German Minister Quits Over Plagiarized Dissertation
'Baron Googleberg' brought down by academic scandal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2011 12:03 AM CST
German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg looks up during a news conference where he announced his resignation in Berlin, Germany.   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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(Newser) – Germany's aristocratic defense minister has resigned after being caught in a plagiarism scandal. Tens of thousands of academics wrote to the government in protest after it was discovered that Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg—now nicknamed "Baron Cut and Paste" and "zu Googleberg"—had plagiarized large chunks of his PhD thesis, reports the Independent.

Academics determined that Guttenberg had copied more than half of his 2006 thesis from other people's work without giving them credit. Resignation "is the most painful step I've ever had to take," said the 39-year-old baron, who is now expected to retreat to his castle in Bavaria to plan his next step, the Guardian notes. Before the scandal, Guttenberg was widely considered Germany's most popular politician, and he is expected to eventually return to politics.