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Blockbuster Story: Germany Reopens Oktoberfest Bombing Probe


COMMENT: While the world awaits the outcome of the Greek referendum on the EU bailout package, a blockbuster story from Der Spiegel has been eclipsed.

German officials have reopened the investigation into the Munich Oktoberfest bombing of 1980, blamed on a “lone nut,” Gundolf Kohler. Far from being a lone nut, Kohler actually had profound links to a number of German Nazi organizations, including the Wehrsportgruppe Hoffman, as well as to the postwar fascist international.

In FTR #333, we examined information connecting Kohler with the Wehrportgruppe Hoffman, headed up by Karl-Heinz Hoffman. Among the reasons the bombing investigation stalled appears to have been due to the fact that former BND agent Hans Langemann provided an alibi for Hoffman, while working for the Verfassungschutz, the Federal Republic’s domestic intelligence service.

The BND is, of course, the third incarnation of  the Reinhard Gehlen spy outfit, the Third Reich’s Eastern Front intelligence service which morphed into the CIA’s department of Russian and Eastern European affairs and the de-facto NATO intelligence group for the same area. BND retained all of its Nazi character, employing SS war criminals of the highest magnitude. While working for BND, Langemann was the security director for the Munich Olympics of 1972, which didn’t turn out to be very secure at all when the Black September organization slaughtered Israeli athletes.

In AFA #22, we examined Langemann’s role as Olympics security director. In addition we examined a report in the German magazine Konkret that Langemann and Hans Kollmar, the director of the BKA at the time, were involved in staging terrorist incidents to be blamed on the left. (The BKA is the German equivalent of the FBI.)

The Spiegel article notes that the CSU head at the time–Franz Josef Strauss–dismissed any notion that right wingers might have been behind the attack. (The CSU is the Bavarian partner to the CDU, considerably farther to the right than the CDU.) Strauss himself has strong links to the Underground Reich.

It is profoundly significant that the bombing–blamed by Strauss and associates on the left–happened just before critical German elections! Strauss appears to have played an active role in helping to obscure the real perpetrators of the crime.

In addition to Kohler’s links to the Hoffman organization and other German Nazi groups, there is a fascinating evidentiary tributary leading in the direction of the P-2 milieu and Klaus Barbie’s “Bridegrooms of Death.” Prior to the Oktoberfest bombing, Hoffman appears to have met with Joachim Fiebelkorn, part of Barbie’s “Coca Fascisti” at the direction of Stephano Delle Chiaie. Delle Chiaie was one of the masterminds of Italian terrorism, and Fiebelkorn was an informant for several intelligence services, including the DEA. (This milieu is described at length and detail in AFA #19.)

Kudos to DER SPIEGEL for breaking this story! Kudos to the German authorities for manifesting the courage and character to reopen this investigation into one of the darkest corners of Germany’s recent past!

“Oktoberfest Bombing Under Review: Officials Ignored Right-Wing Extremist Links” by Tobias von Heymann and Peter Wensierski; Der Spiegel; 10/25-2011.

EXCERPT: Thirty-one years after the 1980 Oktoberfest bomb attack, officials have reopened the case. Previously unknown documents reviewed by SPIEGEL show that the perpetrator, allegedly a lone wolf, was involved with the neo-Nazi scene and Bavarian conservatives. But the unwelcome clues were likely ignored. . . .

. . . Early in the case, there had been speculation about Köhler’s right-wing extremist background. And last year serious doubts emerged as to whether the 21-year-old was truly alone at the scene of the crime on Sept. 26, 1980. But the question of why the authorities never completely solved the case remains unanswered to this day. Could it have been that the party in power in Bavaria at the time, the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), had no interest in seeing the case solved?

It was less than two weeks before the Oct. 5, 1980 German parliamentary election, and the CSU and its then Bavarian state governor and chancellor candidate, Franz Josef Strauss, were not interested in right-wing extremist terrorism. In their worldview, the threat always came from the left. . . .

. . . The authorities also showed little interest in Köhler’s involvement in the Wehrsportgruppe (Military Sports Group, WSG) paramilitary organization run by the neo-Nazi Karl-Heinz Hoffmann, or that he had attended one of their meetings “sometime in the past.” At the time, right-wing extremist activities were being downplayed by those at the very top of the political ladder in Bavaria. Speaking in the state parliament in March 1979, Strauss said: “Don’t make fools of yourselves by attributing significance to certain groups — you mentioned Hoffmann’s Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann today — that they have never had, do not have and will never acquire in Bavaria.” . . .

. . . In early August 1980, a few weeks before the attack, the student spoke with close friends about the Bundestag election scheduled for that October. He wanted to vote for Strauss, he said, but added that it was also important for the NPD to receive more votes. In the end, he said, only violence could produce change. It was about time, he said, for someone besides the left to stage an attack, namely the right.

In the conversation, Köhler also said that it might be a good idea to commit a bombing attack in Bonn, Hamburg or Munich. The attack, he added, “could be blamed on the left, and then Strauss will be elected.”

Neo-fascists in Italy had already done something similar. Only eight weeks earlier, a bomb attack had devastated the train station in Bologna, killing 85 and injuring 200. The right-wing extremist attack was initially portrayed as the work of leftist terrorists. The strategy apparently fascinated Köhler and other right-wing radicals in Germany. They envisioned a series of bombings that would spark fear throughout the country, setting the scene for the establishment of a new Nazi dictatorship.

A Meeting in Italy

Another clue also raises questions about the background of the Oktoberfest attack. A few weeks earlier, Köhler’s idol Hoffmann apparently met in Italy with the internationally feared neo-fascist Joachim Fiebelkorn. The neo-Nazi from the town of Eppstein in the Taunus Mountains near Frankfurt was an informant for the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and a number of intelligence agencies. He also helped Klaus Barbie, the former head of the Gestapo in Lyon, build a paramilitary combat group in Bolivia. According to previously unknown Stasi documents, Fiebelkorn, “at the instruction of Chiaie,” had met with “Karl-Heinz Hoffmann in Rome on July 13, 1980,” as well as with French and Italian right-wing extremists.

The Italian neo-fascist Stefano delle Chiaie was viewed as one of the leading international terrorists of the day, a sort of right-wing counterpart to the left-wing terrorist “Carlos.” Western intelligence agencies held Chiaie and his varying terrorist organizations, like “Ordine Nuovo,” responsible for anti-communist attacks on several continents in the 1970s and 1980s.
. . .

. . . . Four youths told police that they had seen Köhler with several young men wearing German armed forces parkas shortly before the attack. They drew sketches of Köhler and his possible accomplices that largely coincided with the statements made by another witness. But the investigators also showed little interest in this possible lead.

The SPD/FDP federal government had wanted to send investigators to the crime scene that night, but the Bavarians put them off. Strauss appeared at the Theresienwiese festival grounds late that night. The Bundestag election campaign was in full swing, and the Bavarian candidate for the chancellorship promptly went on the offensive and tried to blame the left for the attack. . . .


5 comments for “Blockbuster Story: Germany Reopens Oktoberfest Bombing Probe”

  1. Looks like there may be some hope for Germany after all. Let’s hope the good fortune continues…..

    Posted by Steven L. | November 2, 2011, 4:43 am
  2. I was seriously wounded in this bombing, and would like to know what has been uncovered in the government of Germany re-opening this case. Was there a Middle East Connection? Were there any accomplices tied to this bombing?

    Posted by Cindy Crenshaw-Martin | December 19, 2016, 7:04 pm
  3. @Cindy Crenshaw-Martin–

    The best thing to do is to read the article and follow the links.

    It was a wide conspiracy, although no direct Middle East Connection. Hans Langemann tracks back to the 1972 Olympics massacre.

    Read the article and follow and absorb the links–that’s the best advice I can give, under the circumstances.



    Posted by Dave Emory | December 19, 2016, 9:36 pm
  4. I want to contact Cindy Crenshaw-Martin. She was my Patient in Munich 1980. Under her further emailadress it is not possible (return to sender)
    Can You help me?!


    Posted by Prof.Dr. Wischhoefer | October 2, 2018, 5:45 am
  5. @Prof. Dr. Wischhoerer–

    I am sorry, but I cannot broach the e-mail confidentiality of commenters on this website.

    I am publishing your inquiry, so that Ms. Crenshaw-Martin might respond, should she check the blog.


    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | October 2, 2018, 4:24 pm

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