16 February 2017

Wohlleben defense tries to force further arguments concerning ideology

The only witness today was a former officer of the Thuringian secret service who was to testify on the ideological character of a meeting in Hetendorf on the property of Neonazi and attorney Jürgen Rieger from Hamburg. According to police reports, Zschäpe had visited that meeting in 1997 – unaccompanied by Mundlos or Böhnhardt. However, the witness stopped working at the secret service long ago and did not remember anything relevant.

The Wohlleben defense again brought several motions for evidence with which they wish to prove that Wohlleben was not “xenophobic” and had had no knowledge of Mundlos’ and Böhnhardt’s racism. Inter alia, defense counsel Nahrath quoted at length from a flyer authored by Wohlleben in which his client propounds “ethnopluralist” ideology.

The court has so far been rather hesitant to consider Wohlleben’s racist ideology. If the motions brought by the defense force the court to consider this question in more detail, this is to be welcomed. A more in-depth consideration of the “ethnopluralism” which Wohlleben espouses – considering also his völkische conception of the “German people” – will show that this is simply a “modernized” form of racism which avoids use of the word race, but which has the same murderous consequences. The theory of ethnopluralism was conceived by “New Right” circles in the 1970s, as a reaction to classical National Socialist ideology falling out of favor, but at the same time as a further development of historical National Socialist conceptions of Europe.