Monthly Archives: April 2014

29 April 2014

Going underground with „Blood and Honour“, Part III

Today saw the continued testimony of a police officer who had questioned „Blood & Honour“ activist Thomas Starke (see the report of 2 April 2014). By the end of today, three of six statements of Starke’s have been introduced into evidence in this way.

In his statements considered today, Starke had inter alia talked about his network of contacts in the Nazi scene. As reported, he had provided Uwe Mundlos with TNT – when Mundlos complained that he was unable to detonate it, Starke connected him with his provider, “B&H” member Jörg Winter. Winter, who had experimented with explosives, related that one needed a detonator of a type he was unable to procure.

Starke had also talked about his contacts with accused André Eminger and his brother Maik, both founding and leading members of the “White Brotherhood Erzgebirge”.
During his third police interview, the police had discussed with Starke several photos found during the search of his apartment – inter alia, these show with “B&H” cadres at meetings of “B&H Germany” or visiting “comrades” in the United States. But these photos also show him, from 1993/1994 on, in frequent contact with the Jena group of Zschäpe, Böhnhardt and Mundlos.

At the end of the trial day, victims’ counsel brought a motion that a recently found CD entitled “NSU NSDAP” be made part of the case file – according to press reports this CD had been produced already in 2006. One potential author of the CD is Thomas Richter, a Nazi cadre since the 1990s, active in the “National Front” until its prohibition in 1992, at the same time an informer of the federal domestic secret service for almost two decades under the name of “Corelli”. Richter was found dead a few weeks ago – according to press reports, he was found by members of a state agency who wished to ask him questions concerning the CD. The federal prosecution announced that it would undertake further investigations regarding the possibility of a connection between the CD and the trial in Munich.

28 April 2014

Lies and Trivialization, Part VII – Enrico Theile

Enrico Theile was questioned again today – according to the investigation, he had been involved in the provision on the Ceska pistol used for the NSU murders to the Nazi shop “Madleys” in Jena. Last time Theile was in Munich, there had been discussions on whether or not Theile could refuse to testify. Today Theile, like many witnesses before, decided to testify – and to claim not to remember anything.

Theile denied all connection to the weapons deal. He stated that Jürgen Länger, who according to investigations was also involved in the gun deal, was a pal whom he knew from the neighborhood. Also well known to him was Hans Ulrich Müller, who was involved in the weapons deal on the Swiss side. Theile had inter alia visited Müller in Switzerland. Theile stated that he had discussed the “wanted” poster concerning the “Kebap killings” with Müller, who had also told him that his house had been searched in that connection. He claimed not to remember anything more of that discussion, and he remained steadfast in that claim even after presiding judge Götzl showed quite clearly that he did not believe him, even referring to an earlier perjury conviction of Theile. Theile similarly claimed not to remember discussions with Länger or discussions with Müller concerning Länger.

Theile thus joins the ranks of the “forgetful” witnesses from the Nazi scene and its surroundings who lie more or less believably, claiming not to remember anything even where this is obvious nonsense. To give one example, Theile claimed that he had never had anything to do with guns and neither had Müller – this despite the fact that he was subject of several investigations for armed crimes, that cartridge casings were found with him in 1997 and a “pen gun” in 2004, and despite the fact that he knew of Müller’s arrest in an investigations for weapons crimes.
In 2012, Theile was apparently afraid that he would be arrested in connection with the NSU, also admitted as much in a statement to the police – today, he again claimed not to remember this at all.

Presiding judge Götzl, obviously irritated by Theile’s obstinacy, interrupted his questioning at 4 pm, to be continued at a later date. What is clear is that the witness, if he does not change his testimony, will face an investigation for perjury – but probably only after the end of the trial in Munich.

16 April 2014

Lies and Trivialization, Part VI – Jana J.

Today, Jana J., who was a close friend of André Kapke and also friends with Carsten Schultze from 1996 to 2000 and thus closely related to the Jena Nazi scene (see the report of 13 March 2014 on the first part of her testimony).

The witness states that she began to distance herself from the Nazi scene beginning in 2000. However, she mostly kept to her strategy, begun during the first round of questioning, of trivializing her own activities and those of her friends from the Nazi scene and/or of claiming not to remember. She tried to paint a picture of herself as insignificant – despite having been present, together with Kapke, at a number of important meetings. The witness still sees the Jena Nazi scene first and foremost as victim of “persecution” by the government and left wing activists.

2000 she had moved from Jena and worked as a summer worker on the island of Borkum. While in Borkum, she had received a visit from members of the domestic secret service, who had wanted information on Kapke. She stated that she refused all cooperation and immediately informed Kapke.

The witness was confronted with several secret service documents and witness statements concerning her role back then – in all cases, she either denied everything or claimed not to remember. She denied having spoken to Schultze about his contacts with “the Three”; she denied having distanced herself from Kapke in 1998 after he was accused of pocketing money meant for “the Three”; she claimed not to remember having been visited in Borkum by Kapke and Wohlleben; she claimed not to remember a meeting with “Thuringia Home Guard” leaders Kapke, Tino Brandt and Mario Brehme discussing an interview request concerning “the three fugitives from Jena”; she claims not to remember having stood watch in 1996 when Beate Zschäpe attacked and injured a young woman.

J. was also asked question concerning the “birthday newspaper” for Kapke. On 13 March, she had described it as a satirical reaction to persecution by the state. Today, she had to admit that many of the articles are not even close to being explainable that way. Most importantly, the paper contained an article on the concentration camp memorial Buchenwald being made into a “gas station” and Mundlos, Gerlach and Kapke being presented as the new and “sympathetic” owners of “gas for everyone” – in German, this is a clear reference to the gas chambers of the Holocaust.

The witness was also shown snippets of a BBC interview with THS leaders in 1998, at which she was also present. In that interview, one of her “comrades” explained that multiculturalism was a form of “annihilation of the people” – a statement which she still brings into connection with Kapke. She claimed, however, not to remember that the journalist was given a copy of the “Pogromly” board game at the end of the interview, as shown in the TV excerpt.

15 April 2014

More on secret service agent Andreas Temme, and on the first attempts of „the Three“ to build pipe bombs

The first witness today was a bomb expert of the Thuringia criminal police who had disarmed and examined the pipe bombs found in January 1998 – their being found was the occasion of Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt going underground. The witness related that the bomb builders had invested a lot of effort, had built in metal parts in one bomb to increase the potential for injury. They had used gunpowder as well as TNT – the latter having been procured from “Blood and Honour” Chemnitz according to other witnesses. The bombs were not ignitable – apparently at that point in time “the Three” did not yet have sufficient knowledge of explosives. However, it also became clear that – in contrast to earlier propaganda actions of the Nazi scene – these were no mock bombs, but the attempt to build ignitable bombs.

It thus became apparent again that “the Three” had already in 1998 contemplated bombing attacks, including the use of nail bombs – after first bombing attacks in Nuremberg and Cologne, they would later use such a nail bomb in the Keupstraße in Cologne in 2004. What also became clear was that the police did not invest much effort into the investigation in 1998 – the report of the witnesses on the bombs dates from August 1998, almost seven months after they had been found, and at first he did not even bother to measure the amount of TNT used.

The next witness was – once again – domestic secret service agent Andreas Temme. Before he was recalled as a witness once again, victims’ counsel for the Yozgat family brought several motions. Temme had told a colleague in the morning of 10 April 2006 that Halit Yozgat had been killed with a Ceska 83 pistol and that his murder was thus likely part of the series of murders. Counsel for the Yozgat family now named several witnesses and documents to show that Temme could not have known this fact at that time from the press or from talking to the police.

Temme was then questioned further, inter alia about items found in his apartment. Among these were historical SS documents – Temme stated that he had transcribed those from library books in his youth. He was also asked about contradictory statement in his interviews with the police, but could not – or would not – clear those up.

At the end of his testimony, Temme was questioned directly by Ismail Yozgat, father of Halit Yozgat. Mr. Yozgat made a final desperate attempt to get Temme to give up his blockade, to show that it was simply impossible for Temme not to have seen Halit Yozgat in the internet café. Temme showed himself unimpressed and insisted on his claims of not having seen anything. It was obvious that he was certain of being supported in this stance by the secret service.

10 April 2014

Going underground with „Blood and Honour“, Part II

Today the questioning of Mandy Struck, an early supporter from Chemnitz, was continued. (We reported on her earlier testimony in our posts of 26 February and 27 February 2014). Struck again tried to downplay the Nazi ideology and violence of the scene and to represent herself as unimportant. However, persistent questioning at least revealed a few details. A positive development is that the presiding judge told the witness not to evade the questions of victims’ counsel and also asked several critical questions concerning “Blood and Honour.”

At the end of Struck’s questioning, victim’s counsel Hoffmann made a statement regarding her testimomy, which we reprint below:

Witness Mandy Struck, whose questioning was continued today, was an integral part of the Nazi scenes both locally in Chemnitz and in Germany. She was a member of the “Blood and Honour” network in Chemnitz and/or of the “No. 88s” in Chemnitzer – we know from other witnesses that both groups were practically identical.

Struck had an influence over the scene due to her work in the “Organization for the aid of national prisoners” [an organization devoted to supporting Nazis in prison, which was dissolved by the German government in 2011] and her involvement in the “Franconia Action Front” from Nuremberg. She was thus able, among other things, to have an article calling on the Nazi scene to move beyond internal differences, published, under her own name and together with an imprisonment “comrade”, in the zine “Landser” which was read all over Germany. She initiated the building of a woman’s group and the posting of posters.

In her testimony, she tried to downplay her importance, the quality of her contacts and her involvement in various Nazi networks. To give only one example, she claimed that the license plate of her car – ending in “BH 88” – stood for “Bike holder Honda Hornet”, despite it being obvious that these numbers and letters are used in the Nazi scene to signify “Blood and Honour” and “Heil Hitler.” She did, however, have to admit how she came upon her nickname “White Power Mandy” – she had always carried a “White Power” pin on her jacket, thus signifying her commitment towards an extremely militant form of racism

As part and on behalf of the „Blood and Honour“ group in Chemnitz, Struck organized the housing for Zschäpe, Böhnhardt and Mundlos shortly after they had gone underground. As she stated herself, all known persons supporting “the Three” in going underground in Chemnitz were part of “Blood and Honour”. This shows that this support was provided by an existing structure, that it was not, as claimed in the indictment, composed of individual acts of support by various persons.

9 April 2014

The Secret Service vs. The Truth

The first witness today was a police detective who had questioned a witness in the Halit Yozgat murder case. The witness had used the phone in the internet café at the time of the murder, had heard the shots but not identified them as such. He had seen one of the perpetrators, but only very vaguely. However, the description given by the witness – a young man, brawny, rather tall – fits Böhnhardt or Mundlos, and they are tied to the crime by a lot of other evidence including the murder weapon and the NSU videos.

The witness was unable to explain why the protocol of that questioning was not in the case file of the Yozgat murder, but was only sent to the court upon its request recently. He was also unable to explain why he had not shown the witness a picture of Andreas Temme, officer of the domestic secret service, in spite of the fact that he was known to have been present at the time of the murder.

In the afternoon, the court questioned Frank Fehling, a former colleague of Temme’s. In a phone call to Temme a few weeks after the murder, Fehling had praised Temme for giving their boss, Mr. Irrgang, a complete rundown of what he remembered rather than only reporting “restrictively” as he had with the police. This phone call was intercepted by the police and thus found its way into the case file against Temme – but not into the NSU case file, and this despite the obvious importance of the fact that Temme knows more about the murder than he had told the police.

Fehling reported that shortly after the arrest of Temme, higher-ups in the office had told him and the other members of the office in Kassel not to answer any questions of the police. At first, he vehemently denied having talked to Temme, stating that he had not wanted to talk to him and had actively tried to keep this from happening. He remained steadfast even when the protocol of the intercepted phone call was read to him. However, once he realized, based on the intense questioning by the presiding judge, that further denials would not be accepted, he stated that it was possible that that phone call had taken place. However, he still denied having talked about Temme’s report to Irrgang.

The same thing happened with regard to further intercepted phone calls between Fehling and Temme during which the two talked about the investigations and Fehling promised to keep Temme informed. Victim’s counsel Kienzle read the protocols to the witness, Fehling claimed not to remember, he had always kept out of the investigation.

Victims’ counsel cannot help but get the impression that secret service officer Fehling lies brazenly in order to hide how the secret service massively disturbed the investigations of the criminal police.

8 April 2014

First details concerning André Eminger

Today’s witness was a former girlfriend of André Eminger’s. From 1997 to 1999, she had been in a relationship with him, which she had ended when his right-wing opinions and lifestyle became too extreme for her and cramped her in living her own life. The witness grew up with a stepfather who blamed foreigners for all ills, gave anti-Semitic speeches and glorified the “Third Reich”. Against this background, she had apparent troubles owning up to the political opinions held by her first boyfriend (and to a certain extent by herself). Repeated questioning nonetheless revealed Eminger to be a young National Socialist already back then – Nazi Skinhead music and clothes, Nazi publications, Nazi concerts and demonstrations, xenophobic statements and talk of Germanic gods. Mandy Struck, who will continue her testimony on Thursday, and Max-Florian B. played an important role in his life.

Today, the witness claimed that shortly before the end of the relationship, Eminger had felt that the right wing scene might not be for him anymore. If this conversation, which she had not recalled in her statement to the police, did indeed take place, Eminger obviously did not continue to feel that way.

Together with her boyfriend Eminger, the witness had met “the Three” a few times for coffee in the apartment they used in Chemnitz. She had not been told their identities, only that they had been in hiding. In other words, supporters of Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt could simply bring their girlfriends over for coffee – showing once again how many people in Chemnitz knew of their presence. Obviously the entire Nazi scene from Chemnitz was privy to their presence. How the domestic secret service and criminal police nonetheless managed not to find them is becoming harder and harder to understand.

3 April 2014

The resigned mother

The testimony of Uwe Mundlos‘ mother was almost exactly the opposite of his father’s: wearily, almost resigned, she described how her son Uwe had slipped from her control as she was entirely occupied with caring for his disabled brother. As to the “flight jacket” he had worn, she had bought it for him since it was so modern and low-maintenance, as to the Nazi brown shirt, she had prohibited him from wearing it. But he still ran around with his Nazi friends and there was no way for her to influence his development. She noticed that he wrote letters to a “comrade” in prison – presumably Thomas Starke, later to become a supporter of “the Three” in Chemnitz and a police informer –, she noticed that he was barred from the concentration camp memorial site in Buchenwald after a Nazi action there – but all this went by her, her influence was marginal at best.

Her son told her that the police had uncovered a garage, that his lawyer had told him to prepare for 7 years‘ imprisonment even though had nothing to do with the weapons and only “paper stuff” of his had been found in the garage. He would have to stay away for ten years and would come back after that time had passed. Thus Mundlos said goodbye to his mother, who never saw him again.

The witness stated that André Kapke had accompanied her son during that last visit. She had also spoken to Juliane Walther twice in that context. Walther has so far denied that these conversations had taken place – she will have to explain herself to the court.

2 April 2014

Going underground with „Blood and Honour“, Part I

Today’s witness Thomas Starke, who had provided Mundlos, Böhnhardt and Zschäpe with apartments in Chemnitz after they had gone underground and with explosives before that, refused to testify, as expected, referring to an ongoing investigation against him based on a suspicion of having supported the NSU. However, Starke had testified to the police a total of seven times. Now the content of his testimony there will be introduced via the police officer who had questioned him.

During the several interviews, Starke revised and specified his testimony several times. Accordingly, a final evaluation of his testimony has to wait until all interviews have been introduced. This will take several trial days. Even the testimony regarding the first two interviews could not be finished today as Beate Zschäpe was unable to follow the proceedings, due to fatigue and headaches, from shortly before 4 pm, as the court physician attested.

What has already become clear is that Starke’s testimony clearly describes the network of supporters in Chemnitz and – at least partly – that in Zwickau. “The three” were taken care of by a network mostly made up of supporters of “Blood and Honour”, an international organization which spreads its message of “racial war” through music and concerts. Besides Starke, Thomas Rothe and Mandy Struck, who had been involved in providing other apartments, were “B&H” members. Accordingly, all it took for Starke to provide a shoebox full of TNT to “the three” in 1996/1997 was a phone call to a fellow “B&H” member. According to Starke, the only reason that the bomb built by “the three” – which led to them being searched for and finally going underground – was non-functional is that they were unable to quickly procure a detonator. Starke had also stated that already at that time, quite a while before they had gone underground, Mundlos had asked him for weapons.

He had also reported that he had a short love affair with Zschäpe in 1996/1997. He had been interested in deepening their relationship and moving in together. However, she had only been interested in the two Uwes and in politics and had had no time for the relationship. She had been interested in political discussions, had promoted the NPD and had criticized the “Blood and Honour” scene for not taking part enough in demonstration and political activities.

1 April 2014

The network in Chemnitz

Today’s first witness was one of the agents of the domestic secret service who had been responsible for informer Tino Brandt. He stated that he had thought at first that Brandt was trying to dupe them, but that a good routine of day-to-day cooperation had later developed. He had had to “switch off” Brandt because the head of the office, Roewer, had felt that Brandt’s contact agent, Wiessner, was trying to go behind his back. Like last week’s secret service witnesses, today’s witness will have to return to Munich to testify again after Brandt has testified.

The court then questioned Thomas Rothe, who provided the first flat to “the Three” after they had gone underground. He first tried to stonewall with statements like “They appeared at my door, later they spent the night.” Patient questioning revealed that Rothe was a member of the Nazi music scene in Chemnitz and often had members of international Nazi bands as houseguests. He stated that Mundlos, Böhnhardt and Zschäpe not only lived with him for a while, but that he also continued to meet them, both in Chemnitz and in Zwickau, after they had moved out and until 2001.

He had been brought into contact with “the Three” by Thomas Starke, who had appeared at his door with them and asked him to allow them to move in for a while. Starke had also called him and talked about a TV report concerning the manhunt, stating that “you know who you have there.” Rothe admitted having been a member of “Blood and Honour”, the Nazi organization of which Starke was also a member and from whose ranks came many of the NSU supporters in Saxony. Thomas Starke will testify on Wednesday.

Interestingly, the presiding judge asked a number of questions regarding “Blood and Honour” even though the indictment only mentions that organization in passing. However, the witness refused to answer questions concerning other “B&H” members: After the presiding judge had threatened him with an administrative fine and coercive detention for refusing to answer, he referred to a criminal investigation against him regarding his “B&H” activities, which had only been discontinued in 2010 on the grounds of “minor guilt.” Rothe claimed a privilege against self-incrimination in connection with that investigation. The presiding judge interrupted his testimony in order to find out whether that privilege applies, which will require taking a look at the case file of that investigation. The witness will likely face considerable pressure from the court when he continues his testimony.