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Mannheim | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak

Wolfgang Holzem




Mannheim is a city in the northwest corner of the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany, at the confluence of the Rhine and Neckar rivers. It is close to Ludwigshafen.

Coronavirus since Reopening

Germany | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak
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Mannheim was a small fishing village before it became a city at the beginning of the 17th century. It was constructed on the site of a fortress guarding the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Neckar. Even now, a few remnants of the fortification can be seen, and the peculiar street layout owes to that part of its history. For 58 years, Mannheim served as a royal residence, and gave Schiller, Lessing, Goethe and Mozart a home for some time.

Before World War II,Mannheim was a beautiful city, but was flattened in bomb raids due to its industrial significance. When it was time to rebuild the city, Mannheim, like many other German cities, opted for an all out modern approach to urban development. Thus, most of the old quarters were replaced by buildings typical of the 1950s. If you are not an adept to architecture, their appeal might not be easy to grasp. As a result, the impression is more of an industrial city with a few spots of beauty.

Modern Mannheim is the second largest city in Baden-Württemberg and one of the hotspots of immigration. Because of that you’ll encounter a lively and colorful mixture of nationalities and cultures in the city.

  • Tourist Information MannheimWilly-Brandt-Platz 5 ,   .

Get in

Image of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideBy plane

Transport from Frankfurt Airport, to Mannheim or neighbouring Ludwigshafen, is by ICE high speed train (30 minutes, €25) with Lufthansa Express Rail. Mannheim also has a small local airport, the Mannheim City AirportThis airport is connected to Berlin Tegel and Hamburg up to twice daily (weekdays) by Rhein-Neckar-Air with small Turboprops, but their fares are pretty high. In the summer there are even flights to Sylt. 

Cheap Flights to Frankfurt

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By train

Mannheim is a regional transport hub with ICE, IC and regional trains all stopping in  Mannheim Hauptbahnhof. There are direct connections to and from many major German Cities, including BerlinHamburgMunich and Cologne, international destinations are BaselInnsbruck, Salzburg, Paris and Marseille (via Strasbourg and Lyon). There are three CityNightline (CNL) trains crossing Mannheim, connecting it to Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Milan and Prague overnight. However, arrival and departure times for night trains can be in the middle of the night as Mannheim lies along the line and not on either terminus and onward connections can be scarce or nonexistent.

By bus

Mannheim is served by Eurolines (Deutsche Touring) with overnight long distance services to destinations in France, UK and other neighboring countries. The  bus station (ZOB) is at Heinrich-von-Stephan-Str, near the Main Station (Hauptbahnhof).

In the domestic business, Mannheim is served by – among others – Flixbus and Dein Bus

Get around

The center of Mannheim is laid out like a chess board, with no real street names. Addresses in the Quadrat take the form of a grid reference, such as Q3, 12 designating a block. Note that the streets themselves are not named, rather “Q3” refers to the block itself. If you follow a street from Q3, you might end up at either Q2 or P3. It is best to navigate by “following” the blocks rather than the streets. If you get lost, a rather high probability, simply ask a local. They are used to it.

The public transportation system is quite extensive. Bus routes cover Mannheim, and the tram system connects Mannheim to Ludwigshafen across the river, Heidelberg a few minutes away, and Weinheim, in addition to major routes across and through the city. Local/Regional Trains of the S-Bahn Rhein-Neckar connect Mannheim and the surrounding cities and countryside. Unfortunately as of 2018, the automatic ticket machines only accept coins, not notes or cards.

  • Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar (Rhine-Neckar Transport) – Public transportation network
  • S-Bahn Rhein-Neckar – Local/Regional trains

What to see and do

  • Water tower (Wasserturm), FriedrichsplatzOne of the most famous icons of the Jugendstil (Arte-Nouveau style) in Germany, the water tower (and small park surrounding it) is a great place to sit in the summer for a picnic or just a little rest. The park is surrounded by the Rosengarten, a conference hall of reddish brick, and the colors on a sunny day are amazing.
  • Mannheim Palace (Barockschloss Mannheim), Bismarckstraße (It is right next to the main train station.) ,   Tu-Su, PH 10:00-17:00Part of the University of Mannheim; Mozart used to give concerts here. 7€, 3.50€ concessions.
  • Paradeplatz (the center of the city, pedestrians-only). A small park, surrounded by shops, restaurants and everything you can imagine.
  • KonkordienkircheWith about 92 meters the tower of the church is the highest one in Mannheim.
  • ChristuskircheWerderplatz 15.  The original Steinmeyer Organ with about 8000 pipes is one of the biggest within Germany and was built in 1911.
  • LuisenparkTheodor-Heuss-Anlage 2.  09:00 -16.30 in winter and 9:00 – 18:30 in summerThe attractions include a greenhouse, “gondoletta” boats, and a variety of facilities for children. Entrance to one side is free, but there is a charge to enter the other side (summer: 8€, winter 4€).
  • HerzogenriedparkMax-Joseph-Straße 64.  Main attractions are a little zoo, a rose exhibition and the park lake. 3,5 €.


  • Reiss-Engelhorn Museum (REM), Museum Weltkulturen D5, 68159 Mannheim ,   Tu-Su 11:00-18:00At D5 and C5 (see above for explanation of downtown addresses), the REM houses a permanent exhibiton world cultures along with an exhibition hall whose contents range from photography to astronomy. 12.50€, 6.50€ Concessions.
  • Technoseum (Museum of Technology)Museumsstraße 1 ,   Mo-Su 09:00-17:00The Technomuseum displays various tools and machines from different times. 9€, 6€ Concessions.
  • Kunsthalle (Art Gallery)Friedrichsplatz 4.

What to do

  • National Theater Mannheim (NTM), Mozartstraße 9 (The street car stops right outside the theater) ,   Has a different show almost every night (for some shows, like ballets or opera, the language barrier is not an issue). student tickets are much reduced (5 or 15 euro).
  • CineplexP4 13 (Tram: “Strohmarkt”).  Includes showings of films in original English
  • SAP ArenaAn der Arena 1 (Tram: “SAP Arena” / Train: “Mannheim ARENA/Maimarkt”).  Ice hockey, Handball and music concerts. 
  • Congress Center Rosengarten (m:con), Rosengartenplatz 2 (Tram: “Rosengarten”).  Music concerts and conferences.
  • CapitolWaldhofstr. 2 (Tram: „Alte Feuerwache”).  Tickets: Tue, Thu, Fri 2PM-7PM, Sat 11AM-1PMConcerts, Musicals and Comedy.
  • Maimarkt (“May Market”), Xaver-Fuhr-Str. 101 (Tram: “Maimarkt”). April 27 to May 7 in 2019, 9AM-6PMLargest regional consumer exhibition of Germany, for eleven days in April/May. There are also many other events on the site over the rest of the year. 8€.

Stay safe in Mannheim

The most parts of Mannheim are safe, but there are a couple of districts that have higher crime rates. Examples are Vogelstang, Neckarstadt-West, Jungbusch (night) and some others. Street crime and violence, however, are very rare, so you will be perfectly ok if you simply use your common sense. In particular, it is not dangerous at all to visit the pubs and clubs of the Jungbusch or the Neckarstadt.


In the city center of Mannheim you can find two big shopping streets, the “Planken” (planks) and the “Breite Straße (broad street), both of which are only open to pedestrians and the tram. Here you can find dozens of shops and stores for clothes, shoes, jewelry and sweets. See below for more information. On the other side of the river Rhine, in Ludwigshafen the “Rhein-Gallery” is a big shopping mall, an even bigger mall is located in Viernheim (Tram line 5), the “Rhein-Neckar-Zentrum”.


  • Spaghettieis was invented in Mannheim in 1969. Vanilla ice cream is pressed through a spaetzle press, creating the spaghetti-like shape, over which comes strawberry sauce as tomato sauce and grated white chocolate as grated cheese.
  • Mannheim is known for its many pretzel stands. Little pretzel baguettes with mozzarella and tomato are quite yum.
  • The Döner is a kind of Turkish kebab found throughout Germany and is definitely worth trying! One of the most popular Döner stalls is located right across the train station, called City Döner (see below). It is very common to have a Döner there after partying.
  • City DönerWilly-Brandt-Platz 5-7 (located opposite from the central station). 6AM-5AMOne of the best and most-visited Döner Shops in Mannheim, open almost 24/7.
  • Schotti’s Burger ImbissFriesenheimer Str. 6 (in the industry area “Friesenheimer Insel”) ,   Small Burger Shop, makes the best Burgers in Mannheim.
  • Benjamins DinerGorxheimer Straße 9.  10AM-11PM, Weekends till 12AMAmerican-style diner, located near the old Army facilities of Benjamin-Franklin-Village in “Käfertal”. Usually crowded; reservations suggested.
  • Katik DönerKaiserring 40, 68161 Mannheim (Across the street from Heller’s). Another döner shop near train station.
  • Little IndiaT2 17.  11AM-10PMVery small Indian restaurant. Don’t get fooled by the look from the outside. The food is delicious.
  • MetzgereiRheinparkstraße 4In summer you can rent a full picnic basket there and take it to the Rhine river. Of course you can also eat inside the restaurant, but reserve a table in advance.
  • Heller’sVegetarian Restaurant since 1987(!). Self-Service with a huge buffet. You pay by weight. Also cakes and other deserts are available.
  • 424Rheinpromenade 15Closed on Mondays and TuesdaysHigh class vegetarian restaurant, situated directly at the Rhine river. The building is split in two areas. In the other part there is a non-vegetarian restaurant called Rheinterrassen
  • RheinterrassenShares the space with 424 and is run by the same owner. In summer the big beer garden is open. Many people pass by, since this is the main Rhine promenade.
  • Istanbul and Meydan, G1 (Marktplatz). Both restaurant are close together. Only Cafe Journal (good breakfast) is in between. Both are Turkish restaurants. Mannheim is famous for its big Turkish community, so these restaurants offer a variety of different and traditional Turkish dishes, not limited to Döner Kebab. Definitely a part of Mannheim’s food culture. There are many more Turkish restaurants and shops in the area west of Marktplatz. Therefore some refer to the area as “Little Istanbul”.
  • Sunday morning buns. Get fresh buns for breakfast even on Sunday morning at G1 (Marktplatz). Backfactory and another bakery on the other side of the tram tracks are open on Sundays.


  • Blau (German for “blue”), Jungbuschstraße 14is the favourite hangout for leftists, post-punks and alternative culture adepts. It is also here where you are likely to run into activities of the “Büro für angewandten Realismus” (office for applied realism), a group of artists that organise cultural events every now and then. Additionally, there are displays of their artwork in the pub.
  • OnyxFriedrichsplatz 12 (near the Wasserturm).  is bustling with activity almost every night after normal working hours. They offer a full bar and excellent menu for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Typically more dressy than other hangouts.
  • Café BernsteinSeckenheimer Straße 58 (located in the Schwetzinger Vorstadt. 10 min walk from Main station).  is a nice French style Bar/Café that offers a good selection of beers and wines. They also offer a small but fine selection of lunch/dinner. Reasonable prices. Exceptional friendly staff!
  • Café OdeonG7,10is a nice Bar that belongs to an alternative Cinema. Reasonable prices and relaxed people.
  • SOHO ClubJ7,16 (located on the ring-road that begirds the inner city).  is a small club with reasonable prices, good music and relaxed guests between 20 and 40. Music varies from night to night. Don’t miss the cocktail happy hour until 11PM
  • Murphy’s LawKaiserring 10-12 (Bahnhofvorplatz).  is a great Irish pub that serves up Boddington’s and Kilkenny on tap (a rare find), in addition to the usual suspects. The pub fare is better than most, especially the Irish breakfast, chili, and fish and chips. It’s usually packed on the Weekend nights with English, Irish, Welsh, Scottish and American ex pats and a few Germans (typically University students) thrown in there for local flavor. Just a hop and a skip from the main train station. Weeknds, Fall to Spring usually feature live music. Tuesday is trivia night. Be sure to say hello to John at the end of the bar.
  • Havana BarP6, 16 – 19 (Tram: “Wasserturm”).  Mon-Thu 9AM-3AM, Fri-Sat 9AM-5AM, Sun 11AM-3AMNice bar near one of Mannheim’s main streets (“Planken”), also offers great Food. Weekly offers.
  • Café ViennaS1 15, 68161 MannheimSun.-Thu. from 10AM-2AM, Fri. and Sat. from 10AM to 3AMPopular amongst student for its cheap price for its drinks (especially beer) and foods.

You might also want to have a look at a detailed local nightlife guide (in German), and a calendar and guide for all kinds of events and locations in Mannheim, Heidelberg and Ludwigshafen.

Where to stay in Mannheim

  • Youth hostel (Jugendherberge Mannheim), Rheinpromenade 21.
  • Etap HotelLanglachweg 18 (about 8km east).
  • Hotel LuxaU1 11.
  • Bed & Breakfast Mannheim (Apt Inn Mannheim), Waldparkstraße 30.  An affordable hotel with kitchen located within walking distance of the train stations in an historic building in Lindenhof. €50.
  • Dorint Kongresshotel MannheimFriedrichsring 6 ,   Quality hotel in the centre of town. from € 76.5 per room/night.
  • B&B Hotel MannheimWill-Sohl-Straße 7 (Tram: “Neuostheim”, next to the City Airport) ,   Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 12PM61€.

Hotels Mannheim: Popularity

Hotel Stars Discount Price before and discount Select dates
Leonardo Hotel Mannheim City Center ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
NH Mannheim ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
the niu Square ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Leonardo Royal Hotel Mannheim ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Staytion ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Hotel Mack ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
GuestHouse Mannheim ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
NYX Hotel Mannheim by Leonardo Hotels ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Best Western Plus Delta Park Hotel ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Maritim Hotel Mannheim ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals


Religious services

  • Overview of mass times in all Catholic churches in Mannheim
  • St. Ignatius und Franz-Xaver, Jesuitenkirche, A4, 2 (15 min from central station, direction Nordwest; bus 60 to “Mensa”).  Sat: 18:30; Sun: 9:30, 10:30 (span.), 11:30, 18:00; Mon-Fri: 18:00
  • Hl. Geist, Moltkestr. 14 (5-8 min from central station, direction east). Sun: 11:00, 13:00 (Croat.), 19:00; Tue, Thu: 18:00, Fri: 10:00
  • St. Joseph , Bellenstr. 67 (8-10 min from central station, direction south).  Sat: 18:45; Sun: 11:00; Tue, Fri: 19:00; Thu: 9:00

Go next

  • Bertha Benz Memorial Route – Follow the tracks of the world’s first automobile journey back in 1888 (Mannheim – Pforzheim – Mannheim)
  • Ludwigshafen is right across the river.
  • Heidelberg the most famous city near Mannheim and is reachable by tram/street car (40-50 minutes), regional train (15 minutes) or IC (10 minutes).
  • The cathedrals at Mainz and Speyer, and the cathedral and Nibelungen bridge at Worms are all about 30 minutes away.
  • Mannheim1000x600

  • Mannheim1000x600

Former founder of and now reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as Thailand, Germany & Switzerland. Born near Cologne but lived in Berlin during my early teenage years. A longterm resident of Bangkok, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon and Phuket. A great fan of Bali, Rhodes & Corfu. Now based on Mallorca, Spain.


Wirecard : How Jan Marsalek Friend Henry O’Sullivan became “Corinna Müller”




Henry OSullivan

The Briton Henry O’Sullivan is regarded as the dazzling puller of many Wirecard deals and friend of Jan Marsalek and internal emails show how big his influence was in the company.

Henry O’Sullivan celebrated his 40th birthday in paradise. He invited lawyers, managers and high-ranking executives from Wirecard to the lonely dream island of Benguerra off the coast of the East African state of Mozambique. Board member Jan Marsalek and his girlfriend should also come.

As a souvenir, the host wanted: pens for the school children in town and champagne for the party weekend.

The luxury resort Azura Retreats, which O’Sullivan rented in November 2014, had cabins right on the beach, palm trees, and a beach. On arrival, the guests would have to wade through knee-deep water as the British businessman’s assistant warned a month before the celebration. That wasn’t a problem for Jan Marsalek. He preferred to travel by helicopter anyway, according to an email from his secretary.

The extravagant birthday plans reveal a lot about two of the central key figures in the Wirecard scandal. Jan Marsalek (40) and Henry O’Sullivan (46) are close confidants who worked together on big deals far away from the headquarters in Aschheim. Now the judiciary is asking whether millions have been diverted. Wirecard is insolvent and Marsalek is on the run.

O’Sullivan does not answer inquiries. At the beginning of 2020, he only wanted to talk to the examiners from KMPG and EY under certain conditions but then he was no longer available to them.

The beefy Brit was known for his dissolute lifestyle. In Singapore he often dined in a top restaurant on the roof of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, with a view over the harbor. To save time on business trips, he preferred to travel short distances by helicopter instead of taxi and in the meantime he lived on a yacht in Monaco.

Marsalek had O’Sullivan flown in in 2014 to celebrate with him at the Munich Oktoberfest. A year later they flew through South Africa in the Learjet 45XR. And when the Briton wanted to meet the Wirecard executive board in Jakarta in 2014, he asked an Indonesian employee by email about a hotel that would tolerate the “type of spring break business trips”.

Beyond its luxury life, only fragments of O’Sullivan’s businesses are known. The Briton did not hold an official position at Wirecard. Many consider him a “phantom” in the background, a member of the mysterious clique around Marsalek.

It was stored in the Wirecard address book with an external e-mail address for freelancers – his profile photo showed Pablo Escobar, the Colombian drug lord: another bad joke by Jan Marsalek, as insiders suspect.

As much as O’Sullivan was on business trips, he was always careful to be discreet. This is also shown by an episode from spring 2020, when the Wirecard world was already falling apart and auditors examined the opaque third-party business for which Marsalek was responsible.

O’Sullivan was very knowledgeable about third party business and a strange company purchase in India in 2015. He was therefore a sought-after discussion partner for the annual auditors from EY and the special auditors from KPMG. O’Sullivan apparently managed to convince the supervisory board of a special protective measure.

A sought-after discussion partner for EY and KPMG

O’Sullivan demanded at the end of April or beginning of March 2016 that his name should not be recorded in the “final report” or in any other correspondence with Wirecard. “These papers have a habit of appearing in public,” he wrote to an assistant at Marsalek. He assumes that “everything that is written will ultimately be read by others” and he therefore insists on being given a pseudonym.

This is how Mr. O’Sullivan became Mrs. Müller. On March 4, a legal advisor to the Supervisory Board wrote to Wirecard management: “As discussed yesterday, a code name should be used for all further e-mails and other references. Proposal: ‘Ms. Corinna Müller’. ”On the same day, EY agreed not to use the name in communication with Wirecard international.

According to supervisory board circles, however, it was clear: There should be no special treatment in the confidential internal audit report, and O’Sullivan’s real name would have been mentioned here.

How those involved initially adhered to the language regulation became apparent on March 4, 2020. When O’Sullivan allegedly canceled an appointment in Monaco due to Corona entry regulations from Singapore, Marsalek’s assistant wrote to the auditors at KPMG: “Ms. Müller is herself aware of the time pressure and has agreed to contact us tomorrow with a short-term alternative. “

But it did not get to that. According to the “Wall Street Journal”, the special auditor KPMG was cross: O’Sullivan had also made the condition of their auditors anonymous. When they refused, he refused to speak.

He could tell so much in the process. In the ten years before the bankruptcy alone, Wirecard acquired companies for 1.2 billion euros, according to insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé. In his report, Jaffé writes that the deals were one reason for the “enormous consumption of liquidity in recent years”. The public prosecutor is investigating former executives on suspicion of fraud and breach of trust.

O’Sullivan was involved in numerous Wirecard deals. His name is linked to one of the largest and most dubious deals the payment service provider has done in recent years: the takeover of the Indian Hermes group in 2015. Wirecard bought the companies from the Mauritius-registered fund Emerging Markets Investment Fund 1A (EMIF 1A) for 326 million euros. The amazing thing: the fund had only acquired the same company and assets a few months earlier for around 35 million euros and it is still not clear who was behind that deal

Marsalek stated in an interview with Handelsblatt at the beginning of 2020 that he had not checked the background. But insiders report that O’Sullivan and Marsalek were the ones who planned the deal and who ultimately benefited from it. In any case, the original Hermes sellers now feel cheated. They filed a lawsuit that revealed that it was O’Sullivan who negotiated the sale to the EMIF 1A fund for € 35 million.

O’Sullivan also appears at another important point in the Wirecard network, the so-called third-party business. Wirecard achieved a large part of its sales with it, at least according to the balance sheet. Essentially, three companies provided the supposed income: Pay Easy from the Philippines, Al Alam from Dubai and Senjo from Singapore.

The central figure in Senjo was also O’Sullivan, even if he did not hold an official position. A PR consultant for the British company stated in 2019 that her client worked for Senjo. That’s only half the story. In practice, O’Sullivan is said to have been the one in charge of Senjo. In Singapore, the authorities are now investigating for falsification of accounts in the vicinity of the group of companies.

How hard Marsalek worked internally at Wirecard for his party friend O’Sullivan is shown by a short-term lending business from 2016, which several Wirecard board members dealt with. Ascheimer Wirecard Bank AG granted Cottisford Holdings Ltd, a generous credit line of ten million euros from O’Sullivan, for which Wirecard AG guaranteed as internal emails and documents prove this.

“Today the supervisory board formally approved the loan retrospectively, but was not ‘amused’ about it,” wrote the then board member Rainer Wexeler of Wirecard Bank AG on March 2, 2016 to Marsalek. He complained that the panel had been poorly informed. Wexeler asked: “Can you please give me the private address of O’Sullivan and some key business data about his business, his connection to Wirecard AG, etc.?”

Wirecard credit for companies in a tax haven

Marsalek did not reply in writing, but less than a month later he informed him why O’Sullivan’s company had not paid the money back on the agreed date. “The delay resulted from an unexpected complication in the distribution of dividends from one of its holdings.” O’Sullivan believes that the problem “will be resolved in the next few days,” wrote Marsalek.

Wexeler was evidently unsure of the loan. He asked: “It would still be important to know how the money that we made available to him was invested.” There is no answer to this, but that Marsalek suddenly advocated the loan “just days later” long-term “.

The borrower, Cottisford Holdings Ltd., also comes from an island that is likely to be O’Sullivan’s favorite vacation destination, as the British Virgin Islands are a paradise not only for tourists, but also for lovers of lax tax rules.

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Wirecard Scandal claims another Victim – Heike Pauls from Commerzbank




heike paul

It’s not even eight months since Germany’s number one payment service provider imploded: Wirecard had to admit in June 2020 that billions of euros never existed on the balance sheet. As a result, board members had to go to jail or disappeared without a trace. Since then, auditors have been distrusted, and the head of the BaFin supervisory authority has to look for a new job. The youngest victim is Heike Pauls of the German Commerzbank.

Up until a few weeks before the Wirecard scandal burst, several analysts in various banks believed in Wirecard. They unshakably believed that the annual financial statements for 2019, which had been postponed several times, would end well, some experts continued to insist on Wirecard price targets of 180 to 240 euros.

One of the bravest supporters of the scandal group was Heike Pauls from Commerzbank. The analyst was always loyal to Wirecard: She dismissed critical reports about the payment processor as false reports and even a few weeks before the collapse she issued a buy recommendation with a price target of 230 euros for the Wirecard share.

As the Spiegel reported, Pauls had in the meantime also provided the management of the payment processor with sensitive information that it had collected specifically on the capital market. In January Commerzbank had already restructured the research department and relieved the analyst of her duties, now the announcement was made:

“Commerzbank has terminated the employment relationship.”

The Wirecard scandal is far from being dealt with. Further personnel consequences in various economic areas could follow. Extensive claims for damages by investors against the insolvent payment service provider are also examined and the the Wirecard share remains taboo for any investors.


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Wirecard Committee – Doubts about Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s Credibility




Wirecard Committee Doubts about Guttenberg's credibility

Didn’t Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg tell the whole truth when he appeared as a witness on the Wirecard investigative committee? Internal documents that are available to the ARD studio fuel the suspicion. The SPD accuses him of having lied to the committee and in the opposition too, doubts about its credibility are growing.

In December Guttenberg was asked about his role in the Wirecard scandal in the Bundestag. It was also about an article that the former CSU minister published in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” at the end of March 2020. The topic: The role of short sales in the Corona crisis. At the time, Wirecard was targeted by shortsellers, i.e. stock exchange traders who bet on falling prices for a company and Guttenberg had argued against such short sales in the article.

Mail to ex-Wirecard boss Markus Braun

Guttenberg apparently did not want to draw a direct connection to his work for Wirecard, but there are doubts about this representation.

An email to the then Wirecard boss Markus Braun, however, indicates that Guttenberg could very well have had the now insolvent DAX group in mind when he wrote the text for the FAZ. 

In this email of March 20, 2020, the Managing Director of the communications company Edelman, Rüdiger Assion, proposed a “Short Selling Action Plan” to the Wirecard boss. Among other things, this contained the suggestion that Guttenberg could write a guest commentary on the subject of short sales in the newspapers FAZ or “Die Welt”. An argumentation paper with key messages is also attached to the mail. Just six days later, exactly such a guest comment appears in the FAZ. Guttenberg’s argumentation shows clear similarities with the line proposed in the argumentation paper.

SPD speaks of a lie

The SPD chairman in the Wirecard committee, Zimmermann, therefore accuses Guttenberg of not telling the truth on the witness stand. Zimmermann told the ARD city studio: “He (Guttenberg’s note by the editor) lied to the investigative committee and tried to set the wrong track when he denied arguing for a ban on short sales in the interests of Wirecard. A real surprise is this lack of honesty not with him. ” Now it must be clarified whether Guttenberg deliberately wanted to mislead the investigative committee.

CDU defends Guttenberg

Guttenberg is defended by the CDU. The MP Matthias Hauer said that the SPD should primarily devote itself to the question of why the BaFin, supervised by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, imposed the short sale ban on Wirecard. “This should certainly contribute more to the explanation of Wirecard than an article in the name of an ex-politician on the subject in the FAZ.”

But doubts about Guttenberg’s credibility are also growing among the opposition. The chairman of the Greens, Danyal Bayaz, said that Guttenberg’s remarks on his opinion contribution had already been implausible in the committee of inquiry. “Apparently it was part of the advisory service to specifically win over public opinion for a renewed ban on short selling.” That does not cast a good light on Guttenberg’s honesty.

The Linke chairman in the committee, Fabio de Masi, can imagine summoning the former Federal Minister again: “If Mr. Guttenberg was Baron Münchhausen and had said the untruth in front of the committee of inquiry, this would also be criminally relevant, (…) the question is then whether his other statements that he had met the Chancellor privately are also untrue. “


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