The legend of the NSU as an „isolated group“
One focus of the trial today concerned the various versions of the NSU videos found in the Frühlingsstraße apartment. Three versions were played in the courtroom, of which the first two were still very similar to the usual Nazi videos: music from a Nazi band, the NSU logo and texts as well as pictures concerning the murder of Enver Şimşek as well as the bombing attack in the Probsteigasse in Cologne. The third video is the “Pink Panther” video which was made later and which also refers to the other NSU murders.
The presiding judge stressed the importance of the texts contained in the video, such as the sentence, repeated after every NSU crime, that the victim “now knows how serious we are about preserving the German nation.” Beate Zschäpe had access to the computer containing the videos. There is concrete evidence, which will be considered in the following weeks, that she has worked on compiling the video. The series of murders was apparently planned beginning with the first attack, but the group apparently decided later on not to publicize its video directly after that attack.
The federal prosecution than gave its comments on the motions for evidence brought by victims’ counsel of 6 November 2014. As concerns the case file of the fugitive unit searching for Böhnhardt, Mundlos and Zschäpe, the prosecution argued that these should not be made part of the case file as it was not clear what would follow from it. However, it did not object to the officers of the unit testifying as witnesses. Apparently the prosecution is afraid that the case file would show how early the Thuringia police knew that the Three were in Chemnitz and had very concrete leads (known supporters with “Blood & Honour” Chemnitz, phone boxes used to communicate, etc.) which would have easily allowed finding them.
The prosecution also opposed the motion that central members of the militant Nazi scene in Dortmund be called to testify, arguing that the evidence heard so far had shown the NSU to be an isolated group working independently from other Nazis and that therefore there could not have been cooperation with Nazis from Dortmund. This claim seems laughable given that one of the witnesses named in the motion claims to be able to identify the guns used and elucidate their provenience and that the “Blood & Honour” scene in Dortmund was in close cooperation with “Blood & Honour” Chemnitz, the closest supporters of the NSU. Thus the federal prosecution opposed motions aiming to prove that the NSU was part of a network while claiming that there is no proof of the NSU having had such a network to rely upon.
The prosecution is obviously afraid that its theory of the NSU as an isolated group of three persons could be refuted – not realizing that it has already been refuted: in Chemnitz, Zschäpe, Böhnhardt and Mundlos were supported by “Blood & Honour” members and sympathizers, weapons and id documents were provided to them, there were attempts to also procure guns and money. The three were involved in the production of Nazi magazines and of T-Shirts. They lived normally in the scene, others met them at barbecues or out riding their bikes – hardly the life of a typical criminal who has gone “underground.” The NSU’s publications also clearly refer to a network. By refusing to follow the trail leading towards other armed groups, the prosecution shows that it is attempting to hinder the elucidation of facts concerning the NSU. Given the network of co-conspirators and supporters, it becomes harder still to believe that none of the various informers in the Nazi scene surrounding “the Three” had reported on their whereabouts and their deeds.