Nationwide actions of the NSU-Trial sentencing – Rallies in Berlin on Day X.
The end of an endless trial
In the beginning of 2018 after five years the NSU-Trial will come most likely to an end. The NSU (“national socialist underground”) network murdered at least nine people: Enver Şimşek, Abdurrahim Özüdoğru, Süleyman Taşköprü, Habil Kılıç, Mehmet Turgut, İsmail Yaşar, Theodoros Boulgarides, Mehmet Kubaşık, and Halit Yozgat. They were also responsible for the murder of the police officer Michèle Kiesewetter and tried to kill her colleague Martin Arnold. There were three bomb attacks in Cologne and Nuremberg where a lot of people were injured and only by chance nobody was killed. People were also severely injured through the 15 robberies and bank raids.
The families and friends of the victims of the NSU-Terror had big hopes for the trial. They wanted to know why their relatives/ loved ones had to die and who supported the NSU at the crime scenes. They expected clarification about the involvement of the intelligence service (“Verfassungsschutz”) and the police in the NSU complex/ network. They want the recognition for the institutional racism and that it will have consequences.
All of that wasn’t achieved during the trial in Munich. The joint plaintiffs and their lawyers tried again and again to include these aspects in the trial. Until the end of the trial the federal prosecutor’s office (“Bundesanwaltschaft”) hold up the myth of an “isolated trio” who committed the murders. Many questions concerning the activities of the NSU e.g. the network and the role of the authorities were nearly systematically excluded in the trial and are until today not solved.
The problem is racism
Racsim is a strong pillar in the NSU-Trial. The NSU did not emerge out of a social vacuum. It is in direct connection to the pogroms and attacks in the 1990s. In 1993 the german asylum law was abolished and showed the neo-Nazis: racism won’t be persecuted. Until today the mainstream society and the german police are downplaying racist and right-wing violence. It is even harder to address institutional racism — not only in the context of the NSU-Trial but also in racist police controls in trains and train stations and in the public space.
Those who are affected by it know that the problem is racism. From the beginning the people affected to the nine murders wanted to include racism as a motive for the crime in the investigation. For 11 years no one listened to them – out of racism. Why did a “Task Force Bosporus” chase a “Döner-murder” and not a “Task Force Zwickau” the “Nazi-Killer”? Why did the media only believed the theories of the law enforcements? And why didn’t anzi-racists and anti-fascists in Germany support the demonstrations of the families Kubasik and Yozgat in Kassel and Dortmund in 2006, despite the experiences of the 1990s pogroms? Anti-fascist structures were blind in their perception of the concerns and didn’t take the dimensions and risks of organized neo-Nazi groups serious.
The structures and patterns of perception of the police, media and also leftists can easily be linked to racism. The racism of the neo-Nazis and the daily and institutional racism form with the state build and protected Neonazi structures the NSU-Complex. NSU means racism, state and neo-Nazis hand in hand.
The attitude towards racism and of those affected has not change after five years of NSU-Trial. The social conditions for the establishment of the NSU have not changed.
The accused persons were convicted, but there is no effort for persecuting the many supporters of the NSU or the involved public authorities.
But there is no compensation for the efforts of the affected families and supporters. After the G20 summit in Hamburg there was a fund arranged for people affected by the protests. The affected by the NSU-Terror still have to fight for any right of compensation.
The society and the authorities of Germany follow trained behavior. The vast majority of people who wanted to sue Nazis were the victims who survived. The vast majority of the German society, the perpetrators wanted to close the chapter of Nazi history out of their own suppression and responsibility. The whole responsibility for the million murders had only a very small group of people – Hitler, the NSDAP, and the SS.
Antisemitism is part of the problem
The ideological foundation of the NSU included anti-Semitism. Within the National Socialist world view of the NSU there is a close connection between racial anti-Semitism directed against Jews and racism which targets migrants and POCs. The ideology of the superiority of the “white race” goes along with the idea that it is threatened by an “overpowering Jewish world conspiracy” on the one hand and by immigration and mingling with “inferior strangers” on the other hand. This logic is followed by the “Turner Diaries”, which are considered as a template for the NSU murder series. They propagate the underground struggle against “the system”, which begins with the murder of blacks, Jews and politicians and ends with the world domination by the “white race”.
Anti-Semitism was also expressed in the concrete acts of the NSU. In 1996, the NSU core trio hung a doll with the inscription “Jew” and a bomb dummy on a highway bridge to protest against the visit of Ignatz Bubis, the chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. A few months later, Beate Zschäpe participated in the sending of a murder threat to Bubis. Also the game “Pogromly” produced by the NSU core trio spread National Socialist propaganda and antisemitic extermination fantasies. This connection to anti-Semitism has been largely suppressed by both the public and the NSU process so far.
Traces to Berlin
Several traces of the NSU also lead to Berlin. Stephan Lange was Germany’s boss of “Blood & Honor” and was in close contact with central figures of the NSU. He was passed on by the LKA Berlin (State Office of Criminal Investigation) as an informer “Nias” to the Federal Constitutional Protection (“Bundesverfassungsschutz”). Thomas Starke has been an informer since 2000 in Saxony. He bought explosives for the NSU core trio three years before he was recruited and later helped in finding a hiding place for them. The LKA Berlin did not pass on at least five references to the NSU core trio to the investigating authorities. In May 2000, Zschäpe, Mundlos, and the “Blood & Honor” squad Jan Werner probably observed the synagogue in Berlin’s Rykestraße. In 2011, the Berlin police wondered whether three explosives attacks on the Jewish cemetery Heerstraße in Charlottenburg were connected to the NSU. In 1998 it happend twice, that pipe bombs exploded on the grave of Heinz Galinski, the former president of the Central Council of Jews. In 2002 an explosive device was thrown into the entrance area of the cemetery. All relevant investigations remained without any success until today. In the Zwickau apartment of the NSU was found an address list with 233 Jewish institutions, on which in addition to many places in Berlin – the Jewish cemetery Heerstraße was listed.
Despite the demands of anti-fascist initiatives and a petition from the Berlin Association of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime (“Bund der AntifaschistInnen VVN-BdA”), there is still no parliamentary committee of inquiry for the NSU complex in Berlin, as it already exists in numerous other federal states.
Even after the murders of Burak Bektaş in 2012 and Luke Holland in 2015 in Berlin Neukölln, neither the LKA Berlin nor the BKA (Federal Criminal Police Office) issued a racist motive – without a convincing investigative approach that could justify this attitude. Bektaş’relatives cannot and do not want to accept this. They suspect that Burak Bektaş may have been shot by a racist. The consistent exclusion or non-naming of racist murder motives gives parallele with the behavior of the investigative authorities in the NSU complex. That needs to change!
The continuity of right-wing terrorism and the reality of migration
The NSU was not the first neo-Nazi terrorist organization and not the last. This is shown by trials against far-right organizations such as the “Oldschool Society” or the “Freital Group”. In addition, the reports of more and more weapons findings in right-wing structures are piling up. The number of arson attacks and racist attacks has increased dramatically in recent years. The borders between neo-Nazis, the New Right and concerned Pegida or Bärgida citizens who participate in attacks on refugee shelters are increasingly blurred and interwoven. The political decision-makers are reacting with the massive reduction of the asylum law, the foreigners‘ authority and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees are calling for deterrence.
Nevertheless, the NSU has not achieved its goal of expelling migrants from Germany. The relatives of the murder and attack victims have not left the country. The Keupstraße was also rebuilt. Here, as in innumerable other places of the Federal Republic of Germany, a new, post-migrant society was established, which is taken for granted today. The over 50-year-old immigration to Germany had civilizational effects on this post-Nazi country, which can neither be fought out nor destroyed. Instead, self-organized migrant resistance as well as racist and anti-Semitic social structures must be made visible!
The end is just the beginning
- The end of the NSU trial is not the end of the conflict with the NSU and the society that made it possible. Independent of the Munich verdict, more questions than answers remain. This is the reason why the “Bündnis gegen Naziterror und Rassismus” (“Alliance against Nazi Terror and Racism”) is mobilizing for Munich under the motto “Kein Schlussstrich” (“No Closure”) on Day X, the day of the pronouncement of sentence. Come to Munich on the day of the verdict! However, anyone who can not travel to Munich can join other actions, such as our demonstration in Berlin. We want to express our solidarity with the relatives of the murdered, the victims of the attacks and all people who are threatened and affected by right-wing terror and racism. We want to show that we are not done with the NSU complex.
- No Closure – complete investigation and destruction of the NSU complex!
- Oppose racist terrorism against refugees and migrants – Fight racism in the authorities and the society!
- Clarification of the racist murders of the NSU by an international committee of inquiry where the relatives can participate!
- Dissolve the intelligence service – abolition of covert informants!
- Establishment of a parliamentary NSU committee of inquiry for Berlin!
Go to Munich. Come to the demonstration in Berlin. Set a determined signal!