25 February 2015

Witnesses from Chemnitz: Some details, a lot of fables – and still no exculpatory evidence for Wohlleben

Today the court heard two witnesses from Chemnitz. Both were summoned based on a motion by the Wohlleben defense which aims at shifting the responsibility for the support given to the NSU away from Wohlleben and laying it solely at the feet of “Blood & Honour” Saxony.
As was the case with earlier witnesses, this plan did not come to fruition today. At the same time, both witnesses also tried very hard not to give any other relevant details – like many witnesses from the Nazi scene before them, they confirmed what was already proven and otherwise either told stories or claimed not to remember anything.

The first witness was Gunter Fiedler, one of the “88” Skinheads from Chemnitz. He confirmed that, after Zschäpe, Böhnhardt and Mundlos had gone underground, he and his brother had provided an apartment for them. Thomas Starke had asked them and told them that the Three were hiding from the police. The Fiedler brothers asked Mandy Struck, who referred them to her boyfriend Max-Florian B., who in fact took them in.

The witness also confirmed – contrary to his interview with the police – that he had lent Böhnhardt his ID card so that Böhnhardt could apply for (and in fact receive) a passport in Fiedler’s name. However, he claimed to have taken this passport back after a while and to have destroyed it – a rather unbelievable claim. He also claimed not to have had further contact with the Three and not to know anything much about them.

His statement was unbelievable already taken on its own, even more so given several contradictions to his police interview. What’s more, he was unable to state any kind of motive for his support. Finally, the witness was unable to explain a note found in the NSU apartment containing biographical details of the entire Fiedler family, which shows that Böhnhardt was still using Fiedler’s identity.

It was apparent that the witness, an active member of the Nazi scene in Chemnitz, was willing without any further ado to provide an apartment and personal documents to “comrades” on the run from the police. Apparently the scene had no problem with participating in criminal activities.

The second witness, Jörg Winter, was a member of “Blood & Honour” Saxony and had, already in the mid-1990s, provided Zschäpe, Böhnhardt and Mundlos, at the time were still active in Jena, with 2 kg of TNT. This transaction too was brokered by Thomas Starke. The witness confirmed having delivered the explosives, but told a tall tale of having been given the TNT for safe-keeping by an acquaintance who died shortly thereafter. Later, Starke asked him, apparently out of the blue, and “as luck would have it”, he was able to give those explosives to him. Of course, he had not had any clue that these explosives were meant for somebody else, he thought Starke simply wanted to “experiment” a bit.

Besides this unbelievable story, the witness provided some interesting tidbits concerning the structure of “B&H” Saxony and their closeness to the Hammerskins in Saxony. He also confirmed that André Eminger was close to the “B&H” scene, in fact wanted to become a member. When “B&H” was banned and dissolved, he instead formed the “White Brotherhood Iron Mountains”, whose ideology was closely related to that of the Hammerskins. Winter’s statement is therefore another clue that Eminger is the link who ensured the further support to the NSU after “B&H” was banned and the earlier supporters were unable to continue their support.