zu vermitteln. Auch der Vlaams Belang hatte vorgeschlagen, uns zu helfen, beispielsweise mit seinem Sicherheitsdienst, aber das haben wir abgelehnt. Wir arbeiten nicht mit dieser Partei zusammen.'
  27. ^ Häusler, Alexander (2008). Rechtspopulismus als "Bürgerbewegung". Kampagnen gegen Islam und Moscheebau und kommunale Gegenstrategien. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. p. 164. ISBN 978-3531159195.
  28. ^ Mudde, Cas (2016). The Populist Radical Right: A Reader. Taylor & Francis. p. 121.
  29. ^ Geisler, Astrid; Ballnus, Olaf (19 February 2008). "Gottlieb Gnadenlos". Die Tageszeitung (in German). p. 5.
  30. ^ Graw, Ansgar (23 July 2008). "Todesdrohungen: Islamkritiker auf der Flucht vor Extremisten". Die Welt (in German). p. 4.
  31. ^ a b Weiß, Volker (6 January 2015). "Sind sie das Volk? Pegida – die Patriotischen Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes". Dossier Rechtsextremismus der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (in German).
  32. ^ "Periodistas alemanes comprados". El Mundo. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  33. ^ "Current Bestsellers | Progressive Press". 26 February 2021. Archived from the original on 26 February 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  34. ^ Markus Brauck et al "Germans Lose Faith in the Fourth Estate" Der Spiegel February 24, 2016
  35. ^ "Udo Ulfkotte: Umstrittener Publizist und ehemaliger FAZ-Journalist ist tot". Spiegel Online (in German). 14 January 2017.

External links[edit]