• Germany edition
 
Fifth head rolls in NSU investigation affair
Photo: DPA

Fifth head rolls in NSU investigation affair

Published: 14 Nov 2012 15:16 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Nov 2012 15:16 GMT+01:00

Claudia Schmid, head of the Berlin Office for the Protection of the Constitution, requested a transfer to another job the day after she announced that her office had illegally destroyed files on the far-right "Blood & Honour" organisation rather than presenting them to the Berlin state archive. She described the action as a "regrettable mistake."

The head of the authority's department on extremism, responsible for the most recent case of illegal file shredding, has also stepped down from his post. Further employees are subjects of an internal investigation for their role in destroying the files.

It is still unclear whether the destroyed files were connected to the case of the National Socialist Underground terrorist organisation, which went undetected for over a decade. However, the files did contain information on "Landser," a neo-Nazi band with whom an authority employee was once friendly.

In her transfer request, Schmid said the revelations meant she was no longer in a position to fulfil her duties, adding that she wanted to make way for "a controlled new beginning," Berlin's Interior Minister Frank Henkel told a meeting of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution Committee in the Berlin Senate on Wednesday.

Henkel called for a general "staff rotation" and discussion on restructuring the authority in the face of the "serious structural failures" and highly embarrassing revelations.

Over the past weeks and months, the security services had taken a "serious blow," said Henkel, referring to ongoing internal and parliamentary investigations into the illegal destruction of files on far-right terrorist organisations, including the NSU.

The scandal - which has now seen five local security service heads step down from their posts - has shaken the German public's faith in the security services to its core.

While Henkel said the scandal had damaged the authority's reputation, he said he still put it down to a "series of regrettable human errors," which "gives a disastrous overall picture."

Members of the opposition Green and Pirate parties raised concerns in the committee meeting that Schmid's departure would inhibit the authority's internal investigation and an ongoing parliamentary inquiry into the file-shredding affair.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

22:14 November 14, 2012 by lucksi
Do these people get prosecuted?

Or is it just a "Whoops, my bad, promotion to another branch please"
22:52 November 14, 2012 by zeddriver
Government intelligence. Those two words in one sentence is a classic example of an oxymoron.

Yet the good folks of the world want more and more socialism. Which requires more power and control be handed to the government. It's obvious that most governments can't even roll a rubbish bin to the curb without screwing it up.
23:29 November 14, 2012 by maxbrando
This matter is a classic demonstration of the German compulsion to forbid ideas rather than debate and ridicule bad ideas. Germans start to look like Russians or Chinese or other repressive states. Irt is why no one trusts you at all.
14:21 November 15, 2012 by Morseman
zeddriver

There you go again. Do you know what socialism is, what the word means?

Are Washington civil servants socialists?
Today's headlines
Karstadt closes stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

Spring back in German consumers' step?
Photo: DPA

Spring back in German consumers' step?

Update: Consumer confidence in Germany has stopped falling, as households appear to be no longer fazed by concerns about the economic fallout from geopolitical crises, a new poll found on Friday. READ  

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 26
An eyewitness captured the moment of the explosion on their phone. Photo: DPA

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 26

UPDATE: One person has died and 26 others are injured after a huge explosion in Ludwigshafen, western Germany on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,528
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd