• 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

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)

Your comments about this article

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

Ex-boss of farcical Berlin Airport 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  

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  

Spring back in German consumers' step?
Photo: DPA

Spring back in German consumers' step?

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  

Germany has just ten Ebola beds
Photo: DPA

Germany has just ten Ebola beds

Doctors at high-level infectious disease clinics say that caring for patients with the Ebola virus is much more intensive than they first thought, meaning they can handle fewer cases at once. READ  

Refugee Crisis
Now Berlin turns to tents to house refugees
A refugee protests on the roof of the former Gerhart Hauptmann School in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Now Berlin turns to tents to house refugees

Berlin has turned to huge tents and shipping containers to shelter growing numbers of refugees. With winter approaching, city politicians have called on the federal government for help. READ  

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word
Merkel suffers from Wortfindungsstörung at the IT summit in Hamburg. Photo: DPA

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word

Angela Merkel's government is often criticized for its lack of understanding of all things digital and an appearance by the chancellor in Hamburg, which was supposed to change those perceptions, has only made things worse. READ  

Greenpeace finds danger in kids clothes
Photo: DPA

Greenpeace finds danger in kids clothes

Research released on Thursday by environmental group Greenpeace showed that more than half of clothing sold by German discount brands contain chemicals known to be dangerous to health and the environment, with items from Aldi being the worst offenders. READ  

Woman sues for accidental pot raid
Photo: DPA

Woman sues for accidental pot raid

A Bavarian woman is suing police for unlawful search after a reported break-in at her home led authorities to discover 158 cannabis plants in her basement. 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
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
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

3,526
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd