Protection of the Constitution on “Compact”: “Secured extremist”


Status: 10.12.2021, 4:23 p.m.

The “Compact” magazine is the mouthpiece of the “New Right” and plays a central role in mobilizing those who oppose the vaccination. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution no longer rated it as a suspected case, but as definitely extremist.

By Michael Götschenberg, ARD capital studio

“Subscribe to the revolution”, says the “Compact” online offering. The dominant topic these days: the plans for an imprisonment. “Vaccination dictatorship – boosters to death” is the title of one post, there is also talk of a “war against vaccine critics” and a “vaccination strike” is being called.

Michael Götschenberg
ARD capital studio

Mobilizing resistance is the central concern of “Compact” – and not only when it comes to corona protective measures. In terms of content, “Compact” acts as a mouthpiece and wide-reaching platform for the so-called New Right. The editor-in-chief and managing director is Jürgen Elsässer, one of the key players in the new right-wing scene.

“Compact” consists of a magazine and special editions, an online presence and a program called “Compact TV”, which is produced daily from Monday to Friday. According to the company, the magazine has a print run of 40,000. The content of the program is advertised on a YouTube channel.

Activists, not journalists

The magazine is explicitly differentiated from the “mainstream media”. Defamations such as “lying press” and “system media” are the order of the day. “Compact”, on the other hand, offers “honest journalism in times of lies”. However, “Compact” does not at all pay attention to compliance with journalistic criteria when it comes to what is offered in terms of content. When it comes to compulsory vaccination, a platform is only offered to opponents of vaccination. The authors share the topic and appear not as journalists but as activists.

Editor-in-chief Elsässer makes no secret of his close links with right-wing extremist organizations such as Pegida or the Identitarian Movement (IB), as well as his closeness to the AfD. In the January 2018 issue of the magazine he summed it up as follows: “All together in one big unit: Pegida, IB, AfD, One Percent, Compact! Five fingers, all of them can be broken individually, but all together are a fist!”

Serves the narrative of right-wing extremists

He appears as a speaker at events organized by Pegida in Saxony or “Zukunft Heimat” in Brandenburg, both of which are observed by the respective authorities for the protection of the constitution as proven right-wing extremist efforts. At the AfD he is particularly close to the Thuringian state chairman Björn Höcke, calling him a “bearer of hope” for the AfD.

The right-wing extremist narrative of the “People’s Exchange” or “Umvolkung” is used again and again, to which entire special issues are dedicated. Elsässer appears regularly at demonstrations of the corona protest movement and serves conspiracy myths about the corona virus.

“Despising Political Parties”

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution confirmed this ARD capital studio on request that “Compact” is now processed as a secured extremist endeavor. So far, “Compact” was only considered a suspected case. “The Compact-Magazin GmbH publishes positions and statements that are clearly to be assessed as ethnic-nationalistic and anti-minority”, said the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. “The statements repeatedly contain anti-Semitic conspiracy myths and Islamophobic motives. They are also characterized by a contempt and denigration of the political parties, politicians and representatives of the Federal Republic.”

The Corona protective measures are defamed as “Corona dictatorship”. Again and again there is talk of “lawless” politicians and a “rule of the lawless”. This “regime” must be overthrown, it is said.

Become compatible with Corona criticism

“The agitation against the government expresses a fundamental rejection of democratic or democratically legitimized decision-making processes,” said the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The May 2018 issue of Compact magazine reads: “It is the task of the opposition media to contribute to the overthrow of the regime, and in doing so we go shoulder to shoulder.”

“Compact” ensures “the breadth”. “Die Sezession”, a magazine published by the so-called “Institute for State Policy” of the new right-wing journalist Götz Kubitschek, also provides “for depth”.

“Hate and agitation in high gloss”

The fact that “Compact” is not based on the free democratic basic order is also made clear by the fact that as early as 2018 Elsässer called for the convening of a national assembly to draw up a “real constitution”. Elsässer is using the protective measures against the corona pandemic to become compatible with “Compact” and its content beyond this topic in those parts of the population who are not close to right-wing extremist positions.

The Ministry of the Interior of Brandenburg announced on request that “Compact” was now also being assessed as proven extremist by the state’s protection of the constitution. The company is based in Werder near Potsdam. “The magazine ‘Compact’ has developed through its numerous distribution channels into a central mouthpiece for the right-wing extremist scene,” said Interior Minister Michael Stübgen (CDU) ARD capital studio. “The ‘Compact’ magazine is hate and agitation in high gloss. This platform of the enemies of democracy pursues one goal and that is the destruction of our free society.”

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