• Germany edition
 
The Local's media round-up
'The NSU trial is an aim in itself'
Photo: DPA

'The NSU trial is an aim in itself'

Published: 07 May 2013 10:13 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 May 2013 10:13 GMT+02:00

Global attention was trained on a Munich courtroom on Monday as Beate Zschäpe and four neo-Nazis faced charges relating to a series of racially motivated killings. The Local's media round-up presents some of the reaction.

Much of this attention was on the trial itself - and on Zschäpe, who as a female "face of evil" seemed even more fascinating than her erstwhile male fellow gang members. But many commentators also pointed to wider problems in Germany that needed to be examined and tackled. Not just institutional incompetence but also widespread racism which is not usually acknowledged.

"Evil has a face," said the tabloid Bild. "An ordinary face. Beate Zschäpe. The trial is about her guilt and her punishment for ten vile murders. But it is about more! The acts of the brown serial killers tore us from our complacency. We believed in a Germany without swastikas. We believed the state security services had the far right in hand. It had nothing in hand! Here a black man kicked to death, there a migrant shot - we were too comfortable to look more closely.

"The Munich trial will, day for day, open our eyes. The truth hits us in the face. The media, which was such a burden at first for the judges, will make sure that everyone sees how justice is administered in Germany - neutral, incorruptible, and with passion for fairness. The trial will sharpen our consciences."

A contrasting view was offered by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung which said that the point of the trial should be explained. "The entire process has an enormous meaning, but this is not to satisfy the expectations of all of those involved - neither German politicians nor the Turkish government. This is also not a trial for the media - and even the victims of the terrible crimes about which things in Munich turn, could easily be disappointed.

"It is the paradox of a trial that the accused often seem to be the victims. But they are in fact not perpetrators - they are being tried by the state's powers. And their aim is not to convict the accused - this also applies in the NSU trial - rather it is to produce an as objective as possible decision about their guilt.

"The strict formality of the criminal process serves the aim of a fair trial. Therefore Frau Zschäpe does not have to make a statement; therefore her defence lawyers can and must do everything possible within the rules to get the best for her."

Those involved have various different wishes for the outcome of this trial - not all can be satisfied, the paper said. "But all must recognize - the trial itself is an aim in itself," it concludes.

The Bavaria-based Augsburg Allgemeine newspaper was less optimistic. "The process of working through the biggest Nazi murder series in the history of the Federal Republic started with legal skirmishes, which must be taken as signals for how it will continue.

"The Munich judges have the job of reconstructing the acts as closely as possible. Human and political failures as well as unfit security services and authorities could be illuminated. Questions of those left behind might be answered. But not necessarily."

The Berliner Zeitung said the court only had a limited responsibility. "The court must, briefly said, check the contents of the charges. It cannot repair the failures of the state. Those who gee up greater expectations only create frustration among the weakest - the relatives of the dead. But even so, the trial has started. It started in the presence of Turkish journalists and without disturbance from far right radicals. That alone is good news."

The Münster-based Westfälische Nachrichten warned that people must not get bored as the legal process is followed. "The NSU trial will last for at least until 2014. The public interest will suffer. It is thus all the more important that alongside the careful legal processing, the political consequences also come more into focus. Independently from a possible guilty verdict for Beate Zschäpe - it must not be that the bosses and structures of the security and secret services escape punishment for this incredible investigation disaster."

The Rhein Zeitung also focussed on the relatives of those killed. "Above all, the trial will hardly be able to salve the personal pain of the relatives. Many of them have lived for years in uncertainty. They still want to know why their father or brother was killed. The atonement for this injustice can hardly be find a suitable expression in whatever kind of harsh punishment may be handed to Zschäpe and her alleged helpers.

"But perhaps the visible efforts and the greatest possible explanation of what happened may convince some that the legal state is not afraid of consequences - and does not recognize second-class citizenship. That it can make mistakes - but that it then tirelessly hunts for the reasons behind them."

The Local/DPA/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent
Police search the area near where Gabriele's body was found in October 2013. Photo: DPA

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent

The alleged murderer of an exchange student in southern Germany stayed silent in the dock on Tuesday on the first day of his trial. READ () »

European Elections 2014
'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Hans-Olaf Henkel (r) celebrates the one-year anniversary of the AfD with leader Bernd Lücke. Photo: DPA

'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'

In an interview with The Local, one of the leaders of Germany's eurosceptic party talks about Europe's future, why Britain is a model country and why he will not work with UKIP's Nigel Farage. READ () »

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire
Nane, with her father and a picture of the cartridge-laden wood. Photo: DPA

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire

Two 12-year-old German girls found live ammunition lodged into a branch in an Easter bonfire. It was due to be lit the next day, potentially igniting the cartridges and causing disaster. READ () »

Opinion
'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'
Photo: DPA

'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'

Germany's reliance on Russian gas continues to limit the nation's diplomatic leverage in the Ukraine crisis. But as leaders once again explore fracking as an alternative, critics told The Local the risks were too high. READ () »

German rapper-turned-jihadist 'killed in Syria'
Deso Dogg. Photo: YouTube screenshot

German rapper-turned-jihadist 'killed in Syria'

UPDATE: A German former rapper who joined jihadists fighting in Syria was reported dead on Tuesday by jihadist sources, but hours later some retracted the claim, saying he was still alive. READ () »

Have Your Say
Who should pay for Germany’s roads?
Photo: DPA

Who should pay for Germany’s roads?

A top politician's suggestion that drivers should be charged €100 a year towards the upkeep of Germany's roads was met with derision on Tuesday. But how should Germany fill the black hole it its infrastructure budget? READ () »

Tax income hits March record
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Tax income hits March record

A record amount of cash flowed into German government coffers in March thanks to land, beer and incomes taxes, a monthly report from the finance ministry revealed on Tuesday. READ () »

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup
Photo: DPA

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup

German unions called on Tuesday for shift workers to be granted later starts during the football World Cup in Brazil this summer. Some of the matches begin at midnight due to the time difference. READ () »

Parents' house burnt as son went clubbing
Photo: DPA

Parents' house burnt as son went clubbing

A man who had thrown a party at his parents' empty mansion over Easter in central Germany returned after clubbing to find the entire building on fire. READ () »

Cologne secure return to Bundesliga
Fans rushed on to the pitch on Monday night to celebrate promotion. Photo: DPA

Cologne secure return to Bundesliga

Cologne will be back in the top tier of the Bundesliga next season after wrapping up the second division title on Monday evening. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

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

3,050
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd