Germany’s First Whistleblower Support Organization Opens


Over the past 25 years, not a single public whistleblower in Germany has been spared career damage, financial harm or personal ruin. Far beyond being just fired from their jobs, German whistleblowers have been sued, harassed, prosecuted, investigated for treason, and publicly slandered. A former environmental official had his home raided by the police. A staffer at Berlin’s new airport reportedly was poisoned.

Help for citizen corruption-fighters in Germany finally is on the way. 

Earlier this month the Berlin-based European Center for Whistleblower Rights opened Whistleblower-Herz, Germany’s first non-profit whistleblower support organization. “Herz” is the German word for “Heart,” and this is the organization’s goal: to be at the center of the whistleblower movement in Germany. The organization is receiving confidential and anonymous reports, investigating cases and retaliation complaints, providing no-cost support to citizens, and collaborating with journalists.

In cooperation with Whistleblowing International and the National Whistleblower Center, Whistleblower-Herz is campaigning for the German Bundestag to pass a strong whistleblower protection law to comply with new EU standards. Except for a very limited provision for public servants, Germany currently provides no whistleblower rights to employees or citizens. Whistleblowing is not officially recognized, and there are no whistleblower offices at the national level.

Due to this lack of rights and official support, Whistleblower-Herz is making casework a top priority. Among its many cases, the organization is:

Whistleblower-Herz’s expert advisors include National Whistleblower Center Chair Stephen Kohn and SpeakOut SpeakUp founder Wendy Addison.

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