11 March 2015

Destroy, deny, forget – informers do not provide any valuable information. And: on the normality of the „White Brotherhood in the Iron Mountains“

The first witness today was Marcel Degner, co-founder and head of the “Blood & Honour” Section in Thuringia, later “B&H”-head for “middle Germany” (i.e. Eastern Germany) and, according to the findings of the parliamentary inquiry, also an informer, codenamed “Hagel” (Hail), for the Thuringia domestic secret service from 1997 until 2001. Like most informers before him, he did not provide any useful information. Like all Nazi witness before him, Degner of course remembered hardly anything, particularly when it came to information which might incriminate the accused. However, Degner even denied having worked for the secret service in the first place – and remained adamant even after being told that secret service officer Wiessner has already stated in court on 11 November 2014 that “Hagel” was Degner.

What’s more, one event that Degner related today is found identically in one of the meeting reports drawn up by “Hagel”’s contact officer: Degner had asked Thomas Starke of Chemnitz whether the three fugitives – Zschäpe, Böhnhardt and Mundlos – needed money, Starke had told him no, they were “doing jobs”. The other meeting reports concerning “Hagel” have been destroyed, which makes it hard to check the veracity of his statements. Victims’ counsel therefore moved that his testimony be interrupted and that secret service officers Wiessner and Zweigert be called as witnesses on his work as an informer. The presiding judge seemed put out by this request, but did in the end interrupt Degner’s testimony; Degner will have to continue testifying at a later date.

What he did relate today was that he had gotten to know accused Wohlleben in the early 1990s in Gera and had continued to meet him from time to time. Other important contacts, besides his “B&H” friends, had been André Kapke and Tino Brandt. After being uncovered as an informer, he had been attacked at least twice, had then cut most of his ties to the scene. Previously, he had tried to bring a suit against the dissolution of B&H by the German Ministry of the Interior, however, this suit had been unsuccessful because the Northern German section had not allowed him to bring it on behalf of the entire organization. One question to be asked of Wiessner and Zweigert will be whether this law suit was ordered and/or paid for by the secret service.

The next witness was an early member of the „White Brotherhood in the Iron Mountains“ („Weiße Bruderschaft Erzgebirge“, WBE), which was lead by accused André Eminger and his brother and in which NSU supporter Dienelt was also a member. This witness too did not really try to remember much, claimed that the WBE had mainly organized soccer tournaments, scouting games and concerts in order to “act against drugs” and provide opportunities “for the youth.”

The WBE’s ideology became clearer based on the two issues of their fanzine „Aryan Law and Order“, which has already been introduced into the trial by victims’ counsel. This zine is chock full of racist and anti-Semitic propaganda and open calls for “armed resistance” by small cells. The witness confirmed that most of the ideologically important articles were written by André and Maik Eminger.

He did also try to describe Eminger’s ideology in somewhat more detail: asked about Eminger’s stance towards “foreigners” and Jews, he answered: “similar to that of most in the Iron Mountains: all evil, all bad, away with them.”