Witness testimony: Violent acts by Beate Zschäpe already in 1996

Today two witness from Jena testified on an attack by Beate Zschäpe in 1996. Zschäpe pushed one of them to the ground, leading to a broken ankle. She then sat on the young woman’s back and forced her to insult herself. Zschäpe accused the witness of having insulted her earlier – probably based on an earlier encounter with a friend of the witness who looked much like her. Zschäpe was accompanied by another young woman with a Skinhead haircut – most likely Jana J., former best friend of André Kapke’s (see the reports of 13 March 2014 and 16 April 2014). One of the two witnesses stated that Zschäpe had been described by others as very violent and unpredictable.

While the witness statements varied with regard to certain details – which is hardly surprising given that the attack was 18 years ago, their statements as to the general sequence of events is very believable. The woman who was attacked in particular visibly took pains to give a balanced testimony and to differentiate between what she remembered and what she had put together in the meantime. Attempts by Zschäpe’s defense to raise doubts as to the identification of Zschäpe were unsuccessful.

Wohlleben defense attorney Klemke meanwhile provided defense mostly for the Nazi scene and tried to insinuate that daily violence had been used both by Nazis and by the left in Jena. The witnesses, however, remembered things quite differently – it was they and their friends who had lived in constant fear of attacks by the Nazi scene, which was very strong in Jena.
At the end of the trial day, victims’ counsel for the Yozgat family moved that two high ranking officials from the German interior ministry be summoned as witness for the fact that they had followed the in-court testimony of Andreas Temme, formerly of the Hessian domestic secret service, on behalf of the ministry. If this proves to be true, there is a clear danger of undue influence being put on the testimony of later witnesses, particularly from the secret service and other agencies.