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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...

German conservative politician resigns over far-right ties - DW (English)

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Now, the local lawmaker has left Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union. Robert Möritz, a local politician from the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt, surprisingly announced his resignation from Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) on Friday, saying he wanted "to shield the party from further harm" and calm the political uproar. It recently emerged that Möritz had ties to Germany's right-wing extremist milieu, and has a symbol tattooed on his arm associated with neo-Nazism. Möritz said his resignation was about sending a signal, and that "sometimes, life is about focusing on one's true priorities." He added that he nevertheless fully subscribes to the conservative CDU's values. News of Möritz' links to Germany's far-right milieu had brought Saxony-Anhalt's government — a coalition between the CDU, center-left Social Democrats and environmentalist Greens — to the verge of collapse. On Thursday, the state's CDU issued an ultimatum to Möritz, demanding that he distance himself from the far-right or face repercussions. Read more: Right-wing extremists in Germany to face amped up intelligence The CDU governs Saxony-Anahlt in a coalition with the So...

Green party politician remains most popular head of federal state in Germany: poll - Xinhua | - Xinhua

Sunday, January 26, 2020

With an approval rate of 66 percent, Daniel Guenther, Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein, was the second most popular head of a federal state in Germany, followed by Stephan Weil of Lower Saxony who was ranked third with 60 percent. At the bottom of the ranking was Berlin's governing mayor, Michael Mueller (SPD), whose work was only rated positively by 27 percent of people living in the German capital's federal state. Following a big win in the European Parliament elections in May, where the Green party in Germany won 20.5 percent of votes and became second strongest political force, support for the Green party in Germany is at a historic high. According to last week's Trendbarometer, the Greens would gain the same number of votes as the governing conservative union CDU/CSU if elections were to be held. With regards to a first Green German chancellor, Winfried Kretschmann recently told the Funke Media Group that a German government led by the Greens would not involve a radical change of policy. "Nobody needs to be afraid of a Green Chancellor. We are not trumps or Erdogans or Orbans who throw everything overboard," Kretschmann told the German newspapers. The head of Baden-Wuerttemberg noted that he did not see "big differences" in alliances with the CDU/CSU and the SPD. "In socio-political issues, we make progress with the social democrats, in economic policy with the CDU/CSU".

Chemnitz: Syrian asylum-seeker convicted of killing that sparked far-right riots - DW (English)

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Daniel H.'s death, took another 8% and now has five of the 60 seats in the city council. Karsten Hilse, an AfD Bundestag member for Saxony, says last year's demos have been misrepresented. "Of course there were some far-right extremists there," he said. "But a young man was murdered, and then citizens got together who weren't far-right extremists, but just normal people like you and me, who said, 'right, this is enough now'." "What annoyed a lot of Chemnitzers is that hardly anyone talked about the murder afterwards, but only about the people who demonstrated," he argued. "But if you're a normal citizen, you go to work, you pay your taxes, and then you say ok, now I'm going on the street to say: 'I just don't...

German Man Arrested After Failed Attack on Synagogue - The Wall Street Journal

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Halle’s university hospital. A senior security official identified the suspect as Stephan Balliet, 27, a German citizen from the state of Saxony-Anhalt, where Halle is located, and said he wasn’t previously known to authorities. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said prosecutors had enough information to assume a far-right motivation behind the attack, even though it was too early to make a final determination. The 35-minute video of the assault was streamed live on Twitch, a streaming platform owned by Inc., according to Storyful, a social-media intelligence company owned by News Corp, which also owns The Wall Street Journal. Christiane Prinz, 49, who owns a hairdressing salon opposite the synagogue, said she saw the suspect, dressed in a dark-green military outfit, launch a projectile over the synagogue’s gate into its front yard and cemetery, after which there was a loud bang. .webui-slideshow-inset a:link, .webui-slideshow-inset .webui-slideshow-inset a:visited { color: initial; } div...