Irish Independent, May 13, 2013
Enver Simsek was their first victim. On September 9, 2000, the Turkish immigrant and businessman was gunned down at one of the flower stalls he owned in Nuremberg, shot in the head eight times.
It was the start of an alleged killing spree by the far-right National Socialist Underground (NSU) that saw 10 people murdered between 2000 and 2007: eight men of Turkish origin, one of Greek descent and a German policewoman.
The case has left Germany reeling and has revealed not only severe failings on the part of the authorities but also a blind spot when it came to the threat posed by the extreme right. Continue reading
GlobalPost, Dec. 16, 2011
BERLIN, Germany — “I’m the one you’re looking for,” announced Beate Zschaepe when she reported to the police in Jena, eastern Germany, on Nov. 8.
Four days earlier, Zschaepe had blown up her apartment, apparently to hide evidence. Her two live-in companions had died of gunshot wounds, after botching a bank robbery. Authorities contend that one of the men, Uwe Mundlos, shot the other, Uwe Boehnhardt, before killing himself.
In mugshots seered into the German consciousness by non-stop media coverage, Zschaepe, 36, appears exhausted, her dark hair disheveled and smudged mascara ringing her eyes.
Officials quickly determined that she and her two dead companions were members of a far-right trio, the National Socialist Underground (NSU), that had been on the run for 13 years. Evidence emerged linking the group to a series of brutal murders of nine immigrant shop-owners and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007 — a hate crime spree that has unnerved Germany.
Zschaepe, it now seems, is an extreme example of a phenomenon that researchers have been warning of for years: Women are playing an increasingly prominent, and at times violent, role on the extreme right. They now account for an estimated one in five neo-Nazis. And because women are viewed with less suspicion, they have quietly infiltrated many mainstream organizations where they can spread their ideas — even targeting children. Continue reading
The Guardian, Nov. 15, 2011
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, promised a full investigation on Monday after it was revealed that a cell of neo-Nazis apparently carried out a series of killings over seven years without being detected.
The group, calling itself the “National Socialist Underground”, allegedly killed at least 10 people across the country, leading to accusations that the security authorities underestimated the threat of far-right violence in the country.
The cell was only discovered when the two main suspects, Uwe M and Uwe B, were found dead on 4 November in a mobile home following a botched bank robbery.
Another suspect, Beate Z, handed herself in to the police last week after allegedly setting fire to the house she shared with the two men in the city of Zwickau, Saxony. She was arrested on Sunday, and charged with founding a terrorist organisation and arson.
“We’re seeing something inconceivable,” Merkel said on Monday . “We suspect rightwing extremists are responsible for horrible acts of violence, for rightwing terror. It’s a disgrace and mortifying for Germany and we’ll do everything we can to get to the bottom of this. We owe that to the victims.” Continue reading