Plagiarism Accusations Widen Guttenberg Copied Work of German Parliament's Research Department

German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg faces fresh accusations of plagiarism in his doctoral thesis. According to a report due to be published in SPIEGEL on Monday, he used the services of the parliament's research department for his dissertation, and didn't mention the author in his footnotes.
Under fire: German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.

Under fire: German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.

Foto: Tobias Kleinschmidt/ dpa

German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, under pressure following allegations that he plagiarized  parts of his doctoral thesis, also used the services of the German parliament's research department for the dissertation, SPIEGEL has learned.

In May 2004, when Guttenberg was a member of parliament for the conservative Christian Social Union party, Ulrich Tammler, a civil servant in the department with two PhDs of his own, wrote an analysis for Guttenberg headlined "The Question of the Link to Faith in the US Constitution and Supreme Court Rulings on the Separation of the Church and State."

Tammler completed the 10-page document on May 13, 2004 and passed it on to Guttenberg's parliamentary office under the reference number WF III - 100/04, according to an article due to be published in SPIEGEL on Monday.

Even though members of Bundestag, or lower house of parliament, are only supposed to use of the department for work relating to their parliamentary mandate, Guttenberg included almost the entire article in his dissertation, with only minor word changes.

Tammler himself isn't cited in any of Guttenberg's footnotes. Only the parliamentary research department itself is mentioned, a footnote 83.

The 60 staff of the department are meant to help lawmakers fulfil their duties as members of parliament. The department's guidelines state: "The German Bundestag reserves all rights to the work of the Research Department. Publication and distribution require the approval of the departmental management."

Guttenberg has rejected opposition calls for him to resign but said on Friday he would temporarily relinquish his "doctor" title pending an investigation into the matter by the University of Bayreuth, which awarded him the PhD.

The affair threatens the political future of the aristocratic minister, one of Germany's most popular politicians, who has been tipped as a possible future chancellor.

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