For those of you who don't know, Bertelsmann AG is far-and-away Germany's largest private media conglomerate. It is also a major, multi-national, multi-billion dollar media giant with a turnover of 17 billion Euros, a presence in 63 nations and a workforce of over 76,000 employees.
Stern Magazine: One of Bertelsmann's Best-Sellers in Germany
Bertelsmann AG also happens to own a majority share in Stern magazine, far-and-away Germany's most widely read weekly political news publication. This is the same rabidly anti-American Stern magazine that has recently published the following:
And the list goes on...Oh, and by the way, Bertelsmann also holds a 25.5% share in "DER SPIEGEL", (also one of Germany's best-selling weekly magazines), but we don't have time to get into that right now...
AICGS to Honor Bertelsmann CEO for "Global Leadership"
Not long ago, the Johns Hopkins-affiliated "American Institute for Contemporary German Studies" (AICGS) decided to honor Bertelsmann CEO and Chairman of the Board, Dr. Gunter Thielen, with its 11th annual "Global Leadership Award Dinner" this November 10th in Washington, DC. Here is how AICGS describes its mission:
"The American Institute for Contemporary German Studies strengthens the German-American relationship in an evolving Europe and changing world. The Institute produces objective and original analyses of developments and trends in Germany, Europe and the United States; creates new transatlantic networks; and facilitates dialogue among the business, political, and academic communities to manage differences and define and promote common interests."
Considering those goals, one really has to wonder how AICGS (an institution that styles itself as an "objective" analyst of German-American relations and media trends) came to the decision to honor the head of Bertelsmann AG with its annual "Global Leadership" banquet. After all, there are many people who have worked tirelessly to improve German-American relations of late. What has Dr. Thielen done to deserve this special honor?
Put another way: How could an "American Institute" that purports to promote stronger German-American relations hold a special dinner to honor the head of an organization that has propagated so much biased innuendo against the United States in Germany for so many years now? How can the people who run AICGS honestly hope to bolster transatlantic relations with expensive, black-tie banquets to honor America's worst enemies in the German media? And could this have anything to do with the fact that Bertelsmann has been a financial donor to AICGS over the years? These are simple enough questions...
If you would like to contact AICGS and let them know what you think of the organization's decision to honor Dr. Thielen, be sure to email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We would sure appreciate an explanation.
Endnote: In the 1980s, AICGS also accepted donation money from the DDR, the Communist government of East Germany that imploded in 1989-90. Somehow this all doesn't seem so surprising...
(For a follow-up on our posting, see here)