Postcard from... Düsseldorf


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Not all Germans show unwavering respect for authority. “Court Case Dieter” as he is nicknamed, has spent nearly half his life actively loathing it. The 77-year-old  retired sports teacher has been in court  a record 230 times for insulting establishment figures.

His targets include judges, mayors, city councillors, social security staff and police. Dieter has won fame across Germany for lashing out at all of them with what the media describes as “ excremental swear words”.

He has already spent a year in prison for the crime of  “insulting state officials” and this week he is back in court in Dusseldorf to appeal against  a further year’s imprisonment which  he has been ordered to serve for lambasting officials on 44 other occasions. The self-styled “King of the plaintiffs” admits to having been on the dole since the age of  39.  His current trial has been delayed for months because the courts have had trouble finding an unbiased judge who has not been insulted by him.

Whether Dieter will be sent back to jail remains an open question. Psychiatrists say he is an intellectual with an IQ of 130 who laces his words with quotations from Schiller.

But they also claim that he suffers from personality disorder which makes him see himself as a champion of justice constantly persecuted by a corrupt system.

Because there are doubts about his sanity,  his full name cannot be published. “ Court Case Dieter” has nevertheless made it clear that if he wins his case, he will fight for compensation for previous injustices.