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.