I get many E-Mails and phone calls. Most of them are very nice, some rather strange. A publisher called me shortly after the MIRROR had published the texts about the scams of my colleagues Claas Relotius. He wanted to talk to me about “the enormous potential for Exploitation of the story.” “You have uncovered the whole thing. Book, documentary, Film, anything is possible,” said the man. He sounded excited. I thanked him and said that I worked in close cooperation with the SPIEGEL-Verlag is currently on “Claas Relotius – THE MUSICAL”. The have just highest priority in the house.

This article is to Say from the MIRROR folder 52/2018 what is. In their own right: As one of our Reporter his stories faked, and why is he now came to a Digital output | Print copies | Apps | subscription

I’m in the last few days, something I never wanted to be: a Protagonist of a story, part of the message.

One of the questions you asked me in the last few days, is: How did you notice it? For years, he tampers with the texts, not on it, you work a single Time with him and he is flying?

as much As I would now hold a long lecture about my “journalistic instinct”, my “report nose”, in the meantime, I am firmly of the Belief that it was just a coincidence.

Two things were crucial, I think. Firstly, I met Claas Relotius practically never. I knew him only from his writings. I work as a freelance Journalist in Berlin, he in the Headquarters in Hamburg. The times I went to conferences in the editorial, not as he was. On the Christmas celebrations, we sat at different Table. I would not have recognized him on the street. We have talked on the phone in front of this thing a single Time. It was a small Text that I had written and he was in charge of the Department.

Relotius, so much I understand now, must have been the nicest colleague of the planet. Really every conversation I have with colleagues that had to do with him, and who now have to suffer tremendously under his case, starts every conversation with it, that you assure me what a great person he seemed to be.

these are all top journalists, people who write portraits, which you can think of in other. A colleague said to me: “Juan, if you had told me that my mother makes up stories, I would have thought it more likely that Claas Relotius does.” Another said refreshingly honest: “Make no mistake about it. You can treat other colleagues do not report prices, only at Claas, I thought to myself, deserves it.” One of his former bosses said to me: “But for him the Problem was more so that I found it much too small. I was not a smidge, because it was said, so it is not happening.” Claas Relotius is a human being, you lock into the heart, if you got to know him. I didn’t know.

My second advantage? I had at some point, long before Relotius in the MIRROR started to read a Text from him. It was said to be the first tax Advisor in socialist Cuba. The man earning $ 20,000 in the first half, and “Shoe shiners” would stand in line to let him advise you. I thought: “So, again, Shoe-shiners have tax planning questions, and to Cuba!”


You have to think of it as a vaccination. Anyone who reads today’s a Claas-Relotius-Text, will be wondering how stupid the MIRROR and all the Juries must have been to believe the nonsense. It reads absurd, the amount of detail, the accuracy. It reads up. Now.

I told at that time to anyone of the accountants, no one. What?

is accusing A Reporter for the lie to a judge venality. The ultimate charge. You better be damn sure. I believed that Shoe shiners to go to Cuba for the accountant? No. I was able to prove that no Cuban Shoe Shiner goes to the accountant? No. So I held the door, even as I saw at some point that Relotius for the MIRROR writes. What was I supposed to do? To go to my boss and say, hey, nice Layout last week, and by the way, I think Claas is a conman? It was a feeling. No good, by the way.

In the Video: Reporter Juan Moreno about the case Relotius


as it was a feeling that brought me to defend myself for the first Time in my career, to write with a colleague to put together a story. As it was, I was working with Claas Relotius, behaved me like that of a petulant Idiot. My boss had to accept that I was crazy. It also explains why you thought the MIRROR for a long time that I took as a not-so-young colleague, the 33-year-old Superstar of the German report easy success.

I didn’t want to write him a Text. I couldn’t tell you why, I could explain it to Yes with yourself is not reasonable. As I said, a feeling.

And since we’re on the feelings: did you run the MIRROR up against the walls? Was it really so bad? Yes, it was. It is thick, solid concrete walls, MIRROR-quality goods, so to speak. It came to my existence. Was I annoyed? I was a lot more. I was in despair. You should, I think, but for a Moment, do something that is a bit out of fashion in debates. You should put a brief Moment in the position of the other, in the MIRROR. And again – I am not employed by the Store. I’m a freelance Journalist and also the are just all very, very nice to me. They wouldn’t dare at the Moment to give me guidelines of what I mention in this piece, or to omit.

so I write from my bosses that I have questions to the article “Jaeger’s border,” it was my right, because my Name as a Co-author of it stand. There is a lot of inconsistencies. A Protagonist two years ago state in the “New York Times” with a different name. The man who pretended to not be photographed, was in a famous documentary. That Kind Of Stuff. No nonsense, legitimate questions.

The case Relotius opinion of the editor-in-chief met with New Details about the discovery of the affair, The answers to the important questions, such As Juan Moreno was able to uncover the fraud, such As the MIRROR backup system to the limits Interview with the last Survivor of the “White Rose” affected residents of Fergus Falls comment to the fakes A reconstruction in their own right, such As the MIRROR on the fakes reactions from readers and journalists

Claas Relotius responds will respond in writing. And, indeed, brilliant. I see the Letter until weeks later. Relotius submit E-Mails, in which he, the photographer of the “New York Times” declared that he was mistaken, maybe. There are E-Mails, which show that Relotius has not quite made clear, people, people, I’m suggesting that there are you. The response ends with the reference, that is now also the colleagues from SPIEGEL TV to the group were on their way. They were in contact with the group.

What of the heads? On the one hand, one of the nicest gentlemen on the planet, the German journalism is to the feet and can quite clearly demonstrate that he has spoken to the people. That Relotius would go so far as to forge E-Mails, could really, nobody has a clue.

And on the other side: Juan Moreno, a guy who is not the nicest colleague of the planet, had behaved in the history of the Text is strange. Moreno, while, admittedly, large inconsistencies, but there’s no proof.

would have Had to respond to my bosses different? Yes, probably. I would have reacted in their place different? No, probably not.

we Can learn something from this? Yes, journalists are people. People lie.

Discuss it here! MIRROR ONLINE MIRROR-Forum Discuss about the case Relotius

The MIRROR of a Commission set up to investigate the whole case Relotius. (More here)

The Relotius wrote articles stay, up to a extensive clarification of the allegations go unchanged, but with a note provided in the archive, which is available online to facilitate Research. We ask for information to hinweise@spiegel.de.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.