Ausstellung: Miroslaw Strecker (EN)

Miroslaw Strecker

   HGV-driver (Calau)   

Juli 2007 – the countless scandals about rotten meat and the firms that supply it have shocked the public and consumers since 2004. Egoistic and unscrupulous businessmen process inedible slaughterhouse scraps (called K3 meat), animal carcasses, sometimes even rats into sausages and offer it as fresh meat. The profits are large. Bayern, Niedersachsen and Nordrhein-Westfalen are the favourite locations of this bad meat trade.
At the end of 2006 the Italian company – “L’Altra Carne” – imported tons of rancid meat and K3 scraps through the German firm “EXPIM”. Later it was passed to an English firm called “Meat and More”, nowadays called “Interfleisch”. In turn, they sold the slaughterhouse scraps to “SONAC” in Bad Bramstedt, Schleswig-Holstein an officially authorized slaughterhouse scrap specialist – a sister firm of the Dutch “VION N.V.”, Europe’s largest meat trader. According to the bookkeeping receipts, the meat was passed to a smaller K3 processing company called “Madrigo” in Belgium. In fact the subsidiary Dutch company of “SONAC” hired a firm called “Europalogistik Zeh” from Schliebach near Göppingen to transport the K3 products to Wertingen in Bayern. Receiver: “Wertfleisch GmbH”. Wertfleisch hasn’t got a license to dispose of K3 slaughterhouse scraps. Wertfleisch supplies nearly the whole of Berlin with Döner meat – through the firm “BEYSAN Fleischwarenherstellung GmbH”. This supply chain is well tuned to handle hundreds of tons and that for a long time. Millions of Döners are produced by this meat – Berlin is a very big city.

Miroslaw Strecker, butcher, got his HGV driving license in 1978 in Eastern Germany. Shortly before the fall of the Wall, he escaped to the West, while he was deemed politically unreliable, but lives again today near Cottbus, came back with his HGV from Spain and was directly ordered to drive to SONAC in Bad Bramstedt. There, he picked up the new freight, the freight documents mentioned „K3 slaughterhouse scraps”.

In Wertingen/Bayern, 750 km away, he delivered the freight – 11.4 tonnes – to Wertfleisch, a sausage and meat processor. Strecker was surprised. As he was ordered to drive his HGV to the loading ramp, such that nobody would see him, and then the company manager in person started to unload the freight without his help, Strecker became puzzled. More so, as he saw that the company manager was hastily tearing off all the K3 labels from every carton on the pallets.

Strecker had a premonition what would be done with his freight. He couldn’t let this happen, but he has to drive to Ulm immediately. When he arrived, he rang the phone-number – 110 – the German emergency number of the police. But the police declared that they weren’t responsible in this case and they didn’t know who to contact. But they gave him the phone number of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce. There, Strecker was passed to the German Trade Supervisory Office. They replied immediately, that due to the distance from Wertingen, they were not responsible for the firm Wertfleisch. But they sent the police to “Wertfleisch GmbH Wurst- und Fleischfabrik”. Unfortunately the police officers didn’t find K3 products, but tons of Döner-meat. As they contacted Strecker by telephone, Strecker sent them the delivery note by fax. The Wurst- und Fleischfabrik was closed on the same day by the public prosecutor.
In October 2007 Horst Seehofer, the German Minister for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection presented him the “golden award” for moral courage. He praised him for his „extraordinary community spirit”, and promised, to give legal protect to people, who point out social evils. Seehofer wrote as well, a suggestion of changing the law for a new § 612 a BGB, but the intention failed due to the resistance of his own parliamentary group, the conservative CDU/CSU.

Strecker was invited by Günter Jauch to appear on the “Jahresrückblick” the RTL tv-show and had the possibility to explain the whole story again, and to inform the people, how important it is, to show a courageous attitude. Without his information the fraud of Döner-meat wouldn’t have come to the surface. Then, he and the actual problem fell into oblivion. Strecker became ill, and wasn’t able to do his job for 11 months. His shoulder joint was brittle from lifting all these heavy weights every day. After his recovery, his employer wants him to quit, but Strecker said “No”! Now Strecker got mobbed. From now on he has to work as a stand-in, sometimes up to 20 hours a day. Strecker became ill once again in November 2009, due to the tremendous stress. In Mai 2010 he got his letter of dismissal from “Europalogistik Zeh”. At this huge German company with its many logistic centres in Germany and Europe diligent employees are obviously not welcome.

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 Foto: (c) Petrov Ahner   –   Text: (c) Johannes Ludwig – WBNW e.V.
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