In March 2020, the German Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) was involved in the preparation of a 17-page strategy paper entitled How We Can Get COVID-19 Under Control. The paper can still be retrieved from the ministry’s official website.
One essential focus of this paper is the communication strategy to be followed by the government, aimed at encouraging the population to trust and accept the measures which were going to be imposed. This strategy explicitly involved the creation of an emotional “shock effect” and the singling out of children as culpable transmitters of disease.
The scenario paper How We Can Get COVID-19 Under Control was prepared by external scientists in March 2020 with the participation of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI). It was completed on Sunday, 22nd March 2020 – the day on which the German state premiers and the Chancellor decided on the initial lockdown measures.
How We Can Get COVID-19 Under Control recommends methods of propaganda and mass influence which, up to this day, remain precisely the elements of Government strategy that are unmistakable components of reporting in the round-the-clock news on all official channels and in most of the media, not just in Germany, but almost everywhere in the world. Methods which are terribly reminiscent of the ones used by the most inhuman and darkest political leadership which Germany has ever had.
The paper argues (page 13) that a communication focused on the relatively low case fatality and the advanced age of the people at risk would fail to achieve the intended result. “In order to achieve the desired shock effect, the concrete impact of a pandemic on human society must be clearly conveyed”. The following key elements of this strategy are explicitly enumerated:
Promotion of primal fear
Numerous critically ill people are taken to hospital by their relatives but are turned away and die in agony at home, struggling to breathe. Suffocation or not getting enough air is a universal cause of primal fear
Children are to be presented as posing a fatal risk
Children will hardly suffer in the epidemic: Wrong. Children will be easily infected, even in a lockdown, e.g. through contact with other children in the neighbourhood. If they then infect their parents, and their mother or father dies in agony at home, they will feel that they are to blame because they forgot to wash their hands after playing, for example – the most terrible thing a child could ever experience
The threat of sequelae (delayed consequences)
Even those who seem to be cured after suffering only mild symptoms can apparently have a potentially fatal relapse at any time, such as a heart attack or lung failure if the virus finds its way into the lungs or heart unnoticed. These may be isolated cases, but they will give those who have been infected a constant sense of impending doom
An official strategy paper from the German Interior Ministry recommends to dissuade the population from rational analysis and to drive them into irrational fear instead.
An official strategy paper from the German Interior Ministry advocates the use of psychological warfare against children.
An official strategy paper from the German Interior Ministry exposes propaganda methods aimed at stifling democratic debate and criticism, in order to achieve unquestioning adherence to anti-constitutional executive decrees.
Hardly anyone in politics or in the media, hardly anyone of our eminent jurists, hardly anybody at all seems to take offence. This is apparently the new normality we live in.
For further reference and analysis (in German) the full paper can be found here.