Querdenker and epistemology

Escaping Corona: A Community of German Anti-Vaxxers on the Black Sea Coast – DER SPIEGEL

I wasn’t familiar with this word although even with my smattering of German (as in, I do violence to the language) I could hazard a guess.

The source was an article in Der Spiegel about Germans who have moved to Bulgaria to get away from Covid restrictions.

The apartment complex in the town of Aheloy is considered a stronghold of German-speaking corona truthers and so­-called “Querdenker,” that hodgepodge of anti-government conspiracy theorists who have waged an ongoing campaign against all measures aimed at combatting the pandemic.

If you check out in the Collins online dictionary you find:

English Translation of “Querdenker” | Collins German-English Dictionary



  1. open-minded thinker
  2. (Coronavirus) pandemic sceptic

Sounds like a great opener for an essay on epistemology 101.

Before it comes to that, we have another question: Does the unofficial Château boss describe himself as a Querdenker? The term, which, pre-COVID, used to be reserved in Germany for those who think outside the box, “has lost its original meaning,” Gelbrecht says. “True Querdenker were people like Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking.” He primarily views himself as a savior for the desperate. “Many Germans are growing increasingly concerned that they will be excluded if they don’t get vaccinated, that they will no longer be able to take part in society and that they will be forced to have their children vaccinated.”