Lies and Trivialization, Part 2 – Testimony of André Kapke
Today’s witness war André Kapke, an extremely violent-prone neo-Nazi as shown already by his criminal record. From the mid-1990s, Kapke was one of the closest confidants of Ralf Wohlleben, Holger Gerlach and “the Three”. He was accompanied by his lawyer Waldschmidt, a functionary of the neo-fascist NPD from Hesse.
Kapke did everything he could to spare Zschäpe and Wohlleben – when asked about Zschäpe’s political positions, he claimed to only remember discussions concerning nuclear power and the nuclear waste disposal site in Gorleben. Reactions in the courtroom showed that nobody believed this claim –not victims’ counsel, not members of the court. The same reaction was engendered by his attempts to describe Ralf Wohlleben as “angel of peace” of the Nazi scene in Jena.
Kapke generally tried to depict his comrades and himself as victims of leftist activists and the police. Asked about the ideology of the “Kameradschaft Jena” or the ““Thuringia home guard” or about his own role, both before and after „the Three“ went underground, he claimed not to be able to recall much of anything. Later, a sentence slipped out which showed his true ideology: asked about the “foreigner politics” of the Nazi scene in Jena, he answered “if you try to get rid of pest plants, you don’t just plug two or three leaves, you attack the root.”
This was followed by further gaps in his memory. Presiding judge Götzl became more and more exasperated – as were most of the others present in the courtroom. The presiding judge finally interrupted Kapke’s testimony at 4 in the afternoon. Kapke will continue to testify on the last day before the Christmas break.
Further testimony of Uwe Böhnhardt’s mother
The further testimony of Uwe Böhnhardt’s mother took up all of today’s trial day. She continued to present a world view according to which „the Three“ appear either as „right-leaning young folks“ or as victims of arbitrary actions by state organs. To her, she explained, Beate Zschäpe was still today a “nice young woman” – the witness even addressed Zschäpe in open court to thank her for contacting the family after the two Uwes had committed suicide. Ms. Böhnhardt did, finally, find some compassionate words towards the victims’ families. On the other hand, she did so in a way which tried to equate her position to their suffering. She claimed to be in a position where she “understood these families better than anyone else” – a claim that many victims’ counsel found rather offputting.
Asked about crimes committed by her son before he went underground, she reacted defensively. As to investigations for torture-like abuse of another prisoner, she claimed to have no knowledge. As to his earlier crimes (inter alia car theft), she blamed them entirely on his older co-perpetrators. Asked about descriptions of Böhnhardt by former friends as “aggressive, dominant and prone to violence”, she claimed that these descriptions were false and only given because they “reflected the mood of the present times”.
Her intention became clear in a sentence she uttered towards the end of her testimony: “You know, the prosecution is trying to find proof that those three committed all these crimes. As a mother, I am grasping at straws to say that it could not have been that way.” Her testimony therefore does not have much worth in gauging Uwe Böhnhardt’s personality.
Towards the end of her testimony, the presiding judge posed critical questions after it became apparent that the witness had neglected to mention a meeting in which she had given her son’s clothes and other items to a supporter. The suspicion remains that the witness had additional meetings with supporters of “the Three” she does not wish to talk about.
The testimony of André Kapke was pushed to tomorrow, Christian Kapke’s to a later week.