Bavaria: tradition in danger

Günther Hochhäuser is a passionate marksman who fights to maintain the traditions of his homeland, Upper Bavaria. The Christian Social Union, who has been in power here for decades, could get a drubbing in upcoming elections — to Hochhäuser’s dismay.

Marksmen’s clubs stand for everything Bavaria is famous for: folk costumes, cultural lore and tradition. Their chairmen include illustrious public figures, such as former Pope Benedict and Prince Max, Duke in Bavaria.

Marksman Günther Hochhäuser says “We are a pillar of strength.” But that pillar looks to be on increasingly shaky ground. Bavaria and even the seemingly timeless Inn-Chiemgau shooting club are being overtaken by the tides of change. Until recently, voting for the conservative CSU party was a given.

But recent polls say that the CSU will suffer big losses in the upcoming state elections. Many Bavarians are angry that German interior minister Horst Seehofer, a member of the CSU, recently came close to bringing down the country’s governing coalition. Axel Rowohlt reports.