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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...

How Can Nazis Be on the March in Germany? - Truthout

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Germany. On August 26 and 27, thousands of far-right supporters, including open Nazis, marched through the streets of Chemnitz, located in the former East German state of Saxony. Taking advantage of the death of a German-Cuban man who was stabbed in a fight involving an Iraqi and a Syrian man, the far right gathered under the famed bust of Karl Marx to spew hate against migrants. Ugly chants of “For every dead German, a dead foreigner,” “We are the people,” “Merkel must go!” and “This is our city!” rang out.Don’t miss a beat Get the latest news and thought-provoking analysis from Truthout. More than 1,000 anti-fascists mobilized to counter the right-wing demonstration, but they found themselves far outnumbered by the far right. Nazis openly gave the fascist salute and chased down anti-fascist and “foreign-looking” individuals in the streets, injuring more than 20 people in a modern-day pogrom. The police, who knew to anticipate large crowds, mobilized fewer than 600 officers, far too little to keep the far right from going on a rampage. *** On a normal day in Germany the news of a knife fight between a group of men and the tragic death of an individual would result in an article in the newspaper, not a pogrom. The intentional and organized street violence in Chemnitz is the result of years of far right organizing in Saxony, which has been amplified by Germany’s third-largest party, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). Protected by the AfD’s cloak of parliamentary respectability, far-right groups like PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West), “concerned citizen” parties like Pro Chemnitz and members of overt Nazi organizations marched together in a show of force. The combina...

Germany Selects Aurora Cannabis for Domestic Production License - New Cannabis Ventures

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

EU GMP compliant indoor cultivation facility with flexibility for future growth. The new facility will be located at the industrial park in Leuna, Saxony Anhalt, near Leipzig. The Leuna industrial park provides all required industrial and logistical infrastructure required for the operation of the facility, with a considerable labour market to draw from. The facility is designed to have capacity in excess of the tendered amounts to provide flexibility in meeting future growth. About Aurora Headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with funded capacity in excess of 500,000 kg per annum and sales and operations in 24 countries across five continents, Aurora is one of the world’s largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora is vertically integrated and horizontally diversified across every key segment of the value chain, from facility engineering and design to cannabis breeding and genetics research, cannabis and hemp production, derivatives, high value-add product development, home cultivation, wholesale and retail distribution. Highly differentiated from its peers, Aurora has established a uniquely advanced, consistent and efficient production strategy, based on purpose-built facilities that integrate leading-edge technologies across all processes, defined by extensive automation and customization, resulting in the massive scale production of high quality product at low cost. Intended to be replicable and scalable globally, our production facilities are designed to produce cannabis of significant scale, with high quality, industry-leading yields, and low per gram production costs. Each of Aurora’s facilities is built to meet EU GMP standards, and its first production facility, the recently acquired MedReleaf Markham facility, and its wholly owned European medical cannabis distributor Aurora Deutschland have achieved this level of certification. In addition to the Company’s rapid organic growth and strong execution on strategic M&A, which to date includes 15 wholly owned subsidiary companies – MedReleaf, CanvasRX, Peloton Pharmaceutical, Aurora Deutschland, H2 Biopharma, Urban Cultivator, BC Northern Lights, Larssen Greenhouses, CanniMed Therapeutics, Anandia Labs, HotHouse Consulting, MED Colombia, Agropro, Borela, and ICC Labs – Aurora is distinguished by its reputation as a partner and employer of choice in the global cannabis sector, having invested in and established strategic partnerships with a range of leading innovators, including: Radient Technologies Inc. (TSXV: RTI), Hempco Food and Fiber Inc. (TSXV: HEMP), Cann Group Ltd. (ASX: CAN), Micron Waste Technologies Inc. (CSE: MWM), Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO), Capcium Inc. (private), Evio Beauty Group (private), Wagner Dimas (private), CTT Pharmaceuticals (OTCC: CTTH), Alcanna Inc. (TSX: CLIQ) and High Tide Inc. (CSE:HITI). Aurora’s Common Shares trade on the TSX and NYSE under the symbol “ACB”, and are a constituent of the S&P/TSX Composite Index. For more information about Aurora, please visit our investor website, Neither the TSX, NYSE nor their Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX and NYSE) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Original Press Release The most reliable, fact-based information on Aurora Cannabis found only on its Investor Dashboard. img class="a...

Germany’s Landesbanken still seeking clean bill of health - Financial Times

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

One public sector bank yet to be given a clean bill of health is Hanover-based NordLB, a lender with €160bn in assets majority-owned by the German states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt with regional Sparkassen holding a minority stake of 35 per cent.The bank, weighed down by a vast portfolio of non-performing shipping loans, expects that it will be singled out as the weakest link in Germany’s banking system in the European Banking Authority’s stress test on Friday. “That would not be a surprise,” NordLB told the Financial Times. The lender has started to woo new investors in an attempt to raise fresh capital of about €3.5bn, with the state of Lower-Saxony standing ready to pitch in taxpayers’ money alongside external investors. Six potential bidders are conducting due diligence and have until November 28 to decide if they will table a binding offer. Among the suitors is Landesbank peer Helaba, as well as listed rival Commerzbank, private equity funds Cerberus and three other PE investors, said a person familiar with the process. “I am glad that we have different options and am open for several different scenarios,” Lower Saxony’s finance minister Reinhold Hilbers told the FT, adding that a deal with a different Landesbank as well as one with private investors was on the...

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier calls for dialogue in Chemnitz - DW (English)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

November 16 when Chancellor Angela Merkel visits the same city. Thousands of far-right demonstrators are expected to hit the streets. Following the national trend, Merkel's conservative CDU party in Saxony — the state in which Chemnitz lies — has started to lose its grip in recent years, particularly since the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD). In last September's federal election the AfD won 27 percent of the vote in Saxony. Read more: Merkel hits out at AfD on far-right violence The wounds of August's violence in Chemnitz will still need a long time to heal. In the meantime, far-right parties continue to attract support. But despite the polarized opinions around Thursday's "coffee table," participants agreed on at least one point: dialogue was a "start." "One thing, however, is clear," Steinmeier added in a warning against a repetition this summer's riots. "The state, and only the state, is responsible for security and criminal prosecution." How the Chemnitz protests unfolded Death sparks demonstrations The demonstrations were sparked by a deadly brawl that broke out in the German city of Chemnitz in the early hours of Sunday (August 26). What started out as a war of words resulted in a 35-year-old man being stabbed to death. Hours later, spontaneous, anti-migrant protests took over the streets of Chemnitz. How the Chemnitz protests unfolded German-Cuban killed A German-Cuban man was stabbed in an altercation involving 10 people, several of whom were of "various nationalities," police sources said. The victim, named only as Daniel H., was apparently well-known among various political groups in the area. Two men in their 30s were also stabbed and seriously injured, and a 22-year-old Iraqi and 23-year-old Syrian are in custody over the killing. How the Chemnitz protests unfolded Police reinforcements called By Sunday afternoon, some 800 people had gathered to protest the man's death, including far-right groups. Autho...