German satirical show criticises High Rep Christian Schmidt for his work in BiH

ZDF Magazin Royale, screenshot

The German public-service television broadcaster ZDF dedicated its satirical show on Friday evening almost entirely to the High Representative of the international community in Bosnia, Christian Schmidt, presenting him as a superhero who supports Serbian and Croatian nationalists in the country.

During the show, presenter Jan Boehmermann took out a large bowl with kinder egg containers, similar to the one used to determine the distribution of mandates from Canton Sarajevo and Canton 10 to the House of Peoples of Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) entity after the elections.

“What is ZDF Magazin Royale about today? We'll let the lottery decide that” Boehmermann said before he pulled out one of the containers and read the name “Christian Schmidt” from the piece of paper inside.

Boehmermann began with a review of Schmidt's work in Germany, reminding that the German politician used to serve as Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defense and Minister of Agriculture. He then showed a video clip in which Schmidt introduces himself as a person who stands for values such as “discipline, diligence, and ideas”.

This was followed by a video in which Schmidt can be seen losing control and shouting at N1 journalist Adisa Imamovic.

Boehmermann noted that Schmidt while serving as Agriculture Minister, supported the use of glyphosate, a herbicide component that may be carcinogenic in the European Union without consulting the German government.

Boehmermann then played a video of a report about Schmidt attending a controversial gathering in honour of WWII soldiers.

“This man from CSU obviously has no problem with maintaining this tradition, on the contrary. Schmidt even wants to rehabilitate a Nazi aviation hero,” the report said.

The person it was referring to was Werner Molders, a German Luftwaffe pilot from World War II.

Schmidt defended him, stating that Molders “had no brown spots on his vest”.

“He didn't have brown spots, he just had a brown uniform,” says Boherman and showed a photo of Molders shaking hands with Adolf Hitler.

The presenter then alleged that Schmidt's wife likes to “tell people about how her Christian was sent by God to save a country, Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

“The fans of Greater Croatia and Greater Serbia would rather like to see a small Bosnia and God's representative in Sarajevo, the High Representative Christian Schmidt, must now ensure peace,” said Boehmermann, as he took out an action figure in the image of Schmidt.

This was followed by a satirical commercial for the action figure which has special powers – the “Bonn Powers” (a set of powers that allow the High Representative to, among other things, fire officials and impose laws in BiH).

Boehmermann then spoke about the commemoration of January 9 in BiH, stating that “the Serbian president sent his son” to attend the celebration of the unconstitutional holiday.

“But there is no reason to worry, the political situation is difficult, Christian Schmidt is on the move,” said Boehmermann.

He then explained how Schmidt reacted to this – with an “angry letter” to embassies in BiH where he complains about the media identifying the son of Serbia’s President at the event.

“Christian Schmidt, the High Representative, has his priorities: first to protect the son of the Serbian president from media freedom, and then peace in BiH,” Bohermann concluded.

He also criticised Schmidt’s relatuonship with the leader of the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH), Dragan Covic, noting that the latter used Bosniak prison camp inmates for forced labour in the company where he was the director during the war.

Boehmermann then mentioned that Markus Thomas Theodor Soder, the leader of the CSU in Bavaria, decorated the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, and how Schmidt was later decorated with the Order of Ante Starcevic in Croatia.

“CSU decorates Croatia, Croatia decorated the CSU”, he concluded.

The next topic Boehmermann touched upon was the mass protests that took place in front of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Sarajevo last year and the amendments Schmidt imposed to the country’s Election Law.

Boehmermann said that Schmidt wanted “to amend a rather bad election law”.

“And he succeeded, he made it even worse,” the presenter said, playing a video of Schmidt yelling at N1’s Adisa Imamovic when she asked him about it.

“Christian Schmidt simply changed the electoral system on the day of the election,” Boehmermann said.

“Thanks to Christian Schmidt, the vote of a Croat is now four times as valuable as the vote of a Bosniak, and the vote of one Serb is worth the votes of 10 Bosniaks,” he added.

The full show with English subtitles can be seen in the video below.