Jürgen Todenhöfer

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Jürgen Todenhöfer (2006)

Jürgen Gerhard Todenhöfer (born November 12, 1940 in Offenburg ) is a former German politician ( CDU ) and media manager who is active as a publicist .

The lawyer was a CDU member of the Bundestag from 1972 to 1990 and belonged to the right wing of the party. From 1980 he was one of the best-known German supporters of the US-backed mujahideen and the guerrilla war against the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan . He traveled several times in combat zones to meet Afghan mujahideen groups. From 1987 to 2008 he was a board member of the Burda media group .

From around 2001 Todenhöfer increasingly acted as a critic of the US-led interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq , about which he published several books. He traveled to these war zones as well as those of the Arab Spring and the " Islamic State (IS) ". Between January 2017 and 2018 Todenhöfer was the editor of the weekly newspaper Der Freitag .


Todenhöfer grew up with two siblings and parents Werner Todenhöfer and Edith, nee. Leonhardt in Freiburg. His father was a local judge and later President of the Senate at the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court , Freiburg Civil Senate. The Nazi diplomat Gerhard Todenhöfer was an uncle of Todenhöfer.

Study and job

From 1959, Todenhöfer studied law and political science at the universities of Munich , Paris , Bonn and Freiburg im Breisgau . He was research assistant at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg and received his doctorate in 1969 on the theme: The tortious liability of Hehlers: Under bes Berücks.. d. § 830 BGB . In 1972 he became a judge at the Kaiserslautern District Court , where he worked in criminal matters.

Political career

Candidate poster

In January 1970 Todenhöfer joined the CDU . Four weeks later, the then CDU General Secretary Bruno Heck brought him to Bonn as a personal advisor (until December 1971). In the 1972 Bundestag election , he entered the 7th German Bundestag via the Rhineland-Palatinate state list and remained a member of the German Bundestag until 1990 ; from 1980 onwards through a direct mandate from the Tübingen constituency in Baden-Württemberg . In the Bundestag he appeared as development policy spokesman since 1973 and later as disarmament policy spokesman for his parliamentary group. In 1978 he criticized the then CDU chairman and leader of the Bundestag opposition, Helmut Kohl, with the statement “You don't get to power in a sleeping car” . Todenhöfer represented positions on important points that contradicted Kohl's line even during his chancellorship. As a hardliner in the so-called Stahlhelm faction around Alfred Dregger , counted on the right wing of the CDU, he often represented conservative positions for which the opposition liked to target him. In 1973 he criticized a loan commitment by the Federal Republic for the elected socialist government of Chile under Salvador Allende with the words "The GDR is responsible for socialist experiments in the Third World ", in order to demand that this loan be paid out to the regime of the coup general Augusto Pinochet after the military coup .

According to a comprehensive monograph from 2014 on German-Chilean relations since 1949 by the historian Georg Dufner, "he [Todenhöfer] joined the long series of German politicians' visits to Chile in March 1975." On his return he reported with to have spoken to the military dictator Augusto Pinochet about the release of political prisoners. He was prepared to deport them to any country willing to accept them. After around 4,500 of them were released in Chile in the following years, Todenhöfer repeatedly and to this day (as of November 2015) spread his opinion that he had "initiated the release of a total of 4,500 political prisoners". While the historian Dufner did not even mention a possible connection between Todenhöfer's visit and the releases, it was occasionally portrayed as fact in the press.

When in 1978 the South African de facto colonial power of Namibia held parliamentary elections there to secure their rule , but excluded the largest black African party, SWAPO , Todenhöfer described these "elections" as the most democratic that had ever taken place in Africa. The UN Security Council , whose general assembly in 1972 recognized SWAPO as the only representative of the people of Namibia, did not recognize these elections.

At the end of the 1970s, a report by Todenhöfer as development policy spokesman for the Union parliamentary group on the apartheid regime in South Africa led to an internal controversy, as the latter highlighted very one-sided acts of violence by the African National Congress . The parliamentary group leadership then commissioned MPs Paul Hoffacker (CDU) and Walter Althammer (CSU) to create a more neutral picture by finding facts. Despite being hindered by the CSU headquarters and with the support of the churches in South Africa, they finally succeeded in creating a differentiated representation of the oppression of the black majority of the population without glossing over violent forms of resistance.

From 1980 he was one of the best-known German supporters of the Mujahideen, supported by the USA in the context of Operation Cyclone , and their guerrilla war against the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan . He traveled several times in combat zones to the mujahideen groups. According to his own statements, he was injured in his left knee by a splinter from a Soviet machine gun bullet. The Soviet government commented on Todenhöfer's experience report that if he was caught, he would be “flogged and shot”

In 1984 Todenhöfer was the first CDU member of the Bundestag to disclose his entire income situation.

At the end of 1984 he took part in an attack by Afghan mujahideen on a Soviet garrison, accompanied by a ZDF cameraman. During this time, with his visits to Afghanistan and the positive reports about the mujahedin there supported by the USA, he achieved a considerable presence in the German media. In 1985, the Soviet-backed Afghan communist President Babrak Karmal accused him of illegally entering Afghanistan accompanied by armed gangs and of taking part in sabotage, terror and espionage activities against the country under cover.

Together with other colleagues, Todenhöfer successfully campaigned for maintaining the goal of German unity in the CDU's party program in 1987, when - according to the former spokesman Helmut Kohl Karl Hugo Pruys - "Helmut Kohl would have been willing, under pressure from his Secretary General Heiner To let Geißler fall under the table without a sound. ”After leaving the Bundestag in the 1990 election, Todenhöfer withdrew from party politics.

Journalistic career

Media manager at Burda

In February 1987 - the publisher Franz Burda had died four months earlier - his childhood friend Hubert Burda brought him to support the media company. Together they had attended the Schiller High School in Offenburg. Initially, Todenhöfer took over the media policy and corporate law division in the company's own television production company PAN-TV . The end of 1987 was him in the Burda GmbH transfer responsibility for the areas of corporate policy, Human Resources, Organization, Audit, Legal, investments and new media, he also became deputy CEO of Burda GmbH.

In 1990 he was also appointed deputy chairman of the parent company Dr. Hubert Burda Holding GmbH & Co. KG and from January 1995 the finance department of the holding company. In August 1996 he took over - the board member Gerd Boll was killed in a plane crash - the publishing department (excluding the news magazine Focus ). At the end of 1998 he handed over the printing department to a managing director and continued to be Deputy Burda boss and chairman of the board for the publishing, finance and administration departments of Hubert Burda Media Holding until November 12, 2008 .

He worked for Burda for a total of 22 years, until 1990 alongside his parliamentary mandate. When the sale of the former SED newspaper Schweriner Volkszeitung by the Treuhandanstalt was pending in 1991 , Hubert Burda sent Todenhöfer, who still had good relations with the Union and government circles of the federal capital even after he left politics . The Burda Group was awarded the contract. Gerd Bolls, managing director of the Bauer Verlag , which was not dealt with, commented on this with the words: "We just don't have a member of the management team."

Author and freelance journalist

Since around 2001, Todenhöfer has been committed as a staunch opponent of the US wars in Afghanistan in 2001 and in Iraq in 2003 . He wrote books about both wars, which were sold in large numbers. He regularly traveled to the war zones in the Middle East. He disguised himself as a doctor in order to get into areas of Iraq that are closed to journalists. After returning from such an exploration, he confessed that he was often “ashamed of the West” there and, in an interview with Stern, took the view that Bush had killed even more people than bin Laden . However Todenhöfer protested in 2005 against the charge of anti-Americanism and declared that honor - Colonel of the US Army to be.

In March 2011, Todenhöfer stayed in Libya for a few days during the civil war in Libya and narrowly escaped a missile attack. He then called on Europe to supply the insurgents with defense weapons. He spoke out against a military intervention by NATO and instead advised diplomatic intervention by the UN.

Positions on Iran

In 2008 Todenhöfer traveled to Iran to “revive the dialogue with the West”. He met several grand ayatollahs and two vice foreign ministers and visited a research reactor in Tehran , where he was shown uranium enriched to 20 percent . For the Iranian ambassador to Germany Ali Reza Sheikh Attar , he was one of the most important contacts in Western politics. After several talks with leading Iranian politicians, on April 26, 2010, Todenhöfer brought an offer of negotiation and peace agreed with the Iranian leadership to the director of the US intelligence services , Dennis C. Blair , as a "messenger without mediation" . According to Todenhöfer's account, it said that Iran wanted peace with the USA and consisted of four key points:

  1. “A contractual and actual total guarantee against the construction of an Iranian atomic bomb. Among other things, the Iranians wanted to transfer the uranium enrichment required for medical purposes to 20 percent of the United States.
  2. The willingness to enter into fair agreements about the spheres of influence of Iran and the USA in the Middle East.
  3. The willingness to make constructive contributions to the solution of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.
  4. The readiness to fight international terrorism with concrete ideas. "

The US continued its sanctions. The conflict over the Iranian nuclear program was provisionally resolved in 2015 without Todenhöfer's intervention.

Positions on Syria

On November 13, 2011, Todenhöfer was in Syria on the occasion of the uprising and was one of the few Western journalists to see the dictator Bashar al-Assad . Todenhöfer advocated starting negotiations with Assad, as there was a risk of an extended civil war that could not be compared with the Libyan one. Most Syrians are still supporters of their president, who is credibly committed to democracy, and the country is largely normal. The Syrian-German writer Rafik Schami accused Todenhöfer - and also Peter Scholl-Latour - of being blinded and vanity with regard to their reporting on Syria, and mockingly referred to them as "celebrity journalists". Todenhöfer did not understand "in which theater he got his naive role". The proximity of the “reactionary old men” to the “extreme left” is astonishing, but not new. On July 4, 2012, Todenhöfer met Assad for a preliminary talk and conducted an interview with him the next day, which was broadcast by ARD on July 8, 2012. After mid-April 2013, he met Assad again for a meeting.

In September 2016, Todenhöfer conducted an interview in Syria with an alleged commander of the al-Nusra Front . Shortly afterwards, he said that the Syrian opposition was no better than the Assad regime. The authenticity of the interview partner was widely questioned; However, Todenhöfer denied having been deceived by Assad's secret service and claimed to have researched the man's background. He was accused in 2016 or earlier of doing propaganda for Assad's regime. Todenhöfer sees the blame for the Syrian civil war not only with Assad or the rebels, but also with the actors in the background, namely Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran and the USA, who fought for power in the Middle East. These powers were playing "a very bad game" on the backs of the Syrian people.

Positions on the "Islamic State"

In June 2014, Todenhöfer claimed that the uprising in Iraq was not primarily carried out by the terrorist militia “ Islamic State ” (IS), but by fighters of a secular alliance called “ National, Pan-Arab and Islamic Resistance ” (FNPI). Todenhöfer put the number of IS supporters at 1,000, compared to around 20,000 FNPI fighters, to whom he attributed economic dissatisfaction rather than religious fundamentalism as a motive. He attested to this resistance that, despite personal continuities with the Hussein regime, it was not the “successor organization” of the Hussein regime. He [wanted] to break new ground, [have] opened up, liberalized and [strive for] democracy. ”An Iraq expert from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in June 2014, however, assumed a strength of 10,000 to 15,000 men . In December 2014, Todenhöfer stayed for around a week in Mosul under IS control. The trip was arranged by the German-born IS fighter Christian Emde alias Abu Quatadah. Todenhöfer had told him that he would like to visit the IS-controlled areas of Syria and Iraq in order to get “authentic” impressions for his planned book on “ Islamic State ”. After his return, Todenhöfer reported that Sunni residents see the rule of IS as an improvement on the previous Shiite- dominated rule of the Iraqi government. Regarding the possibility of Islamist attacks in Germany, Todenhöfer said that such attacks could occur. The main danger does not come from the returnees from the combat zone - they are seen as "failures" - but from the IS sympathizers who could carry out an attack shortly before the trip to the war zone. He also warned against underestimating ISIS. Its followers would have a downright "intoxicating enthusiasm and confidence in victory". The goal of IS is to murder all members of non- Abrahamic religions , that is, hundreds of millions of people worldwide. According to Todenhöfers, IS counts among those spared believers of the Abrahamic religions only "IS Muslims ( Sunnis ), Jews and Christians". In fact, at this point in time, the IS also murdered thousands of members of the Abrahamic religions, including hundreds of uncooperative Sunnis among the victims (see list of executions by IS ). During a reading in Essen he described the so-called "IS" as "a baby of George Bush".

Positions on Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

In the Böhmermann affair surrounding Erdoğan , Todenhöfer declared on April 12, 2016 in an open letter to the Vereinigung für Medienkultur - where he reproduced the controversial poem in full - that it was an "insult for the insult's sake" and that it was "hidden racism." “Act. He also thought it was good that the Chancellor clearly distanced herself from the vicious poem.

In the debate on the constitutional referendum in Turkey in 2017 , Todenhöfer described the concise and controversial result as the “right of the Turkish people to self-determination”.

Positions on politics towards Russia

Against the background of the war in Ukraine and the Crimean crisis , Todenhöfer called in April 2014 for a conference to reorganize the relationship between Russia and the West. He described the Russian Federation as the "born strategic partner of Europe" and proposed a treaty with Russia on the inviolability of the region's borders. According to Todenhöfer, this can only be achieved if NATO refrains from expanding into the Ukraine and from using a missile defense shield "under Russia's nose".

Positions on Israel

While Todenhöfer accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2013 that his warnings about the Iranian nuclear program were implausible, he attested to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that he was “not inventing any non-existent war or peace plans”, but “based on a very concrete one Iranian negotiation and peace offer “act.

In June 2019, Todenhöfer took part in a demonstration at the Gaza border fence and carried a poster with the words "Dear Israelis, please treat the Palestinians as you would like to be treated!" When he turned around a few hundred meters from the border, he said he was hit in the back by an Israeli rubber bullet .

Editor of the weekly newspaper Der Freitag

The Friday owner Jakob Augstein appointed Todenhöfer as editor of the paper at the beginning of 2017 . The appointment was criticized in social networks because of his “expressions of sympathy for the Syrian President Baschar al-Assad” and the “anti-Western attitude”, which Todenhöfer was often accused of. According to Augstein's statement in an interview with the taz , his function as editor is limited to the fact that Todenhöfer advises the editor-in-chief and is allowed to come to the conferences. When asked that this was “not a lot” and what Todenhöfer was needed for, Augstein referred to Todenhöfer's “huge fan base on the Internet” and described him as “a completely independent publicist”. It is hoped to win new readers among its 700,000 Facebook fans. Augstein cited Todenhöfer's anti-war stance that he had traveled in the Middle East on his own account and wrote about it. Todenhöfer would have an “extremely high level of credibility” with “normal readers”. "Skepticism" is "only against him from the journalistic establishment".

In February 2017, Augstein denied to the Süddeutsche Zeitung that editorial members wanted to leave Friday due to Todenhöfer's appointment , but admitted that there had been a dispute within the editorial staff about the self-image of the paper on this occasion. By early July 2017 eliminated the Friday , however, among others, the deputy editor Katja Kullmann , the text chef Thomas Kaiser, the art director Max Sauer beer, the film critic Ekkehard Knörer and Lukas Foerster and the sports journalists Elke Wittich and Martin Krauss from. Kullmann justified her step by saying that she scared off the "journalistic environment" of Todenhöfer. His appointment as editor was "politically negligent to dangerous", "right now it would be important to draw a clear line between the red-brown camp."

At the beginning of January 2018, Todenhöfer ended his work as editor and justified this with the fact that his long stays abroad were not compatible with the function as editor.


In June 2014, Todenhöfer published a photo montage on Facebook with the face of Federal President Joachim Gauck , mounted in a photo of Al-Qaida boss Aiman ​​az-Zawahiri with a raised index finger. Above the picture he had written: “Federal President Gauck calls again for holy war!” The reason for this action was the demand of the Federal President at the time that Germany had to show more military commitment. In the following text, Todenhöfer accused Gauck of reminding him more and more of a "war-loving military pastor". "Like a madman" he advertises every few months for German participation in the war. Todenhöfer asked: “Who will stop this over-the-top warrior of God?” The criticism after this attack was sharp. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU): "Those who resort to such means have probably run out of arguments." Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt (CSU): "Political wrongdoer". Karl-Georg Wellmann , foreign politician of the CDU, advised "specialist medical treatment". Roderich Kiesewetter , also a foreign politician of the CDU: "Lost any grounding and any relation to reality". FDP chairman Christian Lindner : "completely wacky and disoriented", radical pacifism is naive . The managing director of the SPD parliamentary group, Christine Lambrecht : "That devalues ​​every argument". The deputy FDP chairman Wolfgang Kubicki : "I advise the public prosecutor to check this process urgently."

In response to a photo distributed by Todenhöfer that showed him in the rubble of a bombed Palestinian house surrounded by children's toys during the 2014 Gaza war, Klaus Kelle claimed in the Rheinische Post that the toys were so “clean and undamaged” as if they were “short previously bought in a store ”and wished for“ more truthfulness ”.

In July 2015, Todenhöfer promoted reading a key work by the former Nazi racial theorist and key word for the New Right , Sigrid Hunke .

On December 3, 2015, as part of his protest against a German military operation in Syria, Todenhöfer also published Xavier Naidoo's song "No more war" on Facebook. In it Naidoo sings to stand up for his convictions and not want to deny his belief. Something would go wrong "if we are no longer allowed to say that [ note:" No more war " ]. Muslims today wear “the new Star of David ” and are marginalized as terrorists. Arno Frank called this a "bizarre view" in a comment for Spiegel Online . In the publication of the “suggestive simplifications” by Todenhöfer, a “holy alliance of aluminum hat and Palestinian cloth ” appears. The FAZ criticized that Naidoo polarized "not because he had sharp provocations in store, but because he was talking confused". In the Süddeutsche Zeitung , Johannes Boie called Todenhöfer and Naidoo “dangerous world interpreters” and wrote: “With Todenhöfer and Naidoo, what belongs together grows together. [...] What does not fit into the worldview is explained with a conspiracy theory. ”Naidoo's concert agent Marek Lieberberg also called the Jewish star comparison“ as questionable as inaccurate and superfluous ”and particularly criticized Naidoo's collaboration with the“ Isis propagandist ”Todenhöfer.

In 2016 Todenhöfer sued the Hamburg Regional Court against Spiegel , because in its 3/2016 issue it had published an article by Özlem Gezer entitled “ Der Märchenonkel ” about Todenhöfer's new book 'Inside IS - 10 Days in the Islamic State', which he felt as an abusive article. The proceedings ended in August 2016 with a settlement in which the Spiegel issued “declarations of cease and desist with penalties, ” which obliged it to refrain from repeating all of the 14 passages objected to by Todenhöfer. The news magazine then also removed the corresponding article from its website. The publisher emphasized that there had been no judicial decision and that the settlement had only been approved for “procedural considerations”.

Work and reception

Tilman Tarach described Todenhöfer as a typical representative of the classical political right , whose primacy was initially anti-communism , but which, after the end of the Eastern Bloc, increasingly turned to the fight against the Enlightenment . Todenhöfer supports the Taliban against the USA today for no other motive than the mujahideen against the Soviet Union at the time .

The left-wing politician Oskar Lafontaine , on the other hand, praised Todenhöfer in the young world for having properly analyzed the "war on terror in the USA" as a "breeding program for terrorism [...]".

I think German. Reckoning with the Zeitgeist (1989)

Philip Meinhold found in the taz zu Todenhöfer I think German. Settlement with the zeitgeist of 1989, that he designed "the horror tale of the lying press and mainstream media" at an early stage . Meinhold also complained about "unsuccessful formulation [s]" and a "metaphor avalanche" and was bothered by the author's statement that the possibility of a punishable termination of pregnancy "opens the door to the happy cross-country whoring".

Share your happiness and you change the world (2010)

Christian Geyer-Hindemith praised the autobiography published on Todenhöfer's 70th birthday, originally intended only as a “legacy” to his children, Share your happiness and you change the world in the FAZ as “cheerful in style” and “document of moral sensitivity”.

You should not kill. My dream of peace (2013)

For Rainer Hermann , FAZ, there is Todenhöfer's book You shouldn't kill. My dream of peace actually from two books: “One is a commitment for peace. It's about the war, the wars in the Middle East and the wars of the West there. [...] The other contains reports from the trips that have taken him as a witness to Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco since 2011, to Iraq and Iran, to Pakistan and Afghanistan, six times to Syria. ”Hermann's conclusion:“ Who just peace believes that the book is a romantic aberration for unrealistic enthusiasts. But those who keep to the fifth commandment and reject violence as a relapse into barbarism, read it with profit. "

Martin Woker , the longtime Middle East correspondent of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung , finds Todenhöfer's “courage and sympathy for the suffering of the war victims” arousing, but he is a little annoyed that he is also the one who, in his opinion, negligently caused the death of a companion promote circulation in the prologue of the book. Todenhöfer's motives are not completely clear to him, even if he prefers his “fluent reports of experiences” from the Arab world with a “substrate of personal experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq”, “which are supposed to make tangible, like a communist eater and members of the Stahlhelm faction 'became an ardent anti-imperialist in the Bundestag . "

Josef Joffe , however, slating the book in time as a collection of "flittingly demagogic [r] Reply [...] on interest and morality, sense and justice of the war." If Todenhöfer George W. Bush call the "worse killers" because "the The West [had] killed many more civilians in Afghanistan than Al-Qaeda in the United States, "he suggests," that there is no difference between the attacked and the aggressor, that moral value is a matter of the number of victims. Then Nazi Germany would probably also be salvaged, which had to complain about a much higher number of favors towards the West ”. When he "proclaims peacefulness as the greatest good, he [s] at the same time say that he is ready to betray every other value in the name of peace: family, friends, nation, plus freedom, justice and independence". Todenhöfer developed a "strange sympathy for those violent criminals who fight against the West, especially America and Israel". His technique is always the same: "Heartbreaking stories about the suffering of some, cold indifference for the other". He lacks the ability to understand conflicts in their context, and his "view of the Old Testament [...] with Yahweh as the killer god [...] is a tried and tested topos of right-wing extremist pamphleteers ". Todenhöfer has " developed a pretty business model on the high seat of morality , as his editions and TV appearances show".

Inside IS - 10 days in the "Islamic State" (2015)

Matthias Drobinski attested Todenhöfer courage and tenacity in the Süddeutsche Zeitung when he was looking for a conversation with IS fighters for research on Inside IS - 10 days in the "Islamic State" and an interview with IS supporter Christian Emde in January 2015 in advance RTL Nachtjournal showed, but found that “fundamentalists […] cannot be dealt with with this type of conversation”, rather the explanation about “info porn” is blurred here.

Frank Jansen accuses Todenhöfer in the Tagesspiegel of Inside IS that he has his “own mad world”, “which is so compatible with that of IS” that Todenhöfer's “anger against the West” reminds “of the crude talk of anti-imperialists”. For Todenhöfer, human rights and democracy are only accessories to “Western violence”. Which even went beyond "what the bestial IS terrorism is showing us today". This is where Todenhöfer's thought patterns become visible: "ISIS is bad, but the West is even worse". He exposes himself as an anti-American demagogue. Todenhöfer's statement that "in Germany [...] not a single German was killed by Islamist terrorists" For example the Islamist double murder of two US soldiers in Frankfurt in March 2011 (because “they weren't Germans”) and those Germans who died on September 11, 2001 and in other attacks abroad. The "professional and innovative [acting] in terms of propaganda" IS using the "persistently knocking" Westerner Todenhöfer to show the world that "the Islamic State is a functioning state in which the population could live safely, if it weren't for the air strikes by the Assad regime and the Americans ”. Todenhöfer probably noticed that himself, but still made himself “a fool of the caliph ”. IS is likely to have hoped for Todenhöfer's outrage about alleged US bombers and drones. Todenhöfer supplies ammunition for propaganda . The fact that at the end of the book he also condemned the brutal methods of ISIS will be able to cope with it, especially since Todenhöfer thanked him for the hospitality.

In the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Wolfgang Freund regarded Inside IS as a “successful report book”, but disliked the “somewhat intrusive self-adulation” by Todenhöfer as a “fearless seeker of truth”, whom he described as “Hans Dampf in all Arab streets”. A selective listing of verses from the Koran at the end of the book should prove that “true Islam is anything but instructions for the worldwide liquidation of all non-Muslims or false Muslims”. However, the fact that there are just as many passages in the Koran preaching violence and war as in other holy scriptures is kept secret.

For the political scientist Peter R. Neumann , Todenhöfer was instrumentalized by the terrorist militia and after his trip he conveyed the message to the public that mattered to the Islamic State. The IS is not ideologically closed in the way Todenhöfer has presented.

Regarding the stage version of Inside IS , Frank Dietschreit said for the RBB that Todenhöfer "has [mutated] from a submissive America fan and rock-hard communist eater to a sensitive understanding of Islam and disdainful anti-Semites. The “self-loving way in which Todenhöfer poses as a revolutionary and war tourist, ignoring the fact that he is being used by IS to advertise their crazy ideas and deadly messages” is “marginal journalism”. Nevertheless, we owe him "some important insights into the sick soul of deluded terrorists". However, the “banality of evil” degenerates “all too often into involuntarily comical kitsch”. The cliché piece brings "no intellectual added value or any new knowledge". Oliver Kranz, on the other hand, found on Deutschlandfunk that the message of the play aimed at a young audience, aimed at immunization against terrorism, had reached the audience despite or precisely because of its artificial positive ending.

The Great Hypocrisy (2019)

In relation to Todenhöfer's book Die große Hypuchelei, published in 2019, Stefan Pohlit wrote in zenith , the specialist magazine about the Arab-Islamic world, that Todenhöfer pretends to be the revelator and yet keeps falling back on his subjectivity. He is incapable of more than incitement. So he plays into the hands of all those who were just waiting to mock him as an all-round bat. Despite many of Todenhöfer's merits, what bothers him in his book is himself: “Like a moon during a solar eclipse, Todenhöfer keeps putting himself in the light, reflecting on his exertions and feelings.” In the abundance of observations and many unnecessary details, that goes necessary analysis lost.

The ARD culture magazine ttt - titel, thesen, temperamente found the work promised to be “the anti-war book of the year”.


In 1977 Todenhöfer married the French Françoise Laval for the second time. The couple lives separately, with two daughters and a son from the marriage.

In 2008 Todenhöfer founded the “Stardust Foundation”. According to her own statement, she wants to "give joy to people who are on the dark side of life". The foundation's director is Todenhöfer's older daughter. The foundation includes sub-foundations: “AGO” takes care of elderly lonely people in the Munich area. Students are paid for taking care of them, reading to them, and shopping for them. The name is said to younger brother Joachim Todenhöfer called Ago, remember that with 22 years of suicide committed.

Todenhöfer's younger daughter fell ill with multiple sclerosis in April 2004 at the age of 19 and in December 2006, with financial support from her father, founded a foundation for MS patients, the “ Nathalie Todenhöfer Foundation ”, which she and her father lead as a board member.



  • The tortious liability of the stealer with special consideration of § 830 BGB. 1969.
  • Growth for everyone. Plea for an international social market economy (editor in charge. Todenhöfer). Seewald, Stuttgart 1976, ISBN 3-512-00457-1 .
    • English: Growth for All. 1979.
    • Spanish: Crecimiento para Todos. Intercesion por una Economia Social de Mercado Internacional. 1979.
  • I think German. Settlement with the Zeitgeist , Straube, Erlangen 1989, ISBN 3-927491-12-8 .
  • Who is crying for Abdul and Tanaya? The fallacies of the Crusade on Terror. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2003, ISBN 3-451-05420-5 .
  • Andy and Marwa. Two children and the war. C. Bertelsmann, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-570-00859-2 .
  • Why are you killing, Zaid? C. Bertelsmann, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-570-01022-8 .
  • Share your happiness ... and you will change the world! - Finds from an adventurous journey. C. Bertelsmann, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-570-10069-1 .
  • Enemy Islam. Ten theses against hatred. C. Bertelsmann, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-570-10135-3 .
  • You should not kill. My dream of peace. C. Bertelsmann, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-570-10182-7 .
  • Inside IS - 10 days in the “Islamic State”. C. Bertelsmann, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-570-10276-3 . ( No. 1 on the Spiegel bestseller list in 2015 )
  • The great hypocrisy - How politics and the media betray our values. Propylaea, Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-549-10003-5 . (with the collaboration of Frédéric Todenhöfer)


Web links

Commons : Jürgen Todenhöfer  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Catalog of the German National Library , accessed on December 8, 2016
  2. a b c Mark Spörrle : "The Peace Fighter " , portrait of Jürgen Todenhöfers, Die Zeit, issue 08/2003, online April 2, 2008, accessed January 23, 2016
  3. a b Hans-Jürgen Jakobs: “Back in luck. Jürgen Todenhöfer - a portrait “ Süddeutsche Zeitung, online November 11, 2010, accessed January 23, 2016
  4. Chile Help: Make character clear . In: Der Spiegel . No. 16 , 1975, p. 38-41 ( Online - Apr. 14, 1975 ).
  5. ^ Georg Dufner: Partner in the Cold War: The political relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and Chile. Campus Verlag 2014, 420 pp., ISBN 3-593-50097-3 , p. 310 in the Google book search.
  6. Self-biography on own website ( Memento from November 9, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (accessed on November 5, 2015)
  7. ^ Gabriele Brenke, The Federal Republic of Germany and the Namibia Conflict. Writings of the research institute, German Society for Foreign Policy , Oldenbourg Verlag , Munich 1989 p. 181
  8. ^ Scientific Services of the German Bundestag (publisher): Members of the German Bundestag: Walter Althammer , De Gruyter / Oldenbourg, Munich 2002, ISBN 978-3-486-56583-6 , page 181ff
  9. Todenhöfer: Share your happiness. P. 259.
  10. Mark Spörrle: Portrait: The Peace Fighter . In: The time . April 2, 2008, ISSN  0044-2070 ( zeit.de [accessed January 31, 2020]).
  11. https://www.spd-geschichtswerkstatt.de/wiki/Der_gläserne_Abbitre
  12. Hubert Röderer: "I owe you my deepest thanks" . Publisher Hubert Burda praises his long-term companion Jürgen Todenhöfer / childhood friends grew up in Offenburg. In: badische-zeitung.de . September 6, 2008 (accessed December 15, 2016).
  13. Jürgen Todenhöfer . In: Der Spiegel . No. 2 , 1985, pp. 155 ( online - Jan. 7, 1985 ).
  14. Mostafa Danesch: The Federal Republic interferes massively. Interview with President Babrak Kamal, Der Spiegel, issue 45/1985.
  15. ^ Karl Hugo Pruys : Helmut Kohl: the myth of the chancellor of unity. Edition Q, 2004, 136 pp., ISBN 3-86124-586-8 , p. 15.
  16. Jürgen Todenhöfer: Share your happiness ... and you change the world! - Finds from an adventurous journey. C. Bertelsmann, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-570-10069-1 , according to the 2012 edition: "He's overdrawn my role ... in the Google book search
  17. ^ Heinrich-August Winkler : The long way to the west. German history. Volume 2: From the Third Reich to Reunification. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2010, 5th edition 2010, 742 pp. ISBN 978-3-406-46002-9 , pp. 470f.
  18. Munzinger Archive Profile Jürgen Todenhöfer (read on December 15, 2016)
  19. Jürgen Todenhöfers Abschied , badische-zeitung.de from September 20, 2008 (accessed December 15, 2016)
  20. "Not always to meet is part of it" . Interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, October 3, 2008.
  21. ^ Soot from the pants , Der Spiegel from April 22, 1991
  22. "Bin Laden killed fewer people than Bush" . Interview with Jürgen Todenhöfer in: Stern, No. 31, July 24, 2008.
  23. "Bush Promotes Terrorism" ( Memento from February 23, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) - Interview by Fred David with Jürgen Todenhöfer in Cicero Online from August 24, 2005
  24. "We just inspected a smoldering wreck ..." In: Der Tagesspiegel, January 23, 2012.
  25. Matthias Chapman: “I didn't run. I knew my life was decided. ” Tagesanzeiger, March 26, 2011.
  26. The day Gaddafi killed my friend. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 23, 2011.
  27. Lilith Volkert: Views on a murderous clown. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung, March 23, 2011.
  28. Alexander Osang: The special ambassador . In: Der Spiegel . No. 49 , 2012, p. 56-63 ( Online - Dec. 3, 2012 ).
  29. Dieter Bednarz: Todenhöfer in Iran: "Unnecessary, malicious, a shame". In: Spiegel Online . November 29, 2008.
  30. Jürgen Todenhöfer: In search of the bomb. In: Frankfurter Rundschau . May 2, 2012.
  31. a b c Jürgen Todenhöfer: Netanyahu or Ruhani: Who is more credible? In: Berliner Zeitung . October 6, 2013
  32. # Todenhöfer 2013 , pp. 188–190, 195–201, 225 f., 255, publications, medium dated December 16, 2011 , publications, medium dated November 27, 2011 .
  33. If Syria burns, the whole Middle East burns . Deutschlandradio, January 12, 2012.
  34. Rafik Schami: Delusion paired with vanity. In: the daily newspaper , March 2, 2012.
  35. # Todenhöfer 2013 , pp. 274–277, 284–291, 297, 298, publications, medium of July 8, 2012 .
  36. # Todenhöfer 2013 , pp. 314, 316–321.
  37. Klaus Rimpel: Todenhöfer on Syria: "The rebels are no better than Assad" , interview in Münchner Merkur on September 30, 2016
  38. ^ Alfred Hackensberger: Explosive new allegations against Todenhöfer , Die Welt from October 1, 2016
  39. Christoph Reuter: Todenhöfer's interview in Aleppo: Mummenschanz for Assad October 1, 2016
  40. ^ Daniel Steinvorth: An actor of the regime? , NZZ.ch of September 30, 2016
  41. Timur Tinç: Todenhöfer counters criticism of interview , Frankfurter Rundschau online September 30, 2016.
  42. ^ Journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer on Aleppo - "A very bad game" at the expense of the Syrians. Accessed January 31, 2020 (German).
  43. Michael Hesse: “Only apparently the biggest role” - Interview with Jürgen Todenhöfer in the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger from June 15, 2014
  44. tagesschau.de: Iraq expert Walde on the power struggle: "Baghdad is on the brink". ARD, June 12, 2014, accessed on June 13, 2014 .
  45. Todenhöfer, a publicist after a trip to the IS area, "Intoxicating confidence in victory". tagesschau.de, December 18, 2014, archived from the original on December 19, 2014 ; accessed on December 21, 2014 .
  46. Jürgen Todenhöfer - The daredevil hero. In: Ruhrbarone . June 4, 2015, accessed June 10, 2015 .
  47. Is that supposed to be art? | Association for media culture. In: www.medienkultur.at. Retrieved April 13, 2016 .
  48. a b Peter Weissenburger: Dispute about the new "Friday" editor: Letter from Todenhöfer , the daily newspaper of July 7, 2017
  49. Jürgen Todenhöfer: "Russia is the born strategic partner of Europe" , interview in Deutschlandfunk on April 13, 2014
  50. Interview with Jürgen Todenhöfer "I was amazed that I was shot" , Berliner Zeitung, June 16, 2019
  51. ^ "Friday" Jürgen Todenhöfer becomes editor " , Spiegel Online from December 7th (accessed December 15, 2016)
  52. Former Burda board member Jürgen Todenhöfer is the editor of "Freitag" , Hamburger Morgenpost dated December 7, 2016
  53. Interview by Anne Fromm with Jakob Augstein: Jakob Augstein about Jürgen Todenhöfer “He is not a journalist” taz of December 8, 2016
  54. Interview by Evelyn Roll with Jakob Augstein: "An impressive figure" , SZ from February 2, 2017
  55. Jürgen Todenhöfer resigns as editor , SPON from January 9, 2018
  56. FAZ , June 20, 2014: “Over-twisted Gotteskrieger” - Sharp criticism of Todenhöfer after the attack against Gauck , online
  57. Klaus Kelle: Mr. Todenhöfer and how he sees the world , Rheinische Post from August 1, 2014
  58. René Martens: The old devil called attitude , evangelisch.de of July 6, 2017
  59. The West , June 13, 2018
  60. 'No more war': Todenhöfer publishes new Naidoo song , Spiegel Online , December 4, 2015
  61. Arno Frank: Naidoo and Todenhöfer: "The new Jewish star". In: Spiegel Online . December 4, 2015, accessed December 4, 2015 .
  62. Michael Hanfeld: Weird stuff. In: FAZ.net . December 4, 2015, accessed December 4, 2015 .
  63. Johannes Boie: Todenhöfer and Naidoo - dangerous world interpreters . Süddeutsche Zeitung, December 4, 2015.
  64. "Star of David" -Eklat to Naidoo: Lieberberg distances itself , TZ , December 8, 2015
  65. Anne Burgmer: Legal dispute over "abusive article": The "Spiegel" deletes text on Jürgen Todenhöfer , Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger , August 30, 2016.
  66. Tilman Tarach, The Eternal Scapegoat: Holy War, the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and the mendacity of the so-called left in the Middle East conflict , Copenhagen / Freiburg / Zurich 2009, 2nd edition, page 230
  67. ^ Oskar Lafontaine: Peace instead of NATO , Junge Welt, January 8, 2015, page 3
  68. Philip Meinhold: Every sentence is a treasure . The daily newspaper from December 20, 2016.
  69. Christian Geyer: I looked for happiness in the wrong place for fifty years . FAZ from December 2010.
  70. a b Review in the Frankfurter Rundschau from November 11, 2010
  71. ^ Rainer Hermann : Weltverbesserer gegen Geostrategen , FAZ from September 5, 2013
  72. Martin Woker: Savior in the Middle East . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung from January 10, 2014.
  73. Josef Joffe: Morality is different . In: Die Zeit 8/2014 from February 13, 2014.
  74. Matthias Drobinski: Info Porn self immunization . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung 8/2015 of January 14, 2015.
  75. ^ Frank Jansen : Tourist among terrorists , Der Tagesspiegel of May 13, 2015
  76. Wolfgang Freund Chaos im Orient , Süddeutsche Zeitung of June 2, 2015, quoted from Buecher.de
  77. Peter R. Neumann: The new jihadists. IS, Europe and the next wave of terrorism. Ullstein, Berlin 2015, p. 90.
  78. Frank Dietschreit: Stupid dialogues, flat people, grainy debates ( Memento from November 27, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), RBB from October 13, 2016.
  79. Oliver Kranz: Todenhöfer's travel report in the youth theater , Deutschlandfunk from October 23, 2016.
  80. Zenith
  81. Video: Jürgen and Frederic Todenhöfer - The Great Hypocrisy Available until May 5, 2020
  82. Cf. Todenhöfer: Share your happiness. P. 245.
  83. ^ Carline Mohr: Fateful stroke after graduation , Die Welt from April 29, 2007
  84. FAZ of December 20, 2010, p. 26: I've been looking for happiness in the wrong place for fifty years (review).