13 July 2016

Lies and Trivialization, Part 16 – David Petereit, member of parliament, The White Wolf, the NSU letter and 2.500 €, but no recollection.

Today’s only witness was David Petereit, member of the state parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for the Nazi party NPD. His testimony lasted from 9.30 am to 8.45 pm. The basis for his questioning was quite clear: From at least 2002 to 2004, Petereit was involved in publishing the Nazi fanzine “The White Wolf”. Issue 1/2002 of that zine contained not only articles on militant neo-Nazi organization Combat 18, but also a preface, signed with Petereit’s pseudonym “Eihwaz”, stating that “as the times become together, so must our struggle – support the comrades in detention, in the legal fight, in the streets, form networks – listening to music and partying alone will not bring about the change we need”, followed by the following statement in bold type: “Many thanks to the NSU, it has borne fruit :) The struggle goes on…”

A report of the domestic secret service of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern of 9 April 2002 summarizes the statement of an informer on this issue: “The publication “The White Wolf” is said to have received an anonymous donation of 2,500 € and a letter stating that ‘Keep on doing what you’re doing, you deserve the money!’”

Shortly after this report, informer Richter (Corelli) contacted Petereit and offered to host the “White Wolf” homepage on his server space – an offer which Petereit gratefully accepted.
After the NSU had uncovered itself, it was the antifascist press archive apabiz, now involved in the project NSU watch, which published the thank you to the NSU based on an issue of the White Wolf in its archives. This led to a search of Petereit’s apartment, which unvovered an issue of the NSU letter which had also been found on a computer in the Frühlingsstraße apartment – a clear commitment to “armed struggle” and clear call for the scene to join in that struggle.
A large body of evidence shows that other Nazi projects had also received money in this fashion, accordingly the existence of the NSU must have been known to a rather large number of Nazi activists as early as 2002 – a strong argument in support of victims’ counsels’ thesis that the NSU had been networked quite closely with other groups and individuals and a clear contradiction to the prosecution’s image of the NSU as an isolated group of three.
Victims’ counsel had long moved that the informer who had reported on the gift of money, or at least his contact officer, be heard in court and that the original report be made part of the case file. The court so far has only received an official statement from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern which confirms the content of the report.

In court today, Petereit claimed to have been solely responsible for editing, producing and marketing of the “White Wolf” starting around 2000, but also claimed not to remember anything else. He stated that he had probably “inserted” the note to the NSU as he had been alone in producing the paper. However, he also claimed to have never seen the letter before the search of his apartment and never to have received any money. His continuous claims not to remember anything were only interrupted by brief flashes of very precise recollections of things that he felt would be in his favor.

Petereit’s statements on the production of the zine seem to show that he is lying when he claims that no one else was involved: thus he claims to have done the layout with MS Word even though several graphic elements in the zine would have been pretty much impossible to achieve with that program, he claims to have had no help at all in collating and sending out the zine – even at a print run of almost 1,000 – it is totally unclear how he wants to have done all this at the same time as all his other activities. At one point Petereit accidentally revealed the truth when he stated that the PO box he had used for the “White Wolf” may also have been used by others he had worked with. To everyone in the courtroom, it became quite clear that Petereit was trying to protect himself and others.

Both court and prosecution reacted in a way that it was as consistent with their earlier practice as it was exasperating, by failing to put any pressure on the witness to make a true statement. This is consistent as the prosecution has from the beginning pushed the picture of an isolated group of three, a picture which of course is endangered by proof of a somewhat public donation campaign in 2002. The court meanwhile had never confronted any of the witnesses feigning memory gaps, probably because it feels that it does not need detailed statements in order to convict the accused.

The court also gave out a list of further dates which are reserved “provisionally” for the trial between now and September 2017. While it seems unlikely that all of these dates will be used, this shows that the trial is far from having reached the home stretch, contrary to some press reports. Particularly in light of the court largely treating the NSU trial as a part-time job in recent weeks, it is to be expected that the consideration of the evidence will take another few months.