• Germany's news in English

Neo-Nazis and leftists clash at assault trial

The Local · 17 Feb 2011, 15:22

Published: 17 Feb 2011 15:22 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

As the trial began a group of leftists reportedly chanted “Antifa, Antifa, get out Nazis!” in attempt to keep the defendant’s supporters from entering the courtroom. Antifa in German refers to “anti-fascist” supporters.

The courtroom, number 600, was used to try Nazi war criminals after the Second World War, and the leftist demonstrators said they did not want it occupied by modern right-wing extremists.

Court officials' demands to keep apart were ignored and met with verbal sparring between the two sides, and the courtroom was cleared amid loud protests.

A 24-year-old man with admitted ties to the neo-Nazi scene in Fürth faces charges of attempted manslaughter and dangerous bodily harm after beating a 17-year-old student apprentice nearly to death in April 2010 in a Nuremberg U-Bahn metro.

The man became enraged when the teenager allegedly made a disparaging remark about a bum bag worn by his girlfriend from Thor Steinar, a well-known neo-Nazi clothing label.

The 24-year-old from Fürth denied he intended to maim or kill the teen before the court on Thursday, but did acknowledge beating the boy after he remarked “aggressively” on the bum bag. The defendant also said he regretted the incident, in particular the disabilities sustained by his victim.

The now 18-year-old was injured so severely that his heart stopped and he had to be repeatedly resuscitated by rescue workers. After a lengthy hospital stay he remains severely disabled and unable to work in his chosen field of carpentry.

Because he can’t remember the assault, the teen appeared in court as a joint plaintiff.

Though he has no memory of it, he told the court that he could certainly imagine making such a remark about the Thor Steinar bag.

Story continues below…

“Because I think it’s wrong to wear this label that is used mainly by neo-Nazis,” he said, adding that he is an active supporter of the city's leftist scene.

Another four days have been reserved for the trial, with a verdict expected on March 3.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

17:47 February 17, 2011 by NowSwimBack
"Right-wing extremists and leftists"

That just says it all about the "objectivity" of this article.
20:53 February 17, 2011 by TRJ
Actually, NowSwim, I think the author's characterization of people who support the near stomping death of another human to be extreme is fair and objective. Unless you don't consider such stark violence as extreme. As soon as a leftist demonstrates support for such barbarism, the author should characterize leftists the same way. Sounds like the facts of the story aren't convenient for your position.
21:46 February 17, 2011 by Talonx

Spot on. I don't think I've ever heard of any leftists beating up minorities, unless of course nazi-scum can be counted in. The pan-political weiße Rose would be proud of these 'leftists' either way!

What's really funny though, is that nowswimback is defending people that would treat him exactly the same way if they heard him speaking English.
23:19 February 17, 2011 by BobbyDigital
He said fanny pack!
04:42 February 18, 2011 by JAMessersmith
@TRJ & Talonx

I'd agree that "extremist" is obviously an appropriate label for any sort of neo-Nazi, but there actually have been quite a few examples of left-wing violence reported on this very site. If you simply type "leftist" into the search toolbar above, this is just a sampling of some of the stories that come up:

-Dozens arrested as leftists battle police

-Leftists called upon to attack tourism

-Leftists harass immigrants for supporting Germany

-More cars burned in Hamburg

-Leftist leader in Thuringia employing ex-Stasi officer as secretary

-Rioting in Hamburg increases tension ahead of street fest

-Berlin police beef up search for anarchist car arsonists


The reason I bring it up is because I specifically remember the 3rd story on the list, which occurred during the World Cup. Leftists were attacking immigrant shop owners (mostly Turks) for putting up German flags in their store windows. And of course, left-wing extremists are always game to attack police officers, that's a given.

But don't kid yourself. Any and all political extremists/rigid ideologues will not hesitate to employ violence in order to achieve their ends, whatever those ends may be in support of: racism, nationalism, communism, environmentalism, anarchism, etc... It doesn't matter.
08:47 February 18, 2011 by Talonx

Firstly, you've thrown all sorts of things in their that aren't the literal definition, but rather, the metaphorical defination of violence. Anything that doesn't involve people, is property damage, or damage. Violence is commited against living things. Sorry, but the overuse and misuse of this word seems to have confused you, call me the semiotics-dictator if you please.

Secondly, the police, last I checked, generally show up wanting to cause trouble. They bring guns and weapons, and announce that they will stop celebrations. And though I don't support it, the call against tourism was to steal things not to hurt people, you have to have not read that article or are purposely lying.

That said, the police are not oppressed minorities, they are usually the ones protecting the neo-nazis or McDonalds.

If you want to argue my and TRJ's point you should use valid reasoning and watch out for categorical conflations (i.e. property damage vs. violence).
10:52 February 18, 2011 by lwexcel

The Thor Steinar label was acquired by International Brands General Trading, an Arab-owned, Dubai-based company in a move that, according to the Financial Times, may force "neo-Nazis [..] to reconsider their choice of outfit
12:19 February 18, 2011 by thedeliver
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:42 February 18, 2011 by Englishted

Time to change your name or get sued for breach of promise.

Unless your comment is :

Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.

I which case more fool me .
17:06 February 19, 2011 by Talonx

Don't count on it, the neo-nazis still trot around in the American ´(union manufactured) New-Balances, simply because they have a giant 'N' on them. Yes neo-nazis are that dumb.

Ultimately, they would have to learn to read and then try to actually find out about the world in order to figure these sorts of things out. At that point, they would have probably already dropped their ideology.
Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd