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My Correspondence With the ARD Journalist Neumaier

When I saw a report on Slovenia in the evening programme of the German First Television, ARD, I first thought that they had simply summarized the news from some article from one of the German newspaper – Der Spiegel, Südeutsche Zeitung or Die Welt. But then, I was surprised by an ARD journalist living in Vienna, Nikolaus Neumaier, who passionately tweeted about the show in question. Therefore, I could not refrain from sending him my thoughts on his report via Twitter’s direct message. I wrote: “Dear Mister Neumaier, I have discovered several irregularities in your report on Slovenia. It looks like you have adopted the language of the communist opposition almost to a T. I know that it is very difficult to objectively report on Slovenia if the rapporteur does not know its history at least from the year 1941 onwards, or if he only knows the communist version of it. As an expert on the political situation in Slovenia, I will have to contact your employer in Munich due to inaccurate reporting. However, if you would like to find out more about Slovenia yourself, I would, of course, be happy to help.”

On the 4th of April, the journalist surprised me with an answer:

“Dear Mister Kindlhofer,

thank you for your e-mail. I do not know why you wanted to get in touch with me if you have already decided to complain about my work to my superiors. I assume you just wanted to tell me that.

Other than that, I do not know what to make of the terms like communist or non-communist. To me, this is just a matter of freedom of the press and European values. This is what is important to me, regardless of worldview.

Kind regards

Nikolaus Neumaier”

And now we know where the shoe pinches – the problem is, once again, communism. Because not all Western journalists of the younger generation see communism as a dictatorship of the same quality as fascism and Nazism. The journalist also revealed that he is committed to European values. And what are they? Isn’t it for the politics to argue about what is European and what is not? What is liberal, and what is conservative? And the journalists can then report on this at length; however, it is not their job to evaluate what is the right or wrong political direction. In good conscience, I replied to him, writing:

“Dear Mister Neumaier,

a sincere thank you for your response. I prefer direct communication with you. With your last sentence, the problem of communication with German journalists became much clearer to me. You evaluate communism differently than, for example, National Socialism. Communism in practice is not just a worldview, but above all, a brutal dictatorship, just like fascism and National Socialism. It is even worse in some parts.

Today’s situation in Slovenia is very closely related to communism. The political opposition consists of staunch successors of communism. The opposition party SD is the direct successor of the League of Communists, so the Communist Party of Slovenia. Members of the SD party have even spoken quite openly about this in parliament. The party’s president, Tanja Fajon, also pays public tribute to communist criminals, such as Boris Kidrič, who was one of the main people responsible for the massacre during the communist revolution. In the year 1945, when Western Europe was liberated from both fascist dictatorships, Stalin’s revolutionary Tito introduced a communist dictatorship in Yugoslavia, and thus also in Slovenia, which lasted for another 45 years. And now something very important: the existing public media outlets, such as Delo, and the national public broadcaster RTV Slovenia in particular, are still the relics of the old dictatorship. The current leadership of the media outlets also had connections with the communist State Security Administration – UDBA (read GESTAPO). Your belief that all of the events in Slovenia have nothing to do with communism is fundamentally wrong. We did not have the Nuremberg trials here, with which we would convict and punish the communist criminals.

RTVS is a public company financed by the state and citizens with mandatory monthly contributions. Therefore, there is also a contract between the media house and the state, which is reflected in the Radiotelevizija Slovenija Act. Article four states exactly what the obligations and rights of the public institution in question are. Obligations include ideologically and party-neutral reporting. Obviously, RTVS does not adhere to this. Hence the mass protest against the mandatory payment of contributions. The TV station supports the openly communist-contaminated opposition.

The status of the Slovenian Press Agency (Slovenska tiskovna agencija – referred to as the STA) is similar. However, the STA even refuses to submit financial reports to its founder. The dispute was not about the content of the Agency’s work but about completely ordinary administrative matters. There is reasonable suspicion that the STA misused the taxpayers’ money to finance private newspapers by paying them for expensive advertisements that the STA does not need.

Thus, the communist past absolutely plays a very important role in Slovenia. Just as the takeover of power by the National Socialism was fatal for Germany in 1933, so was the takeover of power by the Communists fatal for Yugoslavia. First in 1941 with the violent subjugation of the uprising, and then in 1945 with the final submission to Stalin and the Soviet Communism.

The main problem of the Slovenian left-wing at the moment is that it has no power in its hands, which is a severe defeat for the non-democrats.

If the German journalists want to stop being the helpers of Slovenia’s yesterday’s politicians, they must change their warped views and focus on the real problems in Slovenia.

I wish you a happy holiday.

Kind regards

Franci Kindlhofer”

From the thinking of journalist Neumaier, it is clear that the main problem of journalism, and thus of real reporting, is the belief that communism is something else, something better than what it really is. And above all, something that is not dangerous. Misled intelligence is more dangerous in this case than the radical left. Even Stalin said after the war: “What do I care about the left-wing students who fight with police officers in Paris. One Marxist professor at the Sorbonne benefits us much more.”

Franci Kindlhofer

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