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10 Murders, 3 Nazis, and Germany's Moment of Reckoning - Foreign Policy (blog)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

NSU.” Evidence suggests that authorities not only failed to intervene in time to prevent these attacks, allegedly carried out by a right-wing cell known as the Freital Group, but that police officers may have even intervened to allow them to continue.As German authorities prepare to confront a new groundswell of xenophobic violence, precedent doesn’t bode well. They still haven’t come to terms with the last one.From left, Uwe Mundlos, Beate Zschäpe, and Uwe Böhnhardt on vacation in 2004 at an undisclosed location. (Photo credit: German Federal Criminal Police Office/Getty Images)To systematically execute a series of murders and bombings in modern-day Germany is difficult. Without funds to buy and build weapons, to travel to stake out the locations and identify victims, and to live for many years in hiding, it is impossible. And so, before they became killers, two of the founding members of the NSU became bank robbers. In October 1999, the pair robbed two banks in Chemnitz, getting away with more than 68,000 deutschemarks — about $39,000 at the time. Less than a year later, they would commit their first murder.Uwe Böhnhardt, Uwe Mundlos, and Beate Zschäpe — the trio that formed the core of the NSU — were born in 1970s East Germany in the town of Jena. They came of age during the region’s transition from socialism to capitalism. Mundlos was the son of a math professor and served as an army recruit. Böhnhardt was the son of a teacher and an engineer. Zschäpe was born to a Romanian father — a foreigner — whom she reportedly never met. Her mother studied dentistry.Apart from Mundlos’ military stint, the three were reportedly unemployed during much of their young adulthood, which wasn’t uncommon in former East Germany after reunification. Idle teenagers spent their days at protests and their nights at fights between left-wing punks and right-wing skinheads in darkened streets and tram stations. Some were quick to turn against Jews or recently arrived immigrants from places like Turkey and Vietnam.Some of the worst xenophobic violence took place in 1992, when hundreds of protestors rioted outside a shelter that housed immigrants in the northeastern city of Rostock. The rioters threw Molotov cocktails through the windows, setting parts of the building on fire. Frightened residents fled for their lives to the roof while thousands of onlookers gawked. Police charged 40 people for disorderly conduct and violence against police, compiling enough evidence to convict about 20 and to briefly jail just 11 of them. Nearly a decade passed before anyone was convicted for assaulting the immigrants themselves.Perhaps it was attacks like these that inspired the NSU members-to-be. Four years after the Rostock attack, in 1996, a mannequin was found hanging from a highway overpass in Jena. The dummy wore a sweatshirt with a yellow Star of David and a sign that read “Careful — bomb!” There was no bomb — at least, not this time — but the man charged with inciting hatred for planting the dummy, Uwe Böhnhardt, was just getting started.Signs against racism at a building in Rostock, Germany, in August 1992. (Photo credit: ullstein bild/Getty Images)On Sept. 9, 2000, Enver Simsek became his first victim. Simsek was a Turkish immigrant who owned a business that distributed flower...

On the Trail of Germanys Right-Wing TerroristsAre Cops Complicit? - Daily Beast

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Of the former East German states, Saxony was supposed to be a model of growth and progress. But it’s also a hotbed of anti-immigrant hatred. FREITAL, Germany—For months, members of an alleged right-wing terror cell spent their evenings standing around a gas station in Freital, a small city in the eastern German state of Saxony. They drank beer, munched bockwurst and planned attacks against refugees and left-wing dissidents. This was right under the nose of the local police, whose station was across the road. And, now, it appears, one officer was helping them all along. The 51-year-old policeman, who was dismissed from his job last week, is currently being investigated for tipping off the group about the time and place of police deployments around town—useful information for those who want to blow up the car of a city councillor from a left-wing party or send fireworks through the windows of an asylum seeker’s home. When the so-called Group Freital’s members were arrested for belonging to a terror organization last April, it looked as if the town would become a model for the fight against right wing-terror in German, w...

Death of German fuels fears of far-right violence in Köthen - DW (English)

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The mood in the suburban playground in Köthen on Monday morning was a mixture of sadness, tension and hostility toward the press. A small number of locals in the town in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt came by, some with flowers to add to those that had collected around a tree near an empty climbing frame. This was the spot where a fight broke out on Saturday between two Afghan men and Markus B., which resulted in the 22-year-old German's death in hospital. By the evening, the area was a hive of activity. Köthen's police force, reinforced from across Germany, had much to contend with, when three gatherings took place within a few hundred meters of each other. First, the church in the central square held a small memorial prayer for Markus B., though Pastor Martin Olejnicki also used a brief sermon to call for peace in the city on what promised to be a nervy evening. That sentiment was shared by Saxony-Anhalt State Premier Reiner Haseloff, who attended the service along with about a hundred Köthen residents, who lined up to light a candle for the dead man. Outside the church, Haseloff told reporters that "I hope it will be a peaceful evening tonight, and that th...

Best European Christmas markets - National Geographic

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Dresden's market may be the oldest in Germany, with the first event approved by Frederick II, Elector of Saxony, in 1434. Eventually these seasonal markets turned their focus on Christmas celebrations, as known today. Here are some of the best Christmas markets in Europe for a holiday treat. View Images The Strasbourg market lights up the Place de la Cathédrale. Photograph by Frederic Maigrot, REA/Redux Strasbourg: French classic The largest and oldest in France, the Strasbourg Christmas Market dates back to the 16th century. Hundreds of market stands spread across the Grande Île–an island in the historic center of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Try delicacies from thi...

How the Alternative for Germany Has Transformed the Country

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Bundestag, Germany's parliament, which oversees annual government spending of 350 billion euros ($411 billion). A Turning Point The AfD was the strongest party in the eastern state of Saxony in the last Bundestag elections, and across the east, it has now become such a force that the CDU has been compelled to express what would have been unfathomable not too long ago: the possibility of governing together with the far-left Left Party. The unrest in Chemnitz in August marked a turning point for the AfD. There, the party joined a phalanx of agitators and neo-Nazis, with the AfD's Thuringia state chapter leader Björn Höcke marching side-by-side with an activist from Pegida -- the anti-Islam and anti-immigrant group -- who has multiple criminal convictions on his record. For years, politics in Germany had been shaped by the old polarity between left and right. But those days are over. The question of identity now seems to be more important, which seemingly scrambles the party system. Sahra Wagenknecht of the Left Party is creating a new movement called "Aufstehen," German for "Stand Up," that she hopes will be a magnet for voters who would like to see a bigger welfare state and fewer immigrants. The move places additional pressure on the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), which has fluctuated between a culture of welcoming refugees and warnings of a loss of control since the refugee crisis. The business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP), meanwhile, has morphed into a law and order party. And the only thing still holding the CDU and Christian Social Union (CSU), the CDU's Bavarian sister party, together is the fear of losing power. The only parties that seem to be profiting from the new political complexities are the Greens and the AfD. So, how to deal with a party that fulminates against the mainstream with such abandon while at the spreading its own tentacles further into the center of society, into gov...

Increasing Demand for Medical Cannabis is set to Grow Globally

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Government of Canada. The Company also has production operations in Dresden, Saxony, Germany and Regensdorf, Switzerland. Maricann is currently undertaking an expansion of its cultivation and support facilities in Canada in a 942,000 sq. ft. (87,515 sq. m) and will continue to pursue new opportunities in Europe. Emblem Corp. (OTCQX: EMMBF) is a fully integrated licensed producer and distributor of medical cannabis and cannabis derivatives in Canada under the ACMPR. The Company and Natura Naturals Holdings Inc. announced the termination of their letter of intent as of 5 p.m. EST on September 13th, 2018. In addition, as previously announced, Emblem recently provided USD 2 Million of advanced funding to Natura for the expansion of its facility. The Funding is comprised of a one-year convertible debenture for an aggregate principal amount of up to USD 2 Million, with an interest rate similar to Natura's other funding obligations and can be pre-paid at any time during the term. Emblem looks forward to maintaining its strong business relationship with the Natura team as both a shareholder and in connection with our existing 3,000 kg supply agreement in the coming years, said Nick Dean, CEO of Emblem Corp. The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc. (OTCQX: SPRWF) is a Canadian publicly traded company committed to providing premium brands and products that proudly reflect its consumers, people and uniquely innovative culture. The Company's portfolio includes its wholly-owned subsidiary and flagship brand 7ACRES. The Supreme Cannabis Company recently announced that the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, 7ACRES, has entered into a supply agreement to provide dried cannabis to Tilray Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Tilray Inc., a global leader in cannabis research, cultivation, processing and distribution currently serving tens of thousands of patients in 11 countries spanning 5 continents. The value of this initial supply agreement is estimated to be in excess of CAD 2 Million. Dried cannabis provided to Tilray by 7ACRES will be used primarily to support medical cannabis patients in Canada, including Tilray's robust patient population. Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (OTCQX: LXRP) has developed and out-licenses its disruptive delivery technology that promotes healthier ingestion methods, lower overall dosing and higher effectiveness of lipophilic active molecules. The Company recently announced strategic additions to its patent portfolio. Three new Australian patents were granted to Lexaria by the Australian Patent Office, bringing the Company's worldwide patent portfolio to eight issued patents: four each in the US and Australia. All eight patents are within Lexaria's...