Anger about a guest speaker: Speed skater Claudia Pechstein had campaigned for strengthening club and school sports in her speech on Saturday at the CDU convention in Berlin. However, she also called for stricter deportations of rejected asylum seekers. This ensures more security in everyday life. According to the athlete, being able to use public transport "without fearful looks" is one of the problems that particularly affects older people and women. Improvements there should be more important "than thinking about whether we should put a gender asterisk or whether a concert can still be called a German recital or whether it's still allowed to order a gypsy schnitzel," said Pechstein.
But Pechstein not only caused discussions with the content of her speech, but also with her clothes: she wore the uniform of a federal police officer. In fact, she completed training with the Federal Border Police, has been a civil servant since the late 1990s and holds the rank of chief police officer. However, the duty of neutrality applies to civil servants. The SPD domestic politician Sebastian Fiedler wrote on Twitter: "A police officer in uniform swings party speeches? I'm rubbing my eyes in disbelief." He demands transparency and follow-up from the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
Other politicians also commented critically on the appearance. Bundestag Vice President Petra Pau (left) wrote on Twitter: "I've been dealing with civil service and disciplinary law for 25 years, not just in the interior committee, there's also party financing and stuff - this process is beyond any tolerable possibility." A CDU spokeswoman told the German Press Agency on Sunday that it was not clear before the speech that Pechstein would wear a federal police uniform.
The federal police have meanwhile initiated an administrative examination. A spokesman said they learned about the process on Saturday afternoon and started the examination immediately.
Pechstein won the gold medal five times at the Olympic Winter Games, and she also won two silver and two bronze medals. At the 2022 Games in Beijing, she was allowed to carry the German flag into the Olympic Stadium at the opening ceremony together with bobsleigh pilot Francesco Friedrich. Despite her now 51 years, Pechstein is still one of the best speed skaters nationally, but international medals are out of reach for her. The winter sportswoman ran for the CDU in Berlin in the federal election in 2021, but did not enter parliament.