Berlin Corruption: Meet Global Politics

I find it amusing that some of the German media refer to Donald Trump as a Bauunternehmer. The closest translation would be a construction entrepreneur, I suppose.

However, Berlin has a long history of corruption in its construction sector, generally known as a “swamp of corruption”. The most interesting and colourful case always was the corruption scandal that revolved around one of the district construction councillors (I guess, something like a building inspector/planner in a Canadian context) and a shady brothel operator by the delightful name of Otto Schwanz (Schwanz is a tail, but also generally used to refer to…, well take a guess; the man was a walking pun) in the mid-1980s if I recall. Mr Schwanz turned out to be even more colourful after unification when his close contacts with  Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski were revealed who was the East German regime’s chief foreign currency operator.

Given that long history, it does seem somewhat appropriate to think of Donald Trump as a Bauunternehmer rather than a developer or real estate investor or the alternatives tags that could be attached to him.


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