Benjamin Schenk, professor of Eastern European history at the University of Basel, says he would not have performed at the Rudolf Steiner School if he had known about the invitation to Daniel Ganser.
The report made a wave: controversial historian Daniele Ganser appeared in front of 150 children at Rudolf Steiner school in Basel on Wednesday. In his presentation, he described his view of the war between Russia and Ukraine. Ganser has represented the theses of Russian state propaganda in other appearances in the past. The event took place during the classes. Parents are outraged.
I don’t want to be associated with Daniele Ganser.
Benjamin Schenk, professor of Eastern European History at the University of Basel, another guest at Steiner School, now distances himself from Daniele Ganser: “I don’t want my mid-March lecture at the Steiner School to do anything about Daniele Ganser. »
These words of the history professor are also directed to the management of the Steiner school. Because she initially claimed that the Ganser appearance was part of a series of different events related to the war in Ukraine. But Schenk did not know anything about it: “I definitely and definitely reject this claim,” says Schenk.
Ganser’s controversial appearance at school
Open the box. Close the box
Legend: Daniele Ganser polarizes – and can no longer do research and appear at various Swiss universities. imago / future image
The controversial historian appeared on Wednesday morning in Basel at the Rudolf Steiner school. The event took place during the classes. Parents are outraged.
The war in Ukraine occupies the students of the Rudolf Steiner School in Basel. Therefore, on Wednesday morning, the school management organized a lecture on the war in Ukraine.
Criticism: Ganser advances the Kremlin’s theses
The reason for excitement is the theses of Daniele Ganser regarding the war between Russia and Ukraine. While it condemns Russian aggression, it also takes the position that the real aggressor is the United States. Ganser strongly believes that the Maidan protests in 2013 and 2014 were orchestrated by the United States. Ganser talks about a CIA coup.
According to Ulrich Schmid, professor of Russian culture and society at St. Gallen, this is a totally untenable theory.
Daniele Ganser polarizes
For years, the 49-year-old has acted as a scientist, as a historian who sheds light on power structures and sheds light on complex world politics from every possible angle. He is no longer allowed to lecture at various Swiss universities and colleges because he is not working to scientific standards.
The school in Basel Steiner got tangled up
In a statement, the school management defended Ganser’s appearance: He was part of a larger series of lectures. However, at present the school management is withdrawing from this formulation. “After the March lecture by prof. Schenk, the students asked us to invite more speakers about the war in Ukraine. And then there was a suggestion from the students to ask Daniele Ganser »says Daniel Thiel, director of the Rudolf Steiner School in Basel. Benjamin Schenk did not know when he appeared that Daniele Ganser would also speak later.
Students should be able to form their own opinion.
Despite this, Thiel defends the decision to invite a speaker Ganser to the school: “It is important for us to present students with different perspectives, including controversial ones. They should be able to form their own opinions ”. By the way, Daniele Ganser herself went to the Steiner School. He did not ask for a fee for his performance.
Schenk: “Ganser’s theses shape conspiracy narratives”
This explanation in no way convinces professor of history Schenk: “He talks about an event that took place in the course of the lesson. Students were required to attend this lecture. I find it very problematic. “
Precisely because some young people may not be able to classify Ganser’s attitude: “Ganser has repeatedly commented on the war in Ukraine. The theses he represents are clearly shaped by conspiracy narratives, says Schenk. He lacks any expertise to speak out publicly on this subject. Daniele Ganser has never studied Eastern Europe, she speaks neither Russian nor Ukrainian, and knows the region only from the media and secondary literature, says Schenk.
Banned from Swiss universities
For these reasons, Swiss universities are clearly distancing themselves from Ganser, such as the University of Basel and the University of St. Gallen. Schenk: “Today it would be unthinkable that Ganser would ever find a teaching post at a Swiss university again.”