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Neo-Nazi terrorists compiled target list

The Local · 16 Nov 2011, 17:34

Published: 16 Nov 2011 11:59 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Nov 2011 17:34 GMT+01:00

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Investigators on Wednesday said they had found a list of 88 potential targets compiled by the so-called National Socialist Underground (NSU) group including several German politicians and representatives from Turkish and Muslim groups, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

“I was completely shocked at first and I still feel rather uneasy,” said Green parliamentarian Jerzy Montag, who told the paper’s website that he was on the list.

The number 88 is used as code in the neo-Nazi scene for “Heil Hitler” since H is the eight letter of the alphabet.

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told the Süddeutsche Zeitung he supported creating a national database similar to one used for violent Islamists to compile "data about violent right-wing extremists and politically motivated violent acts by the right-wing."

After blistering criticism of gross errors in the decade-long investigation into a string of nine xenophobic murders, Friedrich said that domestic intelligence bureaus and police on the federal and state level should be required to compile relevant data.

The aim would be to identify links between crimes and the possible development of criminal networks.

And while authorities were still trying to piece together how the neo-Nazi gang could operate unhindered for so long, the government has begun to worry about the damage done to Germany’s reputation abroad.

Following revelations over the weekend that a trio of far-right extremists had killed at least nine shopkeepers with immigrant roots, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quick to express her “shame” and sympathies to the victims’ families.

But an apparent lack of wider solidarity with Germany’s minority communities has begun to preoccupy the government and opposition politicians, who fear Germans are being portrayed in the foreign press as being indifferent and largely unmoved by the slow-motion neo-Nazi killing spree.

The far-right group calling itself the National Socialist Underground (NSU) claims to have executed at least eight people of Turkish heritage and one Greek across Germany between 2000 and 2006. Dubbed the “Döner Murders” because two of the victims worked at döner kebab shops, the German police failed to make a connection to the neo-Nazi scene.

Kenan Kolat, the chairman of a leading Turkish community group in Germany, told the Frankfurter Rundschau daily on Tuesday that he was dismayed over how little Germans seemed to care about the killings.

“Where’s the reaction from the trade unions and churches? Only the Central Jewish Council has stood by us, for which I am grateful,” Kolat told the paper. “I expect a reaction from the civil society – that has to happen by itself and not just for us Turks but society at large.”

Aware that Germany could ill afford to be seen abroad as being lenient towards neo-Nazi violence, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Tuesday met the Turkish ambassador and representatives of the German Turkish community.

But comments he made while attending an EU summit in Brussels on Monday evening appeared to confirm that he was more concerned about Germany’s image than the xenophobic slayings themselves.

“That’s not only horrible for the victims, that’s not only bad for country, it is above all also very, very bad for the reputation of our country in the rest of the world,” Westerwelle said at an EU summit on Monday evening, according to the website of Der Spiegel.

And a suggestion for a more public recognition of the unprecedented wave of neo-Nazi terrorism came first not from the government, but the opposition.

Story continues below…

Thomas Oppermann, a leading member of the centre-left Social Democrats in parliament, said he would push for central memorial service for all the victims of the NSU – the nine immigrant shopkeepers and one policewoman.

Late Wednesday, German President Christian Wulff announced he would meet with the families of the murder victims at his official residence in Berlin in the presence of high-ranking members of the government and parliament.

He said tolerance in Germany had to be defended against “those stirring fears against foreigners and the foreign. We must all act to thwart each attack,” he said in a statement.

“Has our country been fair to the victims and their survivors? Shouldn’t we have suspected a right-wing extremist background and have we watched the far-right scene enough? Did we possibly allow ourselves to be misguided by prejudices?”

The Local/AFP/DAPD/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:39 November 16, 2011 by adipk
There would be long list of blog if the report is other way around. i.e. turkish kill some Neo nazissss. any way waiting for long debate
16:12 November 16, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
The only issue with this is, that in modern Germany, nationalists are too readily identified as national socialists. I would imagine that any compilation would not make a distinction between the two. Loving your country is basically a crime these days.
16:36 November 16, 2011 by Bruno53
Notice the map on the jacket worn by the neonazi pig in the picture? Map of Germany of 1938! And who knows if they also want Austria and Czech Republic! These thugs have no remorse! And better Germany finish these bums or history will repeat itself! Do you want to see Dresden again destroyed by the year 2045? Of course not. But as George Santayana once said, "those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Think about it, German folks!

P.S.: Nationalism and patriotism are evils that should be eradicated. I never carry flag! Not even mine.
17:20 November 16, 2011 by murka
"I never carry flag! Not even mine. "

I agree, displaying a flag is tasteless, except if you are in an official representing role.
17:30 November 16, 2011 by vonSchwerin
The map on his jacket is fascinating. It is not the 1938 borders.

It is the 1919-1937 borders, plus the addition of the Polish Corridor, creating an unbroken Germany from the Old Reich to East Prussia.
18:13 November 16, 2011 by Englishted
There is nothing wrong with flag waving and being proud of you country.

By turning away from it you let these mindless morons win ,I was in Germany when the 2006 world cup took place and remember the worry my friends had about flag waving because of Germany's past.But the welcome given to fans and visitors was fantastic and it lifted German spirits too ,just look at the film of 2006 and you will see it coming out of the screen.

P.S. Nazism is a evil that must not be forgotten ,forgiven ,or repeated and it won't be.
19:38 November 16, 2011 by Stuart1977
Always some thinly veiled apologia among the comments.....
23:15 November 16, 2011 by wood artist
Amongst other things, this article presents again the eternal conundrum of "nationalism." There is nothing wrong with being German. There is nothing wrong with being proud of being German. There is nothing wrong with being proud of any country that you call your home.

However, we somehow automatically equate that sentiment with the idea that we're proud of everything our country ever does, and that's seldom true or accurate. Nowhere does displaying a flag say..."my country never does anything wrong." However, it's all too often construed that way.

Modern Germany has every right to be proud of what they've accomplished. The country has come back from WWII, from the cold war, and from reunification to become a great place with generally great people. Not everything is perfect, but that's true everywhere. To me, if I saw someone displaying a German flag, I'd think..."they've made great strides, and like all countries, they still struggle towards perfection." We each have our own ideas of what that "perfection" might be, and I'm certainly not automatically proud of everything the US does. That said, I believe Germany is honestly trying...and we can't really ask more than that. Keep working on it...and maybe someday we'll get there.

11:25 November 17, 2011 by euan.dykes
If Deutschland wants Neo Nazis to go away, stop publishing articles about them. The more coverage they get the stronger they become.
18:25 November 18, 2011 by randyman1956
The Verfassungsschutz definitely fell asleep at the wheel. Germany needs to restructure their government if they're ever going to move forward. All the parties cancel each other out and nothing is accomplished. Furthermore, Germany needs to stop making decisions based on what the world might think. Someone needs to step up and lead Germany into the 21st Century and have the guts to make the difficult decisions that must be made. There's an old saying that most of the things that you're afraid might happen, never happen.
11:46 November 19, 2011 by Yontrop
@randyman "Someone needs to step up and lead Germany into the 21st Century and have the guts to make the difficult decisions that must be made."

1933 all over again? Actually, it seems to me that compared to the dysfunction in the U.S. Germany's democratic form is don't a pretty good job. Many Germans are tired of thinking about Neo-Nazis, but I think this wake-up call has been heard.
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