Justus Frantz is thrown off German train

Justus Frantz is thrown off German train


norman lebrecht

September 18, 2022

Bild reports that the conductor and pianist was ordered to leave a train to Berlin because he refused to wear a mask.

Franz’s protest that he had just ordered drinks and a meal from the ICE buffet were overruled. They also refused to take account that he was on his way to give a concert for a children’s charity.

Rules are rules.


  • IP says:

    After all, the DB are famous for throwing out an 11 yo girl all alone in the middle of the night in wintertime. Rules are rules.

  • Sammy says:

    Good for them!!! Sick and tired of these no mask/no vax people and I appreciate people who take seriously their jobs and rules to make this world get rid of this pandemic.

    • Bone says:

      So glad you live nowhere near me.

    • Anthony Sayer says:

      You’re so right. Covid is killing millions every day, despite the hospitals being empty. Keep up the good work; what would we do without you and your informed rants?

    • Tamino says:

      He was sitting in the restaurant. You can’t open a restaurant and ask for masks. It’s only one or the other.
      And while he was there, in Munich the Oktoberfest is running at full steam. Unmasked. Let’s get a perspective here.
      And the virus is not going away, there is no way of “getting rid” of it. We have to live with it, and the best way is to be reasonable about it, not phobic and irrational like you. Meanwhile I recommend a visit to some other European countries, where the pandemic is pretty much over and the virus is handled in its reality of being in a league with the flu now, in fact.

      • Hugo Preuß says:

        Obviously, he was not eating yet but waiting for his meal. No reason not to wear a mask while waiting for a meal to be delivered. It is truly funny how this topic brings out all the Germany haters and/or German Covid-deniers in full force. And you don’t have to scroll down much further to find the inevitable Nazi and concentrations camps comparisons. Keep up the good work, folks!

        It is also quite funny that Mr. Frantz found it more important to protest the mask mandate than to make it to his charity concert.

        • Tamino says:

          There is no scientific foundation in what you are saying. We don’t need to wear masks all the time anymore.
          Of course you are free to wear one if you want to.

          • Trumpet says:

            That’s completely irrelevant here though.

            Don’t like the rules? Don’t board the train. End of.

          • Tamino says:

            not sure that’s the right course of logic there. what’s next? don’t breathe if the air is too dirty?

          • AD says:

            Yes, we don’t need to wear masks all the time, and everywhere, anymore, thanks goodness. Fortunately, all the drastic measures taken during the last years were effective. Still, despite the virus is probably less dangerous (or at least it is perceived so), wearing masks in closed environments full of people is still a very effective way to limit the virus transmission (and not only covid) at the cost of a small discomfort (if wearing a mask can be even called discomfort). We should remember that there are people out there that are particularly vulnerable, even if we are in perfect health. And although many now get covid in a very mild (or even asymptomatic) form, this does not mean that the virus is gone. If you don’t think that you are at risk (and you may be right) at least realize that others may be.

          • Hugo Preuß says:

            This not an academic dispute. I am not a virologist but I can read and comprehend the rules applying to a German railway car. Maestro Frantz apparently not, or he does not care and demands an exception for himself.

          • Sarah Bertaglia says:

            Frantz could easily have put a mask on while waiting. By the way, wearing a mask is primarily to protect others, not oneself, so there’s no choice involved… wear one or get chucked off a train, thereby aborting a charity-raising concert.

    • Tim says:

      The pandemic’s over. The disease is now endemic. Get on with your life, and let others do the same. If your life consists of hiding behind a mask, that’s your problem; most of us have moved on.

    • Leslie says:

      Read the science and not the leftist news and you will have a different view. Or, summarize the last three years, simple. To get rid?

  • Brettermeier says:

    “They also refused to take account that he was only his way to give a concert for a children’s charity.”

    But officer, I was speeding because I wanted to sing for the poor! 😀

  • Achim Mentzel says:

    The guy is just a shadow of his former self. He would do himself and all of us a big favor to retire once and for all and not seek attention at any cost.

    • Hugo Preuß says:

      I heard him ages ago at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival. He was *always* a shadow and attention seeker. I will be haunted forever by his horrible rendition of the piano part in a Winterreise…

  • Brettermeier says:

    Btw., he must have done more than just not wear a mask for a minute to be thrown off the train.

    That’s on him.

  • Maria says:

    Rules are rules and no logic or commonsense, and the Germans are the Germans!

  • May says:

    Rules are rules, and Germany’s are the most pointless. Recently, the rules were adjusted to jettison the mask rule on planes, however Germany’s sadistic self-hating Minister of Unhealth refused to allow ground-based users of public transportation to remove the mask. You can be the only person on the bus, but if you remove your mask, you will be fined.

    Meanwhile our electricity and heating bills are going through the roof, yet our dilettante, learning-by-doing green (as in inexperienced) government wants to keep the populace distracted by perpetuating the corona-fear.

    I encourage everyone to read Jonathan Engler on Anomalies in the Excess Death Statistics from Northern Italy in Spring 2020, where it becomes immediately obvious that lockdown caused the spike in the death rate and not the virus.

    • Emil says:

      Having been on plenty U-Bahns, S-Bahns, buses, trains, and planes in Germany in the last month…no you won’t get fined. At the very worst they’ll tell you to put it back on and that’s it, unless you’re a complete jerk.

    • Shlomo Ohlsbacher says:

      Bravo. That’s as it is. Germany is a madhouse.

    • Tamino says:

      Yes, it’s insane in Germany these days. Collective madness. Germans suck at being rational and reasonable. Sorry Kant. An nation of self – and in consequence others – hating “Untertanen”.

    • Thomas M. says:

      Masks are no longer compulsory on planes because there is no way to control international flights. Train journeys are 99% national affairs, so they uphold the compulsion in the area they can control.

    • Alexander Hall says:

      The most pointless? Nobody outdoes Buckingham Palace in the pettiness of all its rules. Removing the initials ER from the uniform of the Duke of Sussex (unlike the sex-pest Andrew) because he is not “a working Royal” just before he was due to take part in the vigil in Westminster Hall, is an example of British “rules are rules”. The UK has plenty of absurdities of its own. Germany is by no means a sole player.

      • GCMP says:

        It’s not that he is not a “working royal” but that he is no longer an equerry or aide-de-camp. He knows that, he should not be upset or surprised. Similarly, since he was not in uniform, he knew to bow and not salute at the Cenotaph.
        I am not sure what this has to do with musical discussion, by the way.

  • John says:

    Entire Europe already moved on. Many people I know don’t fly Lufthansa anymore precisely because they are the only remaining airline in Europe that still requires masks.

  • GUEST says:

    Do most trains serve meals and drinks only to be eaten after disembarking? This seems only part of the story. Justus seeks Justice.

  • Qwerty1234 says:

    FYI, Deutsche Bahn conductors give passengers 2-3 strikes before kicking them off the train for refusal to properly wear masks.

  • Alan says:

    Ludicrous carry on. Time for the Germans to give up this nonsense. Pointless wearing masks on trains that are rammed to bursting point.

    • Tamino says:

      the scenarios of higher degrees of German made nonsense are hilarious..

      fly to Germany by Easyjet: Mask required.
      Drive from the airport to Munich by train: Mask required.
      Sit in a tent with thousands of drunk talking and shouting people at Oktoberfest: No mask required.

    • Bill says:

      Easy solution if you don’t like it — don’t take a train in Germany.

  • Gustavo says:

    Wipe them out, all of them!

    Far too often have we witnessed mask refusers getting away with it.

    The typical German “Kavaliersdelikt”.

    “Can’t you see, I’m having a drink!”


    “My doctors have advised not to wear a mask…but I am not obligated to prove this in public.”

    • Bone says:

      They should be sent to work camps and forced to labor for the motherland.
      I seem to recall Germany trying that before…

    • Tamino says:

      Is this satire? The rest of Europe has ceased to wear masks. Only some hypochondriac traditionally collectively psychotic Germans try to keep the masochism in play. Lovely.

      • AD says:

        Wrong. In Italy masks are still compulsory on public transports, at least until September 30th (if the law won’t change).
        We can discuss whether weating masks is now necessary or not, but I would dare to say that if a rule is in force, it should be followed. It is called respect.

        • Herr Forkenspoon says:

          Respect or fear of reprisal?

          • AD says:

            No fear. I think that in a civilized country, people should follow the rules. Otherwise it is called Far West. I repeat, I am not discussing the rule per se (to which I may or not agree). Discussing the necessity or even the practical applicability of a measure is part of the democratic process, but consciously ignoring a rule just for the sake of being different is something else.

          • Tamino says:

            well, it’s exactly that grey zone between rule #1 and #2 that always needs a bit of good common sense. Frantz was in the restaurant, and you don’t need to wear a mask there according to the rules while you consume food. Anyone afraid of meeting people without masks knows that “risk” of being “exposed” in the restaurant as well and can avoid it. So what harm is done when someone does not wear the mask moments before his food actually arrives?
            It’s all so terribly anal and childish in a way.

        • Simon Scott says:

          @AD. I have just alighted an Italian train. Not a mask in sight…..

      • Gustavo says:

        Perhaps some politicians are hoping for credibility points following the FFP2 bribe scandal.

  • DG says:

    Miss a concert for a children’s charity because you don’t feel like wearing a mask? Give me a break. Sorry, kids: someone’s taking a stand against basic public health measures.

  • George Lobley says:


  • Lausitzer says:

    Pro tip: As of October 1st a surgical mask will no longer be sufficient for ICE and IC trains while within Germany. You will have to upgrade to FFP 2 (= N95).

    Or, if feasible, take a flight, because there you will at the same time need – nothing anymore.

  • Paul Dawson says:

    The charity aspect should cut no ice. The virus does not give pro bono exemptions, so nor should the railway company.

    However, it would be difficult for him to consume the food and drink bought onboard whilst wearing a mask., If they sell it onboard, they should allow onboard consumption.

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    Covid delusion and absurdity continues apace. We had the same nonsense on trains in Bavaria and in rehearsal at Bayreuth. Ludicrous. Grow up.

  • Trumpet says:

    I know both Justus Frantz and Deutsche Bahn well.

    I say good on Deutsche Bahn – that guy is so unpleasant. I’ve been waiting for the real world to catch up with him and expose him for who he is and, while I didn’t expect it to be DB that did it I’m glad someone has stood up to him.

    I am frankly amazed he is still able to work in 2022.

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    The downticks on all the common sense posts here indicate that there are an awful lot of deluded, needless-protection junkies at large. Time to move on, chaps; it’s over.

    • Sheila McLaren says:

      It’s far from over. We continue wearing masks for protection/prevention in Australia. There is no doubt, and no debate – they do work, and work well.

  • MuddyBoots says:

    For those who didn’t read this closely: Frantz was not eating, his excuse was that “he had just ordered” food which had not yet been served. Eating is not the same as planning to eat when the meal arrives. And sounds like he was ready to use any excuse once confronted. Singing for a charity was obviously not as important as taking a stand against wearing a mask.

  • PHF says:

    Why still wearing masks? Germans should be more concerned about their winter and energy bills coming soon. “From Russia with Love”, Bond would say.

    • Bill says:

      It is possible to think/worry while wearing a mask. The build-up of carbon dioxide and other alleged hazards of wearing a mask are fictions.

  • Andre Hartmann says:

    Same rules for everyone. It was right he got kicked off.

    I happened to be on a flight with Justus Frantz many years ago, he was with a group of musicians from his orchestra. He bossed and ordered everyone around during the entire long distance flight. He may be a great musician but he is also an entitled obnoxious person.

    • Trumpet says:

      He should have been investigated decades ago for his treatment of his own orchestra.

      He ripped off the ‘Let’s make music as friends’ slogan from Bernstein and then exploited and abused a load of them.

  • Wilf says:

    Speaking of rules, it’s a fairly safe one that where you read of someone being thrown out of a public place, you can pretty much bet that in between their lines of incredulous protest, you can read that they were an absolute pain in the butt.

  • Herr Forkenspoon says:

    Removed is different from “thrown off” the train. Not as dramatic, but still effective.

  • Serge says:

    Rules are rules – and Germans will always be Germans. Fanatics.

  • Gustavo says:

    Let the virus judge!

  • charlottenburger says:

    Knowing old Frustus Schwanz, my guess is that it wasn’t just the lack of a mask that got him tossed off the train….

  • M McGrath says:

    Indeed, rules ARE rules and it’s been well known for a very long time that masks are required on German trains. It’s one reason some people have stopped taking them. Perhaps instead of arguing a point and splitting hairs (a German pastime?) about the imminent arrival of his food from the ghastly bistro, he should have put his mask on, or hired a car or flown.
    The conductor hears these sob stories 100 times a day. If everyone with some excuse for not wearing a mask got to break the rules, can you imagine the ensuing mayhem? Like kindergarten! So if the concert was so important, dear Justus should not have been dumb enough to escalate things and thereby jeopardize his concert.

  • Fernandel says:

    Poor German conductor ! In France, the “refus d’obtempérer” – refusal to comply – is a not only a national sport but also an unalienable right…