15 July 2014

Tino Brandt – Nazi leader working for the secret service, Part I.

The entire trial week is dedicated to the testimony of Tino Brandt, former Nazi leader, co-founder of the “Thuringia Home Guard” (Thüringer Heimatschutz, THS) and longtime informer for the Thuringia domestic secret service. Brandt was recently detained, he is charged inter alia with having forced young men to engage in prostitution.

Until being uncovered in 2001, he was by far the most important source of information for the Thuringia secret service. As he stated today, he was first active in the “Anti-Antifa Eastern Thuringia”, which later formed the basis for the THS being formed as a common organization of the Nazi “comradeships” in Thuringia. Brandt was very reluctant when it came to describing his work as informer as well as his Nazi activities. He openly stated that he still adhered to a Nazi ideology, but tried to downplay the violent character of the THS.

He was recruited as an informer for the domestic secret service in a simply conversation. His two contact persons told him that he would not be asked to discuss crimes committed by his “comrades”, after all the secret service was not tasked with enforcing criminal laws. The service simply wanted to know who was cooperating with whom. Given this basis, Brandt claimed to have always reported truthfully. When the service wanted to tell him not to take over certain political functions or not to engage in certain activities, he simply refused – the service threatened to end his work for them, but never in fact did so. In other words, the secret service knowingly accepted that Brandt used the money given to him by the state to build up the THS, but that he did not at all report on Nazi crimes, instead providing only general information concerning demonstrations, publications and Nazi functionaries.

All in all, Brandt stated, he had probably received between 100,000 and 140,000 € from the secret service, money which he had used for political activities, transport and telephone costs, leaflets, but also to pay criminal fines for André