There was a change of plans in the trial on Tuesday, with testimony initially expected to come from Brigitte Böhnhardt, the mother of one of the now-deceased men who allegedly killed eight Turks, a G
National Socialist Underground
At 4 p.m. on June 9 2004, an explosion shattered a street in the Mülheim district of Cologne. Most of the people who lived and worked on the street, Keupstrasse, were immigrants from Turkey. At least 22 of them were injured, some of them seriously, by a nail-bomb left on a bicycle in front of a hairdresser's shop. Germany's interior minister at that time, Otto Schily, was quick to rule out a terrorist motive for the attack. One day after the attack, he said that the investigation pointed to a criminal background.
German prosecutors said Tuesday they are investigating whether three alleged neo-Nazis suspected of a series of racist killings and bombings were also responsible for an earlier explosives attack not previously linked to the group.
Having refused to comment on her alleged crimes, Beate Zschäpe, the only surviving member of the murderous NSU neo-Nazi terror cell, remains an enigma. With her trial set to begin on Monday, prosecutors hope to illuminate the character of a woman described by neighbors as outgoing and likeable.
The highest-profile neo-Nazi murder trial in Germany in decades opened Monday amid tight security and intense media interest, with the five accused appearing in public for the first time since their arrest more than a year ago.
Police erected security barriers in anticipation of possible protests by far-right extremist groups, while hundreds of reporters queued outside the Munich courthouse in the hope of gaining one of the few available seats in the packed courtroom for the start of a trial scheduled to last for more than a year.
This timely report, State intelligence agencies and the far Right: A review of developments in Germany, Hungary and Austria, is issued just two weeks before the largest trial on far-right extremism in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany opens in Munich. Beate Zschäpe, the sole surviving member of the National Socialist Underground and four co-defendants face charges relating to ten murders that took place between 2000 and 2007. Of the victims, shot in the head at close range, eight were Turkish or of Turkish origin, one was a Greek citizen, one a female German police officer.
It's a Wednesday in early summer 2012, on the terrace of a Chinese restaurant in Nuremberg's city center. Kai D., 48, once one of the most subversive activists in the German neo-Nazi community, is sitting at a table, drinking a glass of roasted wheat tea, the house specialty, eagerly answering questions about his past in the right-wing extremist community. The ex-Nazi seems at ease as he chats about his experiences as the head of the Covenant of the New Front (Gesinnungsgemeinschaft der Neuen Front) and the Thule Network, a neo-Nazi data-sharing group, which he helped build.
Missing files, ignored clues, dubious police informants - German police have a lot to answer for over the NSU murders. An investigation committee is trying to shed light on the scandal, but time is running short.
The 10 murders carried out by the neo-Nazi NSU have shown how the risks of the far right were widely underestimated. In fact, the diversity of the far right makes it a real challenge for the security services.
In 2000, the neo-Nazi terrorist group National Socialist Underground (NSU) shot dead Enver Simsek, a florist with Turkish background, in Nuremberg. It was the beginning of an unprecedented series of murders that ended in 2007 with the death of police officer Michele Kiesewetter in Heilbronn.