17 May 2018

Closing statement of counsel Nahrath: Breaking – Hitler not an anti-Semite after all?

After counsel Klemke had finished his closing statement today, Wohlleben defense counsel Wolfram Nahrath concluded the defense closing statements. Many had expected that Nahrath, who had inter alia been the last „leader” of the National Socialist “Viking Youth”, would conclude with a striking display of Nazi ideology. He himself warned before beginning the second part of his statement that the “faint of heart and the suffering are advised to contact their local do-gooder or political commissar.”

The following statement, however, was above all ridiculous. Nahrath spent about fifteen minutes on verbatim quotations of historical National Socialist leaders such as Hitler, Hess and the like, as well as their contemporaries, to bolster a claim that historical National Socialism had been peaceful and committed to the rule of law – it being, of course, historically well documented that the Nazis kept their promise to pursue their goals only by legal and peaceful means all to the way to their sudden downfall in 1945.

Thus Nahrath’s enactment of a taboo being broken proved a total non-starter. It did, however, show once again how serious one should take the claims by Wohlleben’s defense counsel that they are convinced of their client’s innocence. After all, if there is any argument to be drawn from Nahraths confused defense of historical Nazism, it is the striking parallel to Wohlleben: just like Hitler, Hess etc. in the quotations presented todaay, Wohlleben has always presented himself as peaceful, legalistic and as someone “respecting all peoples” – and just as was the case for the historical Nazis, none of those claims deserve to be believed for even a second.

There will be a two-week Pentecost break, the trial will continue on Tuesday, 5 June with the closing statement of Zschäpe’s “old counsel” Heer, Stahl and Sturm.