Former war correspondent Ulrich Tilgner – The man who asks critical questions.

21. January 2020 – Katharina Schlangenotto

Baghdad was something like his home. Ulrich Tilgner worked as one of the best-known German war correspondents and reported from Iraq and Afghanistan. Ulrich Tilgner, the man who knows what really happened.

Unwavering and unadorned, Ulrich Tilgner passed on what he experienced, being the horror of the war, sometimes to an unimaginable extent for outsiders.

He is one of the few who still ask critical questions. That is why he was temporarily spied on by the Federal Intelligence Service. Ulrich Tilgner’s world sounds far from what we call everyday life. Sometimes, you don’t know if you want to know about everything that he saw and experienced.

In 2010, the top journalist decided to turn his back on German journalism and his home country Germany. The reason was resentment about objective reporting that he no longer wanted. As a consequence, He moved to Switzerland. In an interview with the Swiss magazine “Rubikon”, he openly shared his experiences and frustration with journalism that prefers well-founded facts to attention, ratings and sales figures.

In the interview, Ulrich Tilgner explains: “For example, at the end of the 1970s, press releases from the Stuttgart State Chancellery had to be edited with great effort, but today they are already leaving politicians’ offices ready for broadcasting. The media has become more important for politicians, managers and the military. But they can only use the media so extensively because they let them be used. Of course, they use various means to help the media and make their work easier. Knowing very well that they can achieve their goals better with the use of media.”

Ulrich Tilgner speaks openly what many only suspect. He reveals the truth of what he has experienced with editorial offices and criticizes their imprecise way of work today. He has experienced a kind of “cultivation” to pass on imprecise information. For example, some editorial offices “would claim to have no reports of the dead in the Mediterranean, even if they have the resources to produce them. Instead of practicing the ability to select from the flood of events that lend themselves to a report or to select information that make political, military or economic developments transparent, mostly “significant” things are selected that lead to a better quota and sales.” This would create a “mosaic of reality” that “depicts it less and less.”

As a speaker, Ulrich Tilgner unflinchingly and unadornedly describes the truth, a truth that he has experienced himself. His lectures are based on pure facts. He is too much of a journalist to ever neglect his roots.

His topics as a speaker, among others, are the permanent conflicts in the Orient and why the burdens for Europe will increase or “The Root of Terror and the failed policy of the West and the flight into tradition”. His lecture “War and Terror” ’illuminates the tensions between cultures.

Ulrich Tilgner’s lectures stimulate reflection and serious examination of the content and what we call the truth. To experience him live is exciting, sometimes disturbing and profound. His mission: to keep on asking critical questions and, by doing that, reveal the truth.

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Ulrich Tilgner

Experte in the Middle East, TV-Journalist