His False Stories: Can You Tell the Difference between Real and Fake?

Claas Relotius, former editor for Der Spiegel and winner of numerous journalist awards including named CNN's 2014 Journalist of the Year, was stripped of his position and awards after he admitted to falsfying his stories for years. The articles below have been faslified or are suspected to be faslified and have been translated from German and have been compiled into a list by Spiegel.

Why Shepherd Sombra now gets personal protection - Hardly a Colombian police dog has such a fine nose as Sombra - to the chagrin of the drug mafia. From Claas Relotius The thing that cracked was my skull" - They call him unlucky - he sees himself as the "greatest lucky guy of all time". Eventually he survived the attack of a snake, a bear and a shark. What is he planning now? From Claas Relotius The boy with whom the Syrian war began - Mouawiya Syasneh is 13 when he insults Syria's ruler Bashar al-Assad with a graffiti: 'You're next, Doctor!' He is celebrated - and demonized when the war breaks out. How did he feel after that? From Claas Relotius Worst hotel guest of all time finally says 'Sorry' - A Canadian businessman was responsible for the 'most incredible mess a person can do in a hotel.' How did that happen? From Claas Relotius The German FBI woman who married an IS fighter - The FBI translator Daniela Greene was to oversee the German IS fighter Denis Cuspert - instead she traveled to Syria and married him. Now she is hiding in the USA. Who is this woman? Our author has met her. From Claas Relotius

Relotius was a most brilliant counterfeiter: His pieces are full of minute detail so specific, so precise, as to appear necessarily authentic. And why doubt a celebrated reporter who describes a small-town street corner as if it were etched into his photographic memory?

“He could not have made it up,” his fact-checker may have surmised. “It is so perfect, you feel as if you are standing there yourself.” Too bad Google Earth can do that for you from 5,000 miles away as the all-seeing camera captures the flowerpot on the stoop.

Josef Joffe, politico.eu