What are the different types of betrayal

The Judas in us

It was the sign of affection that sealed his fate: Jesus was betrayed by a kiss, by a kiss from one of his disciples. This betrayal was so serious that it has stood as a symbol for this very thing ever since. To this day, Judas embodies the worst that man can produce: Driven by clumsy malice, vindictiveness or greed, the traitor commits the greatest possible breach of trust. However, betrayal is not included in the list of Christian deadly sins or - as a negation - in the Ten Commandments.

Is it because betrayal is often surrounded by the hope that it will later prove to be beneficial? That he does good in the end?

"Nothing about betrayal is clear," says the essayist Mathias Schreiber. Especially not whether the traitor is a savior or a fiend. Schreiber has dedicated a book to betrayal and its innumerable facets. The former journalist describes the variants and nuances of betrayal, sometimes in great detail, sometimes in sketchy anecdotes, from political high treason to adultery that is comparatively lapidary for world events. And it illuminates the traitor's dark soul. With a sobering realization: Man has an essential disposition to be a traitor.

Who will be a traitor? Schreiber: We all have the potential for betrayal within us. To the extent that we all like to break free from existing relationships, milieus, religious and ideological ties. This permanent change is also important for humanity to develop further. Often one does not know what makes the traitor a traitor in individual cases.

Are there certain traits that are common to the various types of traitor? The more likely someone is a loner, the more likely they are to become a traitor. One feels bad after the betrayal, even if it is a betrayal that will be historically valued as beneficial. Outsiders, such as people belonging to a national or religious minority, people who are conspicuous or unstable in any way, are more likely to overcome their inhibitions to commit treason.

What is the difference between treason and other misdeeds? Treason is not as easy as stealing. There's a thief and a robber there. Treason, on the other hand, is a complex process. He is a love triangle between the traitor, the betrayed and the beneficiary of the betrayal. This basic pattern distinguishes it from the other offenses, regardless of whether it is about treason, the disclosure of trade secrets or adultery.

Can this also happen unconsciously? Is There Unintentional Betrayal? Sometimes the preparation for it is unconscious. This distancing oneself and alienating oneself, for example from the political idea. The betrayal itself is always a conscious act. That's the bad thing about it: this deliberate breach of trust.

They said that betrayal always takes someone who has been betrayed. What about betrayal of a thing or an idea? In the twentieth century, apart from adultery, political betrayal was the most common form. It's always about betraying an ideology. You have this in common with a group. In this respect, this betrayal is not only a betrayal of the idea or ideology, but also of people - albeit not of individuals, but of a whole group.

Why was there less political betrayal in the past? Was loyalty more important in the time of monarchs and princes than it is now? In the feudal era, loyalty to the king had a strong religious connotation. According to medieval belief, the king is called by God and acts on behalf of God - for example when he protects his faithful, his followers and his subjects. To betray him would be tantamount to betraying God. Of course, it's not that easy to do.

What are the motives for betrayal? Revenge is a motive. Love. Craving for recognition, greed for money. But betrayal can also be a break from bonds. After the Second World War, the world was divided into two blocks. Anyone who was heavily involved in one of the blocks will occasionally have doubts as to whether they were committed to the right page. If he breaks away from her, it can be a separation from a bond that was actually not good - but that is still perceived as betrayal by those you leave.

Can treason be beneficial? Yes. But that does not benefit the traitor. Judas betrays Jesus and thereby founds Christianity. It is a betrayal with a positive outcome. Even so, Judas is extremely despised by others. He is not credited with making it possible for Jesus to die on the cross and save humanity in the first place. He is a sombre, a dark figure. The people love treason. But never the traitor.

Would you call yourself a traitor too? I am a divorced, remarried man. I've broken ties, I've left someone. But I was also abandoned. So yeah, I am a traitor. At the same time, however, by being abandoned, I am also a victim of betrayal. I feel no different from most other people.

Mathias Schreiber:
"Traitors. Heroes of Darkness from Judas to Snowden",
to Klampen Verlag,
184 pages.