ECR Party

Hans-Olaf Henkel: Merkel suffers from “Helfersyndrom”

In an interview with the German news website Spiegel Online, AECR member Hans-Olaf Henkel MEP (ALFA) described German Chancellor Angela Merkel's "Helfersyndrom," which is the neurotic self-interested compulsion to appear charitable. According to Henkel, this neurotic need is typical of Germany and it has great impact on the country’s migration policy of today.

Merkel’s reaction to the European migrant crisis has dramatically changed his picture of her, Henkel said. Although he recognizes her intelligence, he criticises “helping others” as an addiction of her, caused by an inferiority complex.

Henkel analysed that Merkel has promised refugees something she couldn’t possibly deliver, and by doing so she has isolated Germany in Europe. He defended helping refugees as morally right and highly respectable, but he also emphasized that the German Chancellor always has to keep the consequences of her actions in mind.

According to Henkel, this “Helfersyndrom” has been obvious in all big challenges of her chancellorship. It also applies to most parts of the German political elite, which are driven by a guilt complex because of the country’s Nazi past.

He told Spiegel Online:

Merkel swings the moral cudgel when trying to save refugees or Greece or the Euro currency or the world climate. […] Out of a guilt complex she does conviction politics instead of responsible politics.

Henkel is the former CEO of IBM Europe and served as President of the Voice of German Industry BDI. He has known Merkel for many years. Both have been campaigning for more climate protection and attended the UN Climate Change Conference in Kyoto in 1997 together.

Today, Henkel and AECR member Prof Joachim Starbatty have published their latest book “Deutschland gehört auf die Couch” (“Germany needs psychotherapy”), which can be bought here.