Friday, July 24, 2009

Another German Politician with Fake Doctorate

Germans (and Austrians even more so) love academic titles. They are part of your official name, get engraved on your doorbell and mailbox, and everyone calls you "Herr Dr. X" or "Frau Dr. X". Outfits selling fake doctorates seem to flourish in our part of the world.

The by no means complete list of German politicians who have recently been caught using false titles:
  • Kai Schürholt, CDU, Rheinland-Pfalz, supposedly Doctor of Divinity, was running for Lord Mayor of Landau when in August 2007 he pulled out of the running, supposedly because he had cancer. That, it turned out, was a lie, with which he hoped to withdraw from the race before the false doctorate came to light.
  • The head of the organization "Kinder brauchen uns" (Children need us), Markus Dewender, denounced himself in December 2007. Spiegel had discovered that the "university" awarding him the doctorate in 2005 (Yorkshire University, located in the Virgin Islands) was actually a diploma mill. He then offered a doctorate in business from the University of Warsaw in Juni 2006. This was discovered to be a fake. He then complained that his "advisors" were bad, he really needed one in order to scare up donations for his charity.
  • The most recent addition to the list is Niels Neu, CDU, Nordhausen in Thuringia. He is a businessman and local politician. He, too, was using a doctorate from Warsaw that was discovered to be fake. The city requested that he hand in his identity card, which had the title on it. He refused and took the city to court. The court found that he did not have a proper doctorate and ordered him to hand his ID card over to the authorities on July 13, 2009.
The list will most certainly be continued.

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