Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Frankfurt I - Petra Roth

Petra Roth was the mayor of Frankfurt until 2012. A couple of weeks ago, on April Fools’ Day, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) ran an almost half page story reporting that Frankfurt airport would be renamed after Roth (as in Charles de Gaulle or nearer home Franz Josef Strauss).  

Here’s the email I did not find:

From: Roth
To: FAZ editor

For 17 years, I was constantly in the papers. I even managed to get someone to put up my name as candidate for German President (but then again, they also suggested Bubis). Nowadays, all I get is a pathetic story when I turn 70.

Here’s the plan: You will run an April Fools story suggesting that the Frankfurt airport be named after me. This, sadly, will not happen, but it could start a public discussion about the urgent need to honour me by naming something after me. A university would be nice but a bridge would also do.

Over the years - as I hope you still remember - I fed you many stories and gave you many scoops. How about some payback?

This response was also not to be found:

From: FAZ editor
To: Roth

OK. We will do it.

PS: Colleagues suggested naming the flea market after you. They are particularly aggrieved by the dirt and the many traders and visitors who pee in their gardens on market days.


  1. As always inspirational to read.

    Your comment on the flea market , alas, shows in what rarified circles you live. A sunny Saturday on the flea would reintroduce you with the vitality of the teaming masses - also inspirational.
    Perhaps you could invite Petra along ??

    The coffee and the Gyros can also be good.

  2. Bridges and streets are named after important people after they passed away. Wishful thinking of yours?