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Update on the National Socialist Underground

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COMMENT: We’ve cov­ered the unfold­ing “inves­ti­ga­tion” (read “cov­er-up”) of the Nation­al Social­ist Union–a Ger­man neo-Nazi group that enjoyed financ­ing and pro­tec­tion from Ger­many’s domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice. Sad­ly, this is not an iso­lat­ed phe­nom­e­non.

It should not sur­prise an objec­tive observ­er that the NSU was far big­ger than orig­i­nal­ly believed.

As prepa­ra­tions for the tri­al of a mem­ber of the group are read­ied, it is appar­ent that the Ger­man gov­ern­ment is in dam­age con­trol mode, deny­ing Turk­ish media access to the court­room in which the pro­ceed­ings will take place.

Most of the vic­tims of the group were of Turk­ish extrac­tion. (Ger­many has a large Turk­ish pop­u­la­tion, as a result of the “gas­tar­beit­er” (guest work­ers) brought into the coun­try as labor­ers.

Suf­fice it to say that Turk­ish jour­nal­ists and edi­tors aren’t buy­ing the offi­cial excus­es prof­fered by Ger­man offi­cials.

After the Bavar­i­an author­i­ties post­poned the start of the tri­al to “recon­sid­er” media access, the Deputy Prime Min­is­ter of Turkey scored the Ger­man gov­ern­ment for a “predetermined“verdict, label­ing the tri­al a sham.

“Ger­man neo-Nazi Cell Big­ger than Pre­vi­ous­ly Thought” [Reuters]; Yahoo News; 3/24/2013.

EXCERPT: A Ger­man neo-Nazi cell that waged a racist killing spree over a peri­od of sev­en years with­out being detect­ed by the author­i­ties may have had a far big­ger net­work of sup­port­ers than ini­tial­ly thought.

Accord­ing to a report in the Bild news­pa­per on Sun­day, secu­ri­ty offi­cials have com­piled a list of 129 peo­ple who are sus­pect­ed of help­ing the group, accused of mur­der­ing eight eth­nic Turks, a Greek and a police­woman between 2000 and 2007.

The exis­tence of the cell, which called itself the Nation­al­ist Social­ist Under­ground (NSU), only came to light by chance in late 2011 after two mem­bers com­mit­ted sui­cide in the after­math of a botched bank rob­bery and a female accom­plice set fire to an apart­ment used by the gang.

Ger­mans, bur­dened by their Nazi past, were hor­ri­fied by the rev­e­la­tions and Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel has pub­licly apol­o­gized to the fam­i­lies of the mur­der vic­tims.

But until now, offi­cials have put the blame on a very small group, based in the east­ern city of Zwick­au.

“The new num­ber is shock­ing­ly high,” Sebas­t­ian Edathy, chair­man of a spe­cial par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee set up to probe the NSU, told Bild, con­firm­ing the list. “Now we have to clear up whether any of these peo­ple knew about the crimes or were infor­mants.” . . . .

“Bavar­i­an Courts Pre­vent Turk­ish Media Report­ing Nazi Case”; Ger­many Watch; 3/28/2013.

EXCERPT: In an appar­ent attempt to pre­vent Turk­ish media report­ing on the full facts of the case, Munich’s High­er Region­al Court released a list of media orga­ni­za­tions that would be giv­en reserved seats in the upcom­ing tri­al of an alleged neo-Nazi believed to have been involved in the mur­der of 10 peo­ple, most­ly of Turk­ish ori­gin. The list does­n’t include a sin­gle Turk­ish media out­let.

The court is claim­ing it pro­vid­ed accred­i­ta­tion on a first-come, first-served basis, but inter­na­tion­al out­rage is grow­ing. Turks in Ger­many and in Turkey are feel­ing left in the cold over a series of mur­ders of which their com­mu­ni­ty was the pri­ma­ry tar­get.

The tri­al of Beate Zschäpe, a sus­pect­ed mem­ber of the Nation­al Social­ist Under­ground (NSU) neo-Nazi ter­ror cell (with links to Ger­man Intel­li­gence), is expect­ed to be the biggest in the coun­try since the Red Army Fac­tion tri­al of the mid-1970s. Inter­na­tion­al atten­tion is expect­ed to be con­sid­er­able, par­tic­u­lar­ly giv­en the xeno­pho­bic nature of the crimes and the involve­ment of Neo-Nazis.

This week, Turk­ish jour­nal­ists and politi­cians have been demand­ing a guar­an­teed pres­ence at the tri­al. Many are ask­ing why such a small court­room has been cho­sen and why an over­flow room with live video isn’t being set up for jour­nal­ists.

One of its pri­ma­ry respon­si­bil­i­ties is to ensure that the process of truth-find­ing takes place with the great­est pos­si­ble open­ness and trans­paren­cy. It is incom­pre­hen­si­ble to claim that a larg­er court room could­n’t have been found in Munich for the tri­al … indeed, it’s a shame­ful­ly inad­e­quate excuse.

It is entire­ly incom­pre­hen­si­ble that it was­n’t pos­si­ble to secure even just one guar­an­teed seat for the Turk­ish media in the court­room. . . .

. . . . Celal Özcan, the Berlin-based edi­tor in chief of the Euro­pean edi­tion of Turk­ish dai­ly Hür­riyet, writes; “My news­pa­per, Hür­riyet, called the court repeat­ed­ly before the accred­i­ta­tion peri­od ask­ing to be informed of dates so that we would­n’t miss them. We reg­is­tered on the first day of accred­i­ta­tion, and now we are told by the press office of the Munich High­er Region­al Court that oth­ers were faster? How can that be? It is absolute­ly unac­cept­able that the Turk­ish media has been exclud­ed from the court­room. Many Turks aren’t just dis­ap­point­ed — they are shocked, both in Turkey and in Ger­many.” . . . .

“Turk­ish Deputy PM Speaks Out About German/Nazi Sus­pi­cions”; Ger­many Watch; 4/18/2013.

EXCERPT: As we men­tioned pre­vi­ous­ly, the tri­al of a neo-Nazi in Ger­many was large­ly con­demned before it start­ed, as the Bavar­i­an Courts had exclud­ed Turk­ish media from being present at the tri­al — despite the fact that the tri­al con­cerns mur­ders by the neo-Nazi group NSU of a num­ber of Turk­ish peo­ple.

The neo-Nazi mur­der tri­al in Ger­many does not have any sig­nif­i­cance any­more for Turkey, since the result is pre-deter­mined, Turk­ish Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Bekir Boz­dağ has said.

“The rul­ing of the Munich State High Court will have no sig­nif­i­cance from now on for me,” Boz­dağ told Ana­to­lia news agency. “The court has not start­ed the tri­al yet. But this is a court that end­ed the tri­al even before it start­ed.”

Ger­many’s high­est court post­poned the start of the tri­al ear­ly this week after announc­ing an over­haul of dis­put­ed rules on media access.

Pro­ceed­ings were to have begun on April 17 against a woman accused of being part of a Nazi cell blamed for 10 mur­ders. But after Germany’s top court ordered the Munich judges last week to expand for­eign media access to the tri­al, its start­ing date had to be put back, in a move vic­tims groups called a “cat­a­stro­phe.” . . .

. . . . Boz­dağ stressed that there is an atmos­phere that the tri­al is a show, for ‘com­plet­ing rou­tines.’

“The court chief has lost his neu­tral­i­ty. You can­not expect a jus­tice from a tri­al whose head lost his neu­tral­i­ty. This tri­al is over for us, we are wait­ing the result as a mere for­mal­i­ty.”

We are wait­ing for con­fir­ma­tion of the specifics Boz­dağ refers to, how­ev­er as we men­tioned prvi­ous­ly, Ger­many uses this court when Nazis are on tri­al because mem­bers of this court are linked to the Nazi char­i­ty ‘Stille Hil­fe’.

Expand­ing on oth­er con­cerns linked to Ger­many, Boz­dağ has called on Ger­man author­i­ties to inves­ti­gate claims that two recent fires may have been racial­ly moti­vat­ed. . . .

 

Discussion

One comment for “Update on the National Socialist Underground”

  1. Shock­er:

    The Tele­graph
    Covert neo-Nazi net­work uncov­ered in Ger­man pris­ons
    A neo-Nazi net­work which tried to orga­nize finan­cial help for far-right con­victs and their fam­i­lies has been uncov­ered in Ger­man pris­ons.

    By Jee­van Vasagar in Berlin

    1:57PM BST 10 Apr 2013

    The net­work sent cod­ed mes­sages between pris­ons, hid­den in let­ters and the clas­si­fied ads sec­tions of mag­a­zines, Ger­man author­i­ties said. The covert sys­tem was dis­cov­ered dur­ing search­es of cells in the west­ern Ger­man state of Hesse.

    Author­i­ties in Hesse said the net­work had attempt­ed to con­tact peo­ple linked to the Nation­al Social­ist Under­ground, a neo-Nazi group accused of mur­der­ing nine men.

    ...

    At a memo­r­i­al cer­e­mo­ny last year, Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel apol­o­gized to vic­tims’ fam­i­lies for Ger­many’s fail­ings and pledged to take action against neo-Nazis.

    The net­work uncov­ered in Hesse is not the first time Ger­man pris­ons have been used for far right polit­i­cal organ­i­sa­tion. In Sep­tem­ber 2011, the Ger­man gov­ern­ment banned an organ­i­sa­tion set up to sup­port impris­oned right-wing extrem­ists.

    The HNG, or Help Organ­i­sa­tion for Nation­al Polit­i­cal Pris­on­ers and Their Fam­i­lies, gave sup­port to far-right pris­on­ers who were “reject­ing the demo­c­ra­t­ic con­sti­tu­tion­al state and glo­ri­fy­ing Nation­al Social­ism”, the inte­ri­or min­istry said at the time.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 11, 2013, 12:21 pm

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