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
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.
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.
Hajo Funke, a political scientist at Berlin's Free University, has been advising the parliamentary committees currently investigating the police's failure to track down the NSU, which up until now has been reported as having three members: Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, both dead, and Beate Zschäpe, currently in custody. He said the evidence that more people were actively involved in terrorist activity was overwhelming, and he named the murder of policewoman Michèle Kiesewetter in 2007 as one example.
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.