• Germany's news in English

Neo-Nazi robbers linked to kebab shop killings

The Local · 11 Nov 2011, 17:02

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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.”

Story continues below…

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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
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 town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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