• Germany's news in English
 

Neo-Nazi robbers linked to kebab shop killings

Published: 11 Nov 2011 17:02 GMT+01:00

Federal prosecutors, who took over the case on Friday, said in a statement that the gun used in the series of so-called döner kebab killings had been found in the wreckage of the flat in Zwickau, Saxony.

The execution-style killings of nine shopkeepers between 2000 and 2006 in broad daylight in towns across the country from Nuremberg to Rostock, have left police at a loss. Each time a man walked into the shop – two of which were kebab shops – and shot his victim in the face before walking out. Eight of the victims were of Turkish heritage, while another was Greek.

The gun used – a Czech 7.65 millimetre pistol with a silencer – was the only link between the killings. It was found this week among the rubble of the Zwickau flat where at least eight other handguns and a machine gun have also been dug up since last Friday’s explosion.

Until then it had been home to two men named by German authorities only as Uwe M. and Uwe B., and a woman called Beate Zschäpe. The trio were known to police in Jena, Thüringia, as neo-Nazis with connections to the Thüringer Heimatschutz group - until January 1998 when their pipe-bomb building operation was raided and closed down.

They then disappeared – until last week when the two Uwes robbed a bank in Eisenach, Thüringia, escaping in a caravan with several thousand euros in cash. When stopped by police, the men apparently shot themselves as officers approached the vehicle, which then burst into flames.

When officials managed to get into the caravan, they found the two police guns taken from the scene of an as-yet unsolved police murder from 2007.

Police officer Michéle Kiesewetter was shot in the head and instantly killed in April that year as she was sitting in her patrol car in Heilbronn, northern Baden-Württemberg. Her colleague was badly injured and was in a coma for weeks, unable to help much with the investigation after he recovered. Their service weapons were stolen from the scene.

Attempts to find their attackers went nowhere for years, led astray by an embarrassing blunder which fooled the police – DNA contamination of cotton buds used to collect evidence at a number of crime scenes meant officials wasted their time hunting the so-called “Phantom of Heilbronn.”

Zschäpe handed herself into police in Jena on Tuesday and was arrested on suspicion of having blown up the Zwickau flat which was destroyed just a few hours after the scene in the caravan with the two men. She is now suspected of membership of a terrorist organisation in connection with murder and attempted murder as well as arson.

Should the Heilbronn police and the kebab killings all be conclusively tied to the Zwickau trio, it would solve some of the most spectacular and stubbornly unsolved crimes in the country.

The Local/DPA/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:27 November 11, 2011 by mos101392
Ofcourse Beate Zschäpe turned herself in. Because as long as she is in Germany she knows she won't get the electric chair. She obviously is concerned about facing crimes in other countries.
03:28 November 12, 2011 by Klaipeda
Are they sure it wasn't Zionists? Although the press did a good job of ignoring this (not to anyones surprise), the Norwegian Anders Breivik that killed 85 Norwegian children was a rabid zionist and muslim hater. He wrote a long paper on his philosophy mentioning his support for Israel and hatred of Muslims many times in the paper. The press initially claimed he was a NAZI too (again, not surprisingly) and this was shown to be completely false, or to put it less politely - a lie.

I'm not saying thats necessarily the case here. Just sayin.
21:15 November 12, 2011 by jennyauer
It's pretty obvious that the Norwegian that was mentioned here previously was right wing. He killed 85 children who were not in a Hitler Youth organisation but who were sons and daughters of the social party. They were clearly of the left wing and not the right. It was a right wing nut case that did this, and right wingers who are this extreme, are NAZI's, to correct the previous lie
Today's headlines
Belgium, Netherlands probe BND spy claims
Photo: DPA

Belgium, Netherlands probe BND spy claims

Belgium and the Netherlands have launched probes into claims of widespread espionage by Germany, which is accused of helping the US spy on Berlin's closest allies in Europe, officials said Friday. READ  

German women have World Cup in their sights
Germany are among the favourites. Photo: DPA archive

German women have World Cup in their sights

After getting their hands on the world cup in 2003 and 2007, the German women’s national team are trying to make it three out of the last four this summer in Canada. READ  

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'
"I don't need to justify it because it's in the Bible". Photo: DPA

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'

A head teacher at a state school in Munich is attempting to introduce a strict Christian regime by hanging crosses in the classroom and holding daily prayers. He's within the law, but parents and pupils are beginning to resist. READ  

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic
Stock image of baby ducks running. Photo: DPA.

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic

Police officers and a fire fighter crane were called in to rescue five orphaned baby ducks on Friday, stopping autobahn traffic briefly to escort them to safety. READ  

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan
The region of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. Photo: DPA

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan

An employee of the German International Development Agency (GIZ) has been released from captivity in northern Afghanistan after being taken prisoner by the Taliban six weeks ago. READ  

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet
Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Cameron arrive at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet

Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron presented a newly united front at a Berlin press conference on Friday, after their first meeting where the UK premier set out his demands for reform of the European Union. READ  

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’
Photo: DPA

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’

The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) have told the BBC that if the UK were to leave the EU it would be disastrous for both countries. READ  

At last, Germany has a new Top Model
Vanessa is over the moon. Photo:DPA

At last, Germany has a new Top Model

Everyone can breath easily again. Despite a delay of two weeks due to a bomb threat, Heidi Klum has finally been able to choose Germany’s next top model - a 19-year-old from her own home town. READ  

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football
Steinmeier had harsh words for FIFA. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football

Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday that if world football can't clear up "poisonous" corruption, state bodies need to step in, amid a graft scandal engulfing governing body FIFA. READ  

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden
G7 finance ministers in Dresden. Photo: DPA

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden

Debt-wracked Greece's battle to hammer out a deal with its creditors dominated a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations in Dresden on Thursday, with officials insisting much work still lay ahead. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Fassbinder's blaze of glory
Rhineland
Defusing Cologne's giant WW2 bomb
Travel
1,000 years of Leipzig
National
Cops have nothing to go on after ministry toilet theft
Sport
The hidden history of FC Bayern Munich
Technology
In future, we may all be scraping drones off windshields
National
The 65-year-old who gave birth to quadruplets
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,699
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd