Scientologist fined 50,000 marks for illegal construction
Fliegerbauer walks smiling from court
November 29, 2001
It was one humiliation after another for Zwickau city management. Kurt Fliegerbauer was able to leave the court room on Thursday with a beaming smile. The Schloss Osterstein Verwaltungs GmbH business manager will have to pay 51,100 marks in fines, according to the city court, because he renovated buildings without construction permits. City management had intended, however, to get 650,000 marks from the Scientologist. Because the case went to court when Fliegerbauer contested it, the city will not see a single dime. The fine is going to the benefit of the state.
Were there unofficial agreements and dealings with the city's top officials? Were laws bent but not broken behind closed doors? Had city hall tolerated illegal construction for Zwickau's largest investor in silence, as he had asserted in contradiction to the statements by Mayor Dietmar Vetterman (CDU)? Judge Thomas Grosse-Streine left open the answers to all these high-powered questions and found only that there had been "meetings." He was apparently convinced that the 49-year-old man had acted deliberately when he put construction workers on site without written permission, and did it 27 times in 1996, 1997 and 1998. "Herr Fliegerbauer is not a martyr. He knows he committed ordnance violations."
The judge said [Fliegerbauer]'s admissions of guilt to the city management were not an excuse, but an "escape by moving forward." On the other hand, the judge held the real estate mogul's "outstanding construction work" to his advantage, from which the City of Zwickau had also profited, as well has the fact that he had confessed to his guilt and had only formally violated regulations. On top of everything else, 25 of the 27 construction projects had since been properly licensed. In contrast to the city managers, the city court was not interested in discussing profit-skimming. This would have had to do with Fliegerbauer gaining financial advantage from his premature starts on construction.
Both the defense and the state attorney's office had requested a significant reduction to the fine that the city council had demanded. From the viewpoint of state attorney Juergen Pfeiffer there reigned between Fliegerbauer and the personnel of city management an "operating climate," which was tolerated. The attorney was convinced of that when Zwickau's planning commissioner Volker Lippmann refused to testify, in a surprise move, because he did not wish to incriminate himself.
Fliegerbauer's attorney Niels Hulinsky said his client's responsibility in the matter was minor. He said the "operating climate" had been understood as tacit acceptance. Because of this, he said, demanding fines from Fliegerbauer amounted to a "declaration of war" against his client.
by Rainer Raech
Scientology must go to court
Zwickau's mayor must testify
November 16, 2001
Freie Presse Chemnitz
by Rainer Raech
"It has turned into an extensive issue," said Torsten Sommer, the presiding director of the Zwickau Municipal Court. He is referring to the hearing (file number Js 8001/00) against Scientologist real estate tycoon Kurt Fliegerbauer. 16 witnesses have been summoned. The business manager (Fliegerbauer) of "Schloss Osterstein" is alleged to have not paid fines in the amount of about 650,000 marks, replied Sommer to questions from the "Freie Presse." The fines were levied by the city government against the corporate boss and his corporations in connection with 27 building plans, mainly from 1997 and 1998. Workers were put on site without the city ever having issued a building permit. That, according to Judge Sommer, is a violation of Paragraph 62 of the Sachsen Building Code.
Five days have been scheduled for the hearing, the first day of which is Thursday of next week at 8:30 in room 241 of the municipal court, with Judge Thomas Grosse-Streine presiding. The other four dates are November 28 and 29, as well as December 5 and 6, also at 8:30.
The most prominent witness will be Zwickau's Executive Mayor Dietmar Vettermann (CDU), who functioned as the planning commissioner/mayor in both 1997 and 1998, and was responsible for construction in the city. The testimonies of Steffi Haupt of the city's monument protection office and of Volker Lippmann are just as eagerly anticipated. The director of the building planning office is responsible for the issuance of building permits. In addition, several witnesses from Fliegerbauer's corporation are scheduled to testify, including his wife, his former legal advisor, and an architect who was employed with "Schloss Osterstein" management from 1995 to 1998.
The court's vice-director described Fliegerbauer's modus operandi this way: sometimes the corporate boss did not wait for the OK from the planning commission on minor construction changes, other times he did not wait for it on major renovation. Sommer said of this, "In some cases the issuance decision did not come until after construction activity was ended." Fliegerbauer contested all the fines. This brought the procedure to the city court. Fliegerbauer put on a happy face for the occasion, "We will win the court procedure against the city." He (still) does not want to say what he bases his confidence on.
After national reunification, the construction tycoon renovated more than 260 buildings in Zwickau and, he says, and in doing so he cooperated with about 560 capital investors. After renovation of the "Kraeutergewoelbel" protected as a monument on Hauptmarkt, he is currently working on the former "Milchbar" right next to it on Verdermann. His corporation is building a new apartment and office building on Magazin Strasse.
City of Zwickau dragging Scientologist to court
October 22, 2001
Is Zwickau's most influential and renowned construction tycoon contending with financial difficulties? Scientologist and the business manager of "Schloss Osterstein Verwaltungs GmbH," Kurt Fliegerbauer, shakes his head no. But in the same breath he interjects that he has applied with Zwickau city offices for an extension for the payment of commercial tax debts in the about of about 2.5 million marks. "I pay my taxes," he said on Monday in reply to the "Freie Presse." Besides that, he said, applying for an extension was a "completely normal thing."
The city's finance committee apparently does not see it that way - at least not in this case. A closed session the committee, led by Executive Mayor Dietmar Vettermann (CDU), gave Fliegerbauer's application the heave-ho several days ago and requested that the city exact payment as soon as possible - by foreclose if necessary. According to Vettermann, it is not unusual in Zwickau for a business to apply for an extension on tax payment; as a general rule they will be approved.
But not this time for Fliegerbauer. After he had been cultivating favor in the upper levels of Zwickau's city council for years and been receiving support in return, the climate got noticeably chillier. So chilly that the city administration will even be dragging the Scientologist to court in a different matter. Fliegerbauer began the renovation of several buildings without having a construction permit, then failed to pay the hundreds of thousand of marks in fines, said the executive mayor. The hearing, scheduled to last several days at the municipal court, begins next month. "We will win the legal proceedings against the city," the company chief optimistically stated, but without saying anything more specific.
Fliegerbauer is just as optimistic that a paint-attack will be resolved. After unknown people have been throwing bags of red-brown paint against the white facade of one of his renovated buildings on Hauptmarkt, he has now filed vandalism charges. He said he was not the target of the attacks, but the general contractor who was having a dispute with subcontractors was.
Kurt Fliegerbauer, according to the findings of the Saxon Constitutional Protection agency a "high-ranking" Scientologist, has been active in Zwickau real estate since 1992. Last year he publicly announced that he was leaving the city. But nothing ever came of that. Just the opposite. While he is currently having a building protected under the monument law renovated on Hauptmarkt, he has also raised a new apartment and office building on Magazin Street. The renovator of more than 250 buildings in Zwickau has done business with about 550 capital investors so far, who have invested a half billion marks in the basin city. The accusation that his "Schloss Osterstein Verwaltungs GmbH" was mixed up with the cult has always been denied by Fliegerbauer, "My business has nothing to do with Scientology."
German article by Rainer Raech
The Weissenborn toll road affair
May 2, 2001
There is the building plan, number 006, which the planning department has put on ice, and there is the toll road affair set off by Kurt Fliegerbauer: two bitter pills which will be hard for Planning Mayor Dietmar Vettermann to swallow. The CDU's candidate for Executive Mayor has even bartered for a service oversight complaint.
That was submitted by Raimund Berst, spokesman for the Weissenborn Development Association of Ernst-Fabian Street to administration president Karl Noltze. He reacted by shaking his head when he heard about the strange goings-on in Weissenborn and expressed his regret for the planning department's behavior: now Noltze even wants to "have an effect" upon the city so that it cooperates "constructively" in the solution to the problem, as he let Berst know in a letter, "I'll keep an eye on the matter."
The story got its start back in the early 1990s. Back then the current residents bought four ready-to-move-in double-buildings on Ernst-Fabian Street from a builder who has since gone bankrupt. They paid 850,000 marks for the development and would have been happy for the city to finalize construction plan number 006 - as recommended by the executive presidium. But the planning department put the plan on hold.
In the meantime Scientologist real estate dealer Kurt Fliegerbauer began to build a multi-family dwelling after he became the owner of neighboring real estate which included Ernst-Fabian Street.
That's when things piqued: the residents could reach their houses only from that street. Fliegerbauer tolerated that a while until he demanded 10,000 marks apiece for thoroughfare. "If the city would have verified the building plan in good order, this would not even have been a problem," Berst believes. He, along with the other people on Ernst-Fabian Street, believes that he has been led around by the nose by planning mayor Vettermann and he is not averse to suing for damages. He thinks two different standards are being used, and Berst asked a question of the executive president in a letter: "Has the Scientology sect undermined our democratic system in a city like Zwickau?"
Noltze also is puzzling over why the city did not proceed with the construction plan. "Just the opposite, in 2000 they decided upon the official repeal of the proceedings. This I expressly regret," he answered the Development Association, for whose concerns he showed "complete understanding." At the same time he indicated that drafting construction plans was a community matter. And because of that Berst criticized the planning department: "We, in contrast to the city, follow up on our obligations. There sit people who are responsible but do not act in the sense of the citizens."
Dietmar Vettermann does not want the buck to stop with him. He gave yet other examples in Zwickau of construction plan processes coming to a stop. Even if plan 006 had been taken care of, he said, the neighboring construction by Kurt Fliegerbauer would have been possible. "Neither would that have meant that Ernst-Fabian Street would automatically today be a public street."
In order to find a consensus, the planning mayor intends to make a deal with the Scientologist. The city should buy the street from him and give it a "public" status. But Vettermann won't being blazing this trail himself: the budget committee and the city council also would have to approve of the purchase plan.
Scientologist Fliegerbauer wants toll for use of right-of-way from neighbors
April 19, 2001
Mayoral candidate Dietmar Vettermann (CDU) is between a rock and a hard place. Only last November did the planning commissioner confirm his course of confrontation with Kurt Fliegerbauer, the controversial Scientologist. Yet the situation might soon come about whereby he deals at the same table with the construction tycoon. That is because eight building owners from Weissenborn are currently putting him under the gun. "An absolutely difficult and sensitive political story," groaned Vettermann.
The story behind this is a dispute over the use of Ernst-Fabian Street. In the early '90s the current residents bought four finished double dwellings. They paid 850,000 marks for the development, including construction of a 40 meter long street which provides access. But now the owners are being asked again for cash for the street - from Kurt Fliegerbauer.
He is demanding 10,000 marks apiece from each owner because the street has belonged to him since 1998. In December, about one month after Vettermann's challenge, Fliegerbauer demanded the sum "as soon as possible" from the building owners in a letter as "one-time compensation" for access "in their own interest." The sum was to be transferred to an account of his "Schloss Osterstein GmbH".
Those concerned perceived the letter as "coercion" and "extortion" and did not want to do business with Kurt Fliegerbauer. Instead they called up Dietmar Vettermann in January to solve the conflict. The more so since things should never have gotten that far, in their opinion.
The residents have been asking for a long time that the street be made public. "The city granted use of the street as access, but never assured right-of-way," said Raimund Berst, spokesman for the development. The street has always been private property and finally came into Fliegerbauer's possession, who acquired it as part of real estate package. Berst stated, "The city neglected to make the street public in a timely manner."
In February 2000 the planning office announce it would address "this problem area." It admitted to no wrong-doing, but was soon dealing with Fliegerbauer as to use. But he did not agree and put the city under pressure with his demand for money. He said he would only agree if the building owners would pay a "one-time compensation."
But the people affected by this did not want to do that and again put Vettermann under pressure. Asked by the "Freie Presse," he expressed for the first time a "completely personal consideration" in this "special case" of buying the street from the company boss: "I don't want to rule that out. I would do it out of political responsibility to the citizens. I am aware of what I am getting myself into. Therefore the city council will discuss it first." The budget committee is supposed to take it up "at the end of April / beginning of May." A buy would be "dependent upon conditions." But now the residents are in a hurry. "Fliegerbauer could fence off the street," complained Berst. "Emergency medical service, fire truck service and waste disposal are not insured." But the Scientology has no intention of undertaking anything. "Those are fantasies," he said and added casually, "The city already announced this would be cleared up."
Scientologist Kurt Fliegerbauer is still in contact by letter with Mayor Rainer Eichhorn (CDU) as much as he ever was: "For me the situation appears so, to put it to you briefly: I am now of a mind to wrap things up here," the construction tycoon let the city's chief know in a letter made available to the "Freie Presse." Fliegerbauer publicly announced his departure from Zwickau in February. But nothing has happened about that so far.
In his two-page letter to Mayor Eichhorn, the sect member also made fun of the Scientology Counseling Office planned for Zwickau. "I wish everyone who receives counseling there has a lot of fun being under surveillance. It would be more sensible to have an outpost in Munich. There is no office there and people could be under surveillance with my entire family," mocked Fliegerbauer. If one is to believe what he says, he intends to move to Munich.
News from Sachsen
Real Estate Magnate Fliegerbauer
continues to pull strings in Zwickau
Scientologist's farewell in February this year was not a departure - alleged successor company does not exist
September 11, 2000
Zwickau. The drama was carefully staged, the coup succeeded: With what for Zwickau was an unprecedented drum roll, Fliegerbauer announced his pull-out from Zwickau on February 10. While the top Scientologist who had renovated 250 historical buildings appeared before the press, his staff were unscrewing the brass plates with his company's name on them "Schloss Osterstein Verwaltungsgesellschaft" and removing the corporation's placards. "I will withdraw from all business areas of my company in Zwickau. The corporation will move its office to Munich. All business activities conducted by my person in this city are ended," is how he worded his farewell.
A farewell that was not. The smart real estate tycoon, the godfather of Zwickau, as he is often called, lives in the city as he did before, is employed there, maintains old business contacts, pulls the strings in the background and continues to set the tone in his noble service villa on Kolping Street. Fliegerbauer, who has done business with about 550 capital investors, who has invested more than 500 million marks in the city - is he still the secret ruler of the real estate market in the valley city? Is Zwickau still one of the preferred locations for the sect upon which a special eye is cast by Constitutional Security?
Buildings on Hauptmarkt
There is much to support this theory. For one thing, the successor firm by the name of "Solid Hausbau, GmbH", which Fliegerbauer said was to conclude the renovation work already begun, turned out to be an empty shell. As of today, there is no company by that name, as research from "Freie Presse" has shown. For another, Fliegerbauer's "Schloss Osterstein Verwaltungs GmbH" is still on board in the renovation of some old town buildings. A piquant point is that no fewer than six of those units exist on Hauptmarkt, across from the city council building - including the Kraeutergewoelbe, one of the oldest and most well-known buildings in the city.
But that is not all, not by a long shot. In the next several weeks, the controversial businessman will refurnish a string of buildings on Magazin Street in the heart of the city. His company is in possession of eight buildings there. At the same time, he has made mention of the the "Stadt Zwickau" Hotel on Bahnhof Street which came into possession of his corporation through a mandatory auction. As soon as he has a permit for his plans he will again make mention of it.
Since February, though, he has not been buying any more buildings in Zwickau, the company executive confirmed. "Nothing more is holding me here. Believe me when I say that." As soon as he has put his last property "in the running," the city will see only his back side, he said. His future plans? He gave no clear answer to that. Instead he asserted, "None of this has anything to do with my membership in the sect. I am not being forced to do anything by Scientology."
It is much more likely that he announced his withdrawal at the point in time in which Zwickau Executive Mayor Rainer Eichhorn (CDU) got pulled into the Scientology debate. "I have to get away from here quick," Fliegerbauer was saying everyday. Was the talk about departure only to help the mayor who was suddenly being put under pressure? In any case, "Freie Presse" had published a secret letter from Eichhorn to Fliegerbauer one week before. It clearly showed that the mayor maintained a much closer relationship to the Scientologist than he had previously admitted. And there was more to it than that: In each of his letters to the sect member, Eichhorn gave him strong encouragement in boundlessly praising his business activities. In was no coincidence that many residents of Zwickau shook their heads in disapproval when they learned about that. Especially since all political parties in the valley city were maintaining a clear distance to the businessman at the time.
Seven figure sums
More revelations further sensitized the matter when it was found that three leading Hessian CDU politicians were among Fliegerbauer's partners in business. Interior Minister Volker Bouffier, Justice Minister Christean Wagner and the state assembly faction leader of Wiesbaden, Norbert Kartmann, had invested amounts of seven figures by buying spruced-up historical buildings in the suburbs north of Zwickau from the sect member. Kurt Fliegerbauer, in the beginning of the year, was making negative headlines all across Germany, said Hamburg Scientology expert Ursula Caberta. Therefore the sect had him disappear from public view in Zwickau in short order so that he could continue to work in the city without being noticed, is what she believed soon after Fliegerbauer's much heralded departure. She could be right.
The real estate mogul, today one of the most well-known Scientologists in Germany, moved to Zwickau from Bavaria in 1993. After he acquired the ruins of Schloss Osterstein in the center of the city and disposed of them several months later, he founded the real estate business by the same name. In February 1998, Fliegerbauer outed himself as a sect adherent
Since then, the city leaders have been more or less helpless in dealing with him and have often proceeded only halfheartedly in the fight against Scientology. He had heard, too, that Kurt Fliegerbauer was said to have still been in the city, admitted Dietmar Vetterman, Zwickau's Vice Executive Mayor. "But what are we supposed to do about it?"
Scientologist Fliegerbauer puts on one last act and leaves Zwickau
"You can write about that what you will"
February 11, 2000
by Petra Franke
Zwickau real estate dealer and professed Scientologist Kurt Fliegerbauer is withdrawing completely from the valley city and is going back to Munich. Fliegerbauer announced his decision yesterday at a press conference called on short notice in the Zwickau Holiday Inn before an unusually large number of press representatives. Nearly 50 media representatives crowded into the small conference hall.
Zwickau. - Before Fliegerbauer permitted questions, he read a prepared statement, "Now in this moment, while I am giving this press conference, the brass nameplates are being removed from all properties of Osterstein Castle Management, Inc. Furthermore all plaques and advertisements are being removed from all buildings... I, myself, am withdrawing from all areas of business of all companies in Zwickau, that means from business management and as businessman." He gave the reason for this move as the market situation, "The mission in Zwickau is no longer so extensive. With the lapse of the special write-offs, the sale of real estate in the East has declined." Because he sees "no future here in Zwickau," he will transfer his business effects to Munich again "in order to introduce my experience into large projects in and out of the country." Fliegerbauer spoke of a "decision of reason" and emphasized that he had made "his own decision."
The discussion about Fliegerbauer - after it has been flickering up off and on since his business activities started in Zwickau in 1994 - reached its high point in the past few weeks. About two years ago, he publicly admitted to being a member of the Scientology sect, which is under surveillance by Constitutional Security. Fliegerbauer continues to dispute that he is a high-ranking Scientology member, as has always been asserted. In the meantime, Fliegerbauer has bought, renovated and sold about 250 buildings. He had, he said yesterday, invested more than half a billion marks in Zwickau. The city of Zwickau honored him in 1997 with its architectural award. His effects in the city in recent times have even included calls that chief mayor Rainer Eichhorn resign. It was just revealed last week that Hessian Interior Minister Volker Buffier, Hessian Justice Minister Christian Wagener and the chief of the Hessian CDU state assembly faction, Norbert Kartmann, were customers of Fliegerbauer and had acquired buildings from him in the northern Zwickau suburbs.
His withdrawal from Zwickau, so asserted Fliegerbauer, still had "nothing to do with these attacks" to which he was subjected over the past weeks.
His Osterstein Castle Management Inc. will move its offices to Munich. "A self-standing company without professional involvement of any type of Scientologist - whether management or business" - will take care of 13 properties of the Osterstein Castle Management Inc and "also wind up or sell the rest of the real estate which is in the possession of me or the Osterstein Castle Management, Inc." Fliegerbauer counts 29 buildings in Zwickau in this regard, one in Werdau and three of his private properties. All in all he owns 19 pieces of real estate in Zwickau. This new company, which presumably will have the name Solid Hausbau, Inc., will be managed by his former procurator for Osterstein Castle Management, Inc., Angela Einenkel. Mrs. Einenkel would not be answering questions from journalists. According to Fliegerbauer, she was on vacation.
The Osterstein Castle Inc & Co. Center Management KG would be liquidated. He would give the business management of the Zwickau Rental Association as well as his 45 percent share in the company to business manager Marcus Flechsig. Fliegerbauer said he had no share in "Hausverwaltungs GmbH Profund"; he would give the business management to one of the firm's staff. His 50 percent share in "Heil Baumanagement GmbH" would become ineffective by the liquidation of the company. His 50 percent share in the Wohnidee Inc. company would also be taken care of through liquidation. The company Kunstforum GmbH would also be transferring its office to Munich. The personnel in Osterstein Castle Management Inc would, in part, be let go, and part transferred to the company with Angela Einenkel. How many of his staff would be let go he didn't know exactly, said Kurt Fliegerbauer.
About the two pieces of real estate in Plauern - an apartment and office building on Mendelsohnplatz and a business building on Neundorfer Street - Fliegerbauer commented only, "they are both extensively financed and are going their way."
With Kurt Fliegerbauer's departure from Zwickau "all plans have died," he said. Among other things he had wanted to erect a museum for modern art in the city. As an art collector and aficionado, Fliegerbauer kept close contact to painter Gottfried Helnwein, for instance he brought him to Zwickau for his 100th renovated building. Helnwein is also said to have contact with Scientology.
According to Fliegerbauer's words, the press was the first to know of his decision to leave Zwickau. Neither the Zwickau city administration nor the staff of Osterstein Castle Management, Inc. were notified of his step before the press conference. He said that was "strictly a precautionary measure to keep my decision from being prematurely revealed."
Despite all his announcements that this step was strictly a reasonable decision, it was visibly difficult for Fliegerbauer at the press conference to stick to his role; he was missing his customary nonchalance and joviality as too many questions about Scientology and his position in the sect were asked. "Your battle against Scientology is over, no more members, you should let up on the Scientology discussion here, nobody is interested in what you are saying," and he cut off a journalist who was pursuing the theme with "you can write about that what you want."
Scientologist pulls out of Zwickau
February 11, 2000
by Petra Franke
Zwickau. - Zwickau real estate dealer and professed Scientologist Kurt Fliegerbauer is moving out of the Sachsen city and going back to Munich. He announced this decision yesterday at a press conference in the Zwickau Holiday Inn before an extraordinarily large number of press: "The job in Zwickau in not so extensive any more. Because depreciation in the East has receded, sale of real estate has declined." Since he "sees no future here in Zwickau," he will transfer his business activity back to Munich "in order to apply my experience in large projects in and out of country." Discussion about Fliegerbauer has reached its high point in the last few weeks - it has occasionally flared up since he began business in Zwickau in 1994. About two years ago he publicly professed to Scientology. Fliegerbauer has bought, renovated and sold about 250 buildings in Zwickau. He had, so said Fliegerbauer yesterday, invested more than a half billion marks in Zwickau. In 1997, the city of Zwickau honored him with its architectural award. In recent times, his influence in the city had even been occasion to call for the resignation of Chief Mayor Rainer Eichhorn. To the two real estate agencies in Plauen, Fliegerbauer solely commented, "they are both extensively financed and are going their way."
With his departure from Zwickau he said that "all further plans had died." Among other things he had wanted to establish a museum for modern art in the city.
The "King of Zwickau" leaving the City
Top Scientologist Fliegerbauer reacts publicly to criticism
February 11, 2000
Berliner Zeitung: Politik
Artikel vom 11. Februar 2000
by Frank Nordhausen
Zwickau, February 10. "This is a good day for Zwickau," said Frank Seidel, CDU faction chairman in the city council. It will even be an historical day in which the Sachsen city is rid of its greatest problem. At a "press conference" on Thursday, construction tycoon and top Scientologist Kurt Fliegerbauer revealed that he is leaving Zwickau forever. "I am dissolving my companies or moving them to Munich," declared Fliegerbauer, who has become known as the "godfather" or "king of Zwickau" and whose selection of hometown has brought with it the appellation of a sect stronghold. He said he sees "no future in Zwickau." With that the native born Munich man ends the affair which has exposed Zwickau's city fathers to ridicule.
Kurt Fliegerbauer is regarded as the greatest private investor in Zwickau. He has renovated about 250 of the city's original buildings with the "Osterstein Castle" company and sold them to 518 capital investors. At the same time he laid a fine network of dependencies. He made his way in and out of the council building, made donations to theaters and museum, hosted banquettes and had himself photographed with business giants. "King Kurt" brought a little bit of glamour to Zwickau. And the city appreciated it. In June 1997, Chief Mayor Rainer Eichhorn, CDU, handed the "potent investor" with the city's architectural award.
In January 1996, however, "Stern" magazine revealed that Fliegerbauer was one of Germany's most important Scientologists who, in cases of dispute, even subjected his company to the judgment of a Scientology judge. Fliegerbauer made denials: he alleged that there was "no kind of connection" with the totalitarian sect. He said he had "only taken a couple of courses." And because many in Zwickau wanted to believe that, they still supported him, believes SPD city councilman Dieter Riemann; the city's residential building association also continued to isolate buildings for the Scientologist. Chief Mayor Eichhorn assured him in a letter at the end of 1997, "We highly value your work for Zwickau."
"The city aided him de facto," judged Ursula Caberta, Scientology Commissioner of the Hamburg Senate. The construction tycoon became rich at the expense of the smaller renovators like Guenther Schlimpert from Leubnitz who accused him of "mercilessly forcing prices" and "playing companies off against each other." Those kind of complaints were often ignored in the council building. What could not be ignored, though, was Kurt Fliegerbauer's membership in Scientology as he openly professed to the sect in March, 1998.
At that time the Chief Mayor imploringly sought assistance from Constitutional Security. In the meantime the controversial investor has been basking in his glory. Last summer, on the occasion of his 205th renovated building, he had an over-sized cardboard figure of himself be paraded through the crowd at a celebration. "Personality cult like in communism," CDU man Frank Seidel judged.
However, the "King of Zwickau" has been nettled since the beginning of January; since then Zwickau has been slipping more into chaos. It began with the decision by the city council to establish an information office about Scientology. "By doing that, we declared war on him," said Seidel. Fliegerbauer reacted unexpectedly ironically and put in an application for the position himself: he stated "nobody in Zwickau is better informed on the Scientology theme than I." This was the "the height of impudence", said Seidel, who, as CDU intern, is regarded as a political challenger to the chief mayor. From his side, Fliegerbauer assailed Seidel head-on and called the CDU politician, in the Scientology manner, a "demagogue and fascist."
Then he had some fun at the city's expense. In line-of-sight with the council building, he hung a Donald Duck figure by Scientology artist Gottfried Helnwein. "Shamelessness," cried the city fathers. It was not until after a few days that Mayor Eichhorn, reacting helplessly, managed to have the duck figure taken down. The cries for him to resign became louder. Kurt Fliegerbauer nominated himself for the mayor's office and wrote a letter to the city, "Zwickau will now be very famous - as the city of the movement." With his departure the city elders have now been spared of this vision. However, the last sentence of his press statement sounded like a veiled threat: "I have loved Zwickau and its people very much and will continue to maintain this solidarity."
Scientology construction tycoon dissolves Zwickau empire
Kurt Fliegerbauer suddenly announced his retreat from business in the east
February 10, 2000
Freie Presse Chemnitz
by Dagmar Ruscheinsky
Zwickau. The scene was dramatic. While top Scientologist and real estate mogul Kurt Fliegerbauer announced his withdrawal from Zwickau via a press conference, the brass plaques of his Osterstein Castle Management Inc. were already being removed from all Fliegerbauer buildings. The "godfather" of Zwickau, as he has been called by a leading German magazine, was leaving nothing of the disassembly of his defiant self-identity to chance in making the scene media effective.
It has surprised nobody for some time that the big business with east German real estate would be over, at the latest, by the time the special tax advantages ran out. Nevertheless that is exactly how, on Thursday, Kurt Fliegerbauer founded his sudden retreat from all areas of business in which he has a share in the valley city.
Fliegerbauer's company, Osterstein Castle Management, Inc., will be transferred to Munich. A self-standing association - "without participation of any Scientologist," as Fliegerbauer said - will sell or develop real estate which is still possessed by Osterstein Castle, Inc. This new association will be led by Fliegerbauer's former procurator, Angela Einenkel. His decision to leave Zwickau and travel back to Munich, said Fliegerbauer, was just made recently. But he said it was a decision of reason. Scientology had had no influence on it, the businessman asserted. He said he would start new projects in Munich, which had still not been determined, said the announcement.
The real estate businessman, who has renovated 250 buildings in Zwickau since 1994 and re-sold them to capital investors, including Hessian CDU top politicians Interior Minister Bouffier, Justice Minister Wagner and Chairman of the State Assembly faction Kartmann, was in the headlines more frequently as a leading member of the Scientology organization. As were the leaders of Zwickau town hall. They have been accused by critics of thoughtlessly carrying on business with the sect member. There is relief in the town hall and at all city council factions now that Fliegerbauer is withdrawing from the city.
Meanwhile, a Zwickau construction firm faces insolvency proceedings. The company has open claims on Fliegerbauer's Osterstein Inc. totaling millions.
Scientologist Fliegerbauer throws in the towel
Zwickau (RR) The news hit at exactly 11 a.m. on Thursday like a bomb: construction businessman Kurt Fliegerbauer is turning his back on Zwickau and is transferring his company headquarters of Osterstein Castle Management, Inc. to Munich. As the controversial Scientologist was announcing his retreat in the Hotel Holiday Inn in front of about 20 journalists from almost all parts of Germany, his staff was taking down the company plaques from all city areas and removing the brass signs from his buildings.
Fliegerbauer, active in Zwickau since 1993, former proprietor of Osterstein-Area and now business manager for Osterstein Castle Management, Inc., called the move a "decision of reason" which he, alone, had come to in the past days. Although he has recently been facing a stronger headwind from the city council factions as well as from the city administration because of his sect membership, he did not feel as if he was being driven from Zwickau. As business manager of his construction company, since the end of 1994 he has renovated about 250 buildings. As a result, more than 500 capital investors have invested about 500 million marks in the city. His personal possessions currently include 19 pieces of real estate in Zwickau, he said.
Fliegerbauer will withdraw with "a tearful eye" from all areas of business of his several Zwickau companies. The corporate headquarters on 24 Kolping Street will be given up and rented out. An self-standing company without "participation of any Scientologist," as he worded it, will end up renovation projects already begun, and that includes 3 Hauptmarkt, 42 Leipzig Street, 12 Domhof, 9 Kloster Street, 4 and 6 Kreisig Street, 1a and 13 Roemer Street, 4, 47 and 49 Max Pechstein Street, 75 Kurt Eisner Street, as well as 6 Muenz Street. The successor company, called "Solid Hausbau, Inc." with its office at 36 Poeten Way, will be managed by Fliegerbauer's procurator, Angela Einenkel. "She is not a Scientologist," he asserts.
With the transfer of properties to Solid Hausbau, Osterstein Castle Inc. and "Co. Center Management KG," which was to have developed the project at 31 Max Pechstein Street (DSF building), will be simultaneously liquidated.
Business management of the Zwickau Rental Company, which Fliegerbauer possessed, along with 45 percent of its shares, will go to Marcus Flechsig, the chief who is there now. The businessman owns no business share in the "Hausverwaltungs GmbH Profund"; its business management is going to a female staff member of the Profund Company. "My 50 percent share in 'Heil Baumanagement,' Inc. becomes ineffective through this company's liquidation. My 50 percent share in the Wohnidee, Inc. company will also be taken care of by the liquidation of this firm. Kunstforum, Inc. will transfer its main office to Munich," said the sect member. And further, "My wife and I are moving back to Munich. With that all my personal business activities in this city are ended. All measures for transfer of property and sales have been initiated and will be conducted in a timely manner. Some of the personnel of Osterstein Castle Management, Inc. will have to be let go, and some will be taken on by Angela Einenkel.
The real estate czar called the mission in Zwickau "no longer so extensive." Now that the special write-offs have lapsed, the sale of buildings in the east have declined. There continues to be attractive possibilities for legal write-offs, but not sufficient enough to keep as many capital investors as there have been in previous years. "Since I see no future in Zwickau, I'll move my business effects to Munich in order to concentrate my experiences on large properties in and out of country.
The news hit the right spot for the leading community politicians of the city. "I am relieved," sighed the ill chief mayor, Rainer Eichhorn (CDU), at home when the "Freie Presse" asked for his opinion. His Vice Mayor, Dietmar Vettermann, expressed surprise at Fliegerbauer's step, nevertheless he breathed easier. Union faction chief Frank Seidel, who is regarded as the Scientologists' most troublesome opponent, also took the surprising news with a great sigh of relief. Nevertheless he said people would still have to keep their eyes peeled and watch whether and which "vassals" of the dangerous sect continued to work in Zwickau. Seidel rated Fliegerbauer's unexpected pull-out as a "victory for democracy and as a success for everyone who stood up to the sect guru."
The SPD welcomed the decision, especially since Zwickau would now be able to get out of the negative headlines, hoped faction business manager Werner Fischer. At the same time one would have to be alert, since the Scientology problem in Zwickau would not solve itself now that Fliegerbauer was gone. On the same note, PDS faction chief Klaus Reinhold said, "It is the best for the city."
Hessian CDU politicians are customers of Fliegerbauer
Interior Minister, Justice Minister and faction chief have bought Scientologist's real estate
February 5, 2000
Freie Presse Chemnitz
by Dagmar Ruscheinsky and Dieter Soika
Zwickau. Leading Hessian CDU politicians have done real estate business with Zwickau Scientologist Kurt Fliegerbauer. Interior Minister Volker Bouffier, Justice Minister Christean Wagner and faction chief Norbert Kartmann have shares in old town villas in Zwickau's northern suburbs.
Fliegerbauer had gone to some expense to renovate more than 100 buildings in that part of the city in the course of the '90s and, with guarantees of rent, pin-pointed potential capital investors. The sales contract with the Hessian CDU politicians originated in 1996/97, the rental agreements the investors signed with the Scientologist run until at least 2001.
Interior Bouffier told the "Freie Presse" that he did not learn of Fliegerbauer's membership in the Scientology sect until long after he purchased the building. He also has a management contract with the Scientologist which, on legal grounds, cannot be dissolved. He further said that his office as Interior Minister had nothing to do with his private financial investments. Scientology is under surveillance by Constitutional Security for suspicion of extremism.
Fliegerbauer was also a business partner of Klaus Peter S., who was recently sentenced to life in prison as a career blackmailer. As the business manager of a Glauchau disposal company, S. had obtained the job for the partial demolition of Osterstein castle. Fliegerbauer's real estate career began in Zwickau with Osterstein castle
Zwickau city council is clearly against Scientology
Construction businessman's donations to be returned
January 28, 2000
Freie Presse Chemnitz
by Rainer Räch
Zwickau. On Thursday evening, the Zwickau city council and Chief Mayor Rainer Eichhorn (CDU) have distanced themselves as never before from the Scientology Organization and the construction businessman belonging to the sect, Kurt Fliegerbauer. Furthermore, the city will pay back the Scientologist's donations.
In a letter, Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (SPD) and Sachsen's Minister President Kurt Biedenkopf (CDU) asked the City Parliament to take a position on the sect and to introduce legal steps. Zwickau's city leaders have been coming under fire in the past weeks. Mainly, Chief Mayor Eichhorn was accused of downplaying the effects of the psycho-sect in the valley city, thereby lending it countenance. One Scientology opponent demanded the city leader's resignation.
From 1995 to 1998, businessman Fliegerbauer spent a total of 15,600 marks in donations to the city. The city government now wants to pay back that money. In connection with Fliegerbauer's libelous attacks against local politician, Chief Mayor has filed charges.
Donald Duck has to go
Dispute over Disney figure
January 7, 2000
ZWICKAU: Chief mayor shows his colors: at a distance from Scientology
(raech) Chief mayor Rainer Eichhorn (CDU) has clearly distanced himself from Scientology and from Kurt Fliegerbauer in his capacity as a sect member. He dismissed accusations that said the municipal politician was naive in dealing with the businessman. There can be no talk of a "municipal tailwind" for the sect guru, the mayor said, and he mentioned a detailed statement he had already submitted in September to the city council. Additionally, Eichhorn criticized the most recent coup by Fliegerbauer, who is having a Donald Duck figure mounted on the "Kavalier," a renovated building of his on Hauptmarkt. "I don't find it appropriate." The monument agency has been informed about it. In any case, the city will see to it that Donald Duck disappears from there.
Friday, 9 a.m. in the council hall: high interest from the media. 16 representatives from newspapers, advertisement papers and agencies as well as television and radio stations wanted to know from Eichhorn what he thinks of the psycho-sect and its top guru Fliegerbauer. The head mayor, almost hidden behind the microphones, spoke of unrest and upsets. He reminded the audience that the city had sold only two buildings and three small parts of buildings to the construction magnate or his firm, the Osterstein Castle Management, Inc., and that he had already been in contact with Constitutional Security for a long time about Scientology. From what Eichhorn said, he had turned down the offer from Fliegerbauer to assume the costs of painting the outside of the drapers' hall. The head mayor left open the question of whether he would have preferred that the construction businessman not have shown up in Zwickau in the first place.
Meantime Fliegerbauer has caused another stir. "I have nothing for which to blame myself. I have a clean conscience," he wrote this week in a letter to members of city council. "It is unbelievable how the city council lets itself be led around by fanatics and instigators (...), from its own ranks in particular, who want to restrict my civil rights and are always trying to discriminate against me." Frank Seidel, the CDU faction chairman was described by Fliegerbauer as the "Julius Streicher of Zwickau" and scolded as an "irresponsible demagogue and fascist." Fliegerbauer's point of view: "This city has much to thank me for. One day I will actually be an honorary citizen. There is always justice in the end."
In another letter addressed to mayor Pia Findeiss, the sect guru mentioned that Zwickau was now very famous as the "city of [the] movement."
town council believes it has been disparaged
Reaction to Fliegerbauer application
December 28, 1999
(raech) After the Zwickau CDU and the Buendnis/Greens, the city administration also reacted, on Tuesday, to the official application by Scientologist Kurt Fliegerbauer for the position in the planned Scientology Information Office. "I personally perceived your offer as a joint disparagement of the city council, the administration and Zwickau's community politics," wrote Health and Social Mayor Pia Findeiss in her written response to Fliegerbauer, the business manager of the Osterstein Castle Management Association.
Pia Findeiss, who is representing Chief Mayor Rainer Eichorn these days because he is on vacation, reminded Fliegerbauer of the objective of the planned establishment. Its first mission is to inform citizens about the machinations of the sect. The city council's decision came about primarily because Zwickau's reputation is suffering more and more at the hands of the Scientology Organization. At the same time, unrest is growing among the people and in parts of the economy. The city government itself, according to Pia Findeiss, will accomplish the decision of the council in "all earnestness," for which a plan for support and financing will be presented by the end of the first quarter in the year 2000.
The application by Kurt Fliegerbauer was rated by the CDU and Buendnis 90 as "impudence and provocation" and "a degree of audacity which could hardly be surpassed."
Scientologist should become an honorary citizen
Citizens demand recognition for Fliegerbauer
October 19, 1999
Freie Presse Lokales
(ME) "It was a shame to see how Osterstein Castle was going downhill. The lifeblood of the city was going with it." Those were the exact words of perfume dealer Harald Ludwig to the Citizen's Assembly on the theme of "How to continue in the city's center district?," words which some Zwickau residents took to heart.
His frank words met with great agreement. "When I read in the 'Freie Presse' recently," continued the active city merchant, "that Fliegerbauer, the chief of the Osterstein Castle Administration, Inc., wanted to spruce up the castle, I said to myself: the man has done it. The restored, centuries-old castle would be a great attraction for visitors and tourists in Zwickau. I got new hope. But a little later, the Zwickau CDU came down on Fliegerbauer." In his familiar, emotional way, Ludwig had just one more thing to say: "I don't understand anything any more. First he had the building ruins, mainly in the northern quarter, literally served to him on a silver platter. And now the man is coldly disregarded," he was referring to the CDU faction, which avoids any type of contact with Fliegerbauer. It is said that if the construction king were to finally pull back from Osterstein, the ruins would be a disgrace to the mid-city's entrance from now until kingdom come.
The topic was also approached by other residents. One citizen even made the demand that Fliegerbauer should finally be made an honorary citizen of the city. He was said to have earned it, because his 250 renovated buildings have already done much for the city. Because of Fliegerbauer's membership in the Scientology sect, however, there was also lively contradiction and criticism for the controversial methods of the Scientologists, who continue to gain influence, even in city hall, in their on-going renovation of real estate.
Osterstein Castle, according to the bankruptcy administrator, is to be auctioned off, together with the granary and everything that goes with it. Whether Fliegerbauer, after the sale of the land rights, will also manage to sell off the real estate is currently considered to be highly questionable - at this time the area is under the care of construction magnates Lars Kruener and Willi Seidel.
The citizen's assembly, however, was unanimous on one point: after the years of haggling about the castle, renovation finally has to start.
Fliegerbauer plans coup over town hall
From: "Freie Presse Online"
September 22, 1998
Company intends to buy failing annex
(räch) Kurt Fliegerbauer, as chief of the Osterstein Schloss Administration, has shown an interest in buying the buildings next to town hall. In the event the city administration should advertise the two decrepit buildings on Gewandhaus Street and the Inneren Schneeberger Street for sale, his company would want to apply to erect a modern business corridor there, the avowed Scientologist told the "Freien Presse." The Schloss Osterstein Administration, Inc. has already acquired buildings directly in back of town hall. If it were up to Mayor Rainer Eichhorn (CDU), parts of the town hall would either be sold off or leased. However the administrative committee has vetoed the mayor's calculations and put his plans on ice.
From the "Freie Presse Online"
March 18, 1998
CDU demands clear delineation of the council
(raech). There is as much excitement in Zwickau now as there ever was at the surprising revelation that construction kingpin Kurt Fliegerbauer is a Scientology member. The CDU faction now demands that the other parties of the city council follow their example and conduct an investigation into possible mix-ups with the sect.
"By this means the city council could clearly determine that it is free from connections to this organization and that its decisions could not be influenced by them," stated a letter from faction leader Gerald Otto and from State Representative Thomas Pietzsch.
The CDU faction had demanded a statement from its members that they are not associated with Scientology, even before the Fliegerbauer outing. "Moreover, a decision has been made some time ago that membership in the party is incompatible with membership in the sect," Pietzsch noted. A few days ago, State Representative Michael Luther continued along those lines: he requested that the CDU faction provide verification by city administration that sect influence be excluded from their work [contracts].
Berliner Zeitung (Berlin Newspaper)
March 17, 1998
Real Estate Dealer Admits to Scientology
by Frank Nordhausen and Liane v. Billerbeck
Zwickau, in March.
The recommendation sounds a little like John Wayne. "Kurt Fliegerbauer has to leave this town," said Dieter Riemann. "There is no other solution." Riemann is the SPD council member of Saxon Zwickau.
Fliegerbauer comes from Munich. He is a real estate dealer, and amounts to one of the biggest private investors in Zwickau. At a meeting about "psycho-sects," he made a confession. "I am a member of Scientology." His admission made some big waves, because many local politicians had ignored prior warnings that the "powerful businessman" was one of the top German Scientologists, who that he has paid a six figure sum to the sect. This had already been know two years ago.
The leading town members, however, believed the man from Munich when he told them he had "only taken a few courses." He said there was "no connection" between his company and the sect.
However, it can be proven that, as a result of a Scientology Committee of Evidence, that Fliegerbauer undertook a "business opportunity" in Zwickau. One of his foremen was still trying to recruit sub-contractors for Scientology in 1997.
Network of Contacts
Now many people in Zwickau are disappointed. "What do the town leaders think they are going to do to fend off an image of a Scientology fortress?" asked Dieter Riemann in a city council meeting.
Fliegerbauer is firmly established in Zwickau. Since 1993 the businessman has acquired about 200 apartments in the historical section of downtown. Many construction companies in the area are dependent upon his contracts. He has succeeded in establishing a network of contacts.
The Berlin sect expert, Thomas Gandow, said that the procedure was "typical" of the struggle of the Scientology organization for "money, power, and influence."
When the Scientology connection was made known two years ago, town council at first declared that community land would no longer be held back from Fliegerbauer.
Research from the "Berliner Zeitung" showed, nevertheless, that three city properties had been sold to him. The Municipal Construction Association of Zwickau (GGZ) transferred seven more buildings over to him; city councilmen sit on their board of directors.
"In each case the sale was made as a result of driving a hard bargain," Mayor Dietmar Vettermann defended the transactions.
After Fliegerbauer's surprise outing, the federal representative from Zwickau, Michael Luther (CDU), demanded that companies only receive public contracts if they give a written declaration that they have no connection with the sect. In this way, he wants to "prevent a transformation of the commercial structure in the Zwickau region by Scientology."
The sect man and politics
Why Hessian ministers don't see anything wrong with doing real estate business with a member of Scientology
February 8, 2000
Freie Presse Chemnitz
by Dagmar Ruscheinsky
Zwickau/Frankfurt am Main. "Kurt Fliegerbauer is cross at me and I at him," said Volker Bouffier. Kurt Fliegerbauer is not just Zwickau's real estate tycoon who has purchased, renovated and sold 250 buildings in the valley city to more than 500 individual capital investors. Kurt Fliegerbauer, who so gladly plays the artfully inclined optimist and dramatic benefactor of the city, is also a leading member of the Scientology sect, which Constitutional Security says is striving for a world system in which democracy and Basic Law would no longer apply. In short, Scientology has been under observation by Constitutional Security for years on suspicion of political extremism.
Volker Bouffier, on the other hand, is Interior Minister of Roland Koch's Hessian administration, as such is the supreme chief of Hessian Constitutional Security and, as one may assume, somewhat informed as to Scientology by virtue of his office.
But Minister Bouffier is a customer of Fliegerbauer's, just as is his Hessian CDU party cohorts, Justice Minister Christean Wagner and the chief of the CDU state assembly faction, Norbert Kartmann. As the "Freie Presse" reported on Saturday, all three CDU politicians have bought old town buildings from Fliegerbauer in Zwickau's north suburbs: Bouffier in November 1996, Kartmann in June 1997, according to what he said.
While the Interior Minister responded to our inquiry that he had not heard of Fliegerbauer's membership in Scientology until long after he bought the real estate - "when a Sunday newspaper reported about him once," according to Bouffier - faction chief Kartmann can remember more precisely. Several weeks after he bought his building in June 1997, Kartmann said he "first learned in an article in the Sunday newspaper of the suspicion that Fliegerbauer belonged to the Scientology sect." Kartmann said that as far as he knew, that suspicion was in question. Up until the "Freie Presse" called him up last Friday, he had heard nothing new in that regard, related the CDU faction chief. Since Fliegerbauer's self-admission as a Scientology man in February 1998, numerous German newspapers and television broadcasters have dealt with the Zwickau real estate mogul; nevertheless Kartmann, the Fliegerbauer customer, said he had not heard anything about it until the end of last week.
Interior Minister Bouffier, on the other hand, has heard a lot recently about the top Scientologist. The CDU politician had closed a five-year management contract, which runs until 2001, with Osterstein Castle Management, Inc., Fliegerbauer's company. And this contract is also the reason Bouffier is "cross" at Fliegerbauer. As manager, he is said not to have kept his obligation or forwarded the agreed upon rent, stated the politician, who had retained an attorney to dissolve the contract as quickly as possible. "If I would have known of Fliegerbauer's sect membership earlier, then naturally I would not have bought a building from him," Bouffier verified.
A more probable background for Fliegerbauer's current unwillingness to pay: he had wanted a reference from Bouffier, which would have put some pressure on the CDU city faction which has been more skeptical recently than it has in the past about the sect member's business goals. "Because I refused to give him that reference," Minister Bouffier told the "Freie Presse," "Fliegerbauer even threatened to sue for neglecting to provide assistance."
Now the Hessian CDU top politician is looking after the finance plan of his Zwickau real estate. Therefore he had never thought of getting rid of the real estate after Fliegerbauer's Scientology membership became known. "Then the chance of a tax write-off would be lost," Bouffier freely revealed. In contrast, Bouffier is less worried about his career as Interior Minister who is conducting business with a high-ranking Scientologist. He said his office in Hesse is one matter and his capital investment in Zwickau is quite another. Hesse's Interior Minister is convinced that one has nothing to do with the other.
The CDU takes a stand to the Chief Mayor and causes speculation
Luther: demands and accusations from Fliegerbauer
(raech). Now it is clear: Chief Mayor Rainer Eichhorn (CDU) has shown his reaction to the "writings, wishes, demands and accusations of Mr. Fliegerbauer" with his controversial letter of thanks to the construction businessman, according to CDU district chairman Michael Luther in a press release. The "Freie Presse" published the Eichhorn document on Wednesday.
Exactly which "writings, wishes, demands and accusations" were not revealed by the CDU Parliamentary Representative, thereby opening the floodgates of speculation. "There is a whole bundle of written material" - Luther did not want to say more to the "Freie Presse" on Tuesday evening, either.
In an emergency session of several hours duration, the top city and district CDU politicians have come out in support of Rainer Eichhorn, but in the same breath they have also criticized his "effusive thanks" to Kurt Fliegerbauer, professed Scientology member and business manager of Osterstein Castle Management association, stated the Union's press releases.
The week before last, the chief mayor was in an uncomfortable position as the public became aware of one of his letters. In November 1997, he flooded Fliegerbauer with words of praise. Despite that, the leading city official had stated in writing at a press conference that there was no possibility of "municipal tail wind" for the businessman. The CDU believes that Eichhorn did not lie in making that statement.
According to the Union leaders, the chief mayor had not reacted with an awareness of the situation at the time, but with appropriate distance. Finally, Fliegerbauer had not outed himself as a Scientologist until later. "The CDU committee is fully behind Rainer Eichhorn's method of procedure at the time," it said.
Minister's Pitfall on Moritz Street
As Interior Minister, Hessian Volker Bouffier has Scientology under surveillance. Privately he has done business with a prominent adherent of the pseudo-religion.
March 9, 2000
Stern magazine, pages 200 & 201
Two security men storm up the steps and secure floor after floor. Then Hessia's Interior Minister Volker Bouffier arrived on the scene: Zwickau, 48 Moritz Street, on the Saturday before last. The law-and-order Minister in front: the CDU in charge. This time on a private mission, flanked by his wife and mother. He was inspecting the building with which he wanted to make a fast buck in the East. Really a completely normal tax savings model. But, for the uppermost employee of the state's Constitutional Security, more than embarrassing. Specifically, the name of Bouffier's partner in his real estate deal was Kurt Fliegerbauer, and he is one of the most well-known Scientologists in Germany. Until the end of 1999, Fliegerbauer transferred DM 3,760.80 to him every month in guaranteed rent for the almost empty building. At the same time Bouffier had his business partner's organization observed by his undercover agents. That is because Scientology, according to intelligence findings, is "organized in a totalitarian form which includes violence and world domination."
Right next to Bouffier's building, his old buddy and cabinet colleague, Christean Wagner, Justice Minister of Hessian Affairs - CDU, bought another building from the era of the town's founding which is just as spruced up as his. The chief of the Wiesbaden CDU state assembly faction, Norbert Kartmann, bought his a couple of streets up. All invested sums of seven figures. Seller, manager and rent guarantor were all the same: Fliegerbauer, a man who had been posing in the parade uniform of the Scientology elite as early as the late 1980s. He and his wife, Veronika, both obtained the obscure status of "New Planetary Disseminators" through their generous donations to the pseudo-religious community. Besides that, the both of them are also "Operating Thetans."
Bouffier & Co. were caught in a trap. Selling was not an option, because they would have then lost the wonderful tax write-off opportunity. And to finance the loans, they needed the rent guaranteed by Fliegerbauer. Therefore they picked their way their way through the figurative mine field in the tradition of the Hessian CDU: an explanation as brutally frank as possible, but without hurting anybody. First the CDU gentlemen indicated they were men of principle, then they practically closed their eyes to the evils of the world. At the end of it all, they stood before a pile of rubble.
The First Act. The crisis was met in an upright manner. When "Bild am Sonntag" reported on Fliegerbauer's Scientology connection in summer of 1997, Bouffier, who was an opposition politician at the time, threatened his business partner in a letter, "In my position as representative, doing business with an organization whose business manager and majority shareholder is a Scientologist is out of the question." That still fit a man who today, as Interior Minister, has left nothing undone in an effort to put a stop to even small-time shoplifters. Measures which the leading policeman supported to defend the Constitutional State included covert surveillance using video cameras and the use of off-duty deputies with pepper spray. Only in his own affairs did his otherwise harsh hand hesitate. Prior indications of Fliegerbauer's contact to Scientology - such as in a "Stern" report in May 1996 - had been ignored by the investors. And yet they were permitted hopes of deliverance. In a sworn statement, Fliegerbauer affirmed, "No sort of connection of any kind exist between my company, Osterstein Castle Management, Inc., and the Scientology Organization."
The Second Act. First comes money, then comes morals. When, in early 1998, Fliegerbauer professed himself to be a Scientologist, the fighters for law and freedom kept quiet, continued to collect their rental payments and hoped that the whole thing would blow over. There was a lot at stake: Bouffier alone had forked out DM 1.174 million for his Eastern real estate. That made an estimated 6,000 marks interest per month - it would have been difficult to do without the ill-gotten gains. CDU colleague Wagner is in the same situation. The Justice Minister told "Stern," "Doing business with Scientologists is not prohibited. If I were to walk out of the deal, I would be cutting my own throat."
The Third Act. The drama turned farcical. Because Fliegerbauer was feeling persecuted by Zwickau local CDU politician Frank Seidel, the Scientologist asked his influential Hessian friends for security assistance. They were to stop the designated candidates for chief mayor and faction chairpeople in city council. Fliegerbauer pled of "dear Mr. Bouffier" last September, "Nothing has changed in that work has been made very difficult for me in this country." He wanted to know from his business friend how he, "as Interior Minister of the State of Hessia" viewed the observation of Scientology by Constitutional Protection. Bouffier telephoned Seidel and, as he told "Stern," only asked about "the situation in Zwickau." He asked his party cohort, to look after my building." He wrote Fliegerbauer, "As already mentioned to you, I do not intend to comment on or start anything about the consequences of you and your company being in Scientology." That did not openly make Bouffier into the sect celebrity's assistant, but he was miles from breaking off business relations with him. As late as November 1999, he suffered with Fliegerbauer, "I am sorry if unjust accusations are being made about you in public." Now he wanted only to save his own skin. It was just like last summer, when the Giessen state attorney was investigating the lawyer Bouffier for "betrayal of client" because, from the investigator's viewpoint, he had worked for both sides in a divorce dispute. Back then he secretly met with the female vice-chief of the state attorney's office in a Wiesbaden bar, "Bologan" and gave her reason to hope for advancement to police president. The proceedings ended with a fine of DM 8,000 - then the Hessian opposition wanted an investigative committee to find out whether "pressure to suspend" the investigation had been exerted by Wagner's Justice Ministry. Excluding the CDU donations scandal, the Interior Minister was the hottest candidate for resignation in Roland Koch's cabinet.
The Fourth Act. The end of a wonderful friendship. In January 2000, Fliegerbauer suspended payments to Bouffier. The reason was given in a letter of February 2, "I would no longer like to honor the rental guarantee because of lack of help." One week later, Bouffier struck back and sued Fliegerbauer in Zwickau municipal court. Charges followed on February 23 of "special breach of trust."
The Fifth and Final Act. Fliegerbauer, once honored as "King Kurt," took his leave of Zwickau with a staged dramatization. The real estate mogul and renovator of about 250 building from the founding era of the city appeared before the press as his staff were unscrewing his company's brass signs from his buildings across the entire city. Then the parting shot: Fliegerbauer hung a Donald Duck figure by Scientology artist Gottfried Helnwein in line-of-sight of city hall. Now Bouffier had to deal with it. He drove to Zwickau, rung Fliegerbauer's doorbell, talked Fliegerbauer's blonde staff member out of the key to his building and prepared to see the place for himself. He received a shock on Moritz Street: the uppermost floor was full of trash; apparently illegal residents had been making themselves at home in the showplace. Only one old lady had regularly rented an apartment in the 335 square meter building.
There is not much more to tell. That evening the CDU man visited a party of the Catholic Fasching Association. But Fliegerbauer would not let the Constitutional Security Minister get away with his model tax write-off. From the band boomed the song, "Hier kommt Kurt" ["Here comes Kurt"].
Peter Reichelt / Stefan Schmitz
The painful business of the minister with Scientology
February 7, 2000
Frankfurter Neue Presse
by Georg Haupt
Wiesbaden/Zwickau. The situation is very painful and the nerves of the Unions politicians in Wiesbaden have been frazzled. It has to do with real estate business in Zwickau - of which the Sachsen city appears to the "Freie Presse" to be convinced - having gotten involved with a member of the widely notorious Scientology sect.
Regular customers, as announced by the paper in its Saturday edition, include Minister Volker Bouffier and Christean Wagner (both CDU), and even the current CDU faction chief, Norbert Kartmann; they have procured tax-saving buildings from Scientologist Kurt Fliegerbauer.
That has resulted in the peculiar situation in which Interior and Justice Ministers Bouffier and Wagner have to keep the sect under surveillance for activities which possibly endanger the Constitution, but support the organization with their business on the other side as private people.
Really an ideal set-up for a friendly opposition pursuing the activities of the government, if it were not a clear sign - this time probably available - of a lack of information of those involved. "Naturally I was not aware that Mr. Fliegerbauer is a Scientologist, otherwise I would not have done business with him," said Bouffier on Saturday. Contact to the real estate developer took place in a bank. And naturally one does not make inquiries of the religious or worldview tendencies of the person one is doing business with in that type of deal.
Kartmann also feels that he has been unjustly put under suspicion of indirectly supporting the Scientology sect. Months ago after the first appearance of suspicion of proximity to the sect, the contract partner signed a sworn affirmation stating that he was not a member. Kartmann said, "As far as I was concerned, that settled the matter."
As to whether Roland Koch shares this assessment will probably be made apparent in the next few days. It is possible that the Minister President will urge his department director and faction chief to sever business ties with Zwickau in order to avoid any bad appearances. Kartmann has already considered a possible legal situation: "Revealing our names as customers is a potential violation of custom."
Perhaps Interior Minister Bouffier would not be so unhappy about the end of this shockingly unfortunate matter: his contract with Fliegerbauer was already at the attorney's office because the real estate dealer had not kept his end of the bargain in the rental guarantee.
The hierarchically structured Scientology Organization was founded in 1954 by American science fiction writer Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) in the USA. It is viewed by critics as a profit-motivated corporation which uses suspicious methods. Scientologists are active in real estate, among other things. The organization is suspected of pursuing objectives hostile to the Constitution and has been under intelligence surveillance nationwide for some time. According to assumptions made by the Federal Interior Ministry, there are indications that Scientology wants to control state and society in absolutist fashion.
Schleswig-Holstein is the only German state which does not have the organization under surveillance by Constitutional Security.