The artist centre Lokomov in Chemnitz was hit by what appeared to be an explosive device. Photo: DPA.
Two art projects aimed at remembering the terrorism of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU) were attacked this week, one incident involving an explosive device.
An artist centre working on a project to reflect on attacks by the neo-Nazi terrorist group NSU was hit in the early hours of Tuesday by an explosive device, while a memorial to terror victims was also vandalized.
The cultural centre Lokomov in Chemnitz, Saxony, was hit by an explosive device early Tuesday morning, the group and police reported.
Police said in a report
that at a little before 2am, witnesses heard a loud bang and officers discovered that one of the centre's windows had been destroyed, seemingly by a pyrotechnic device.
No one was injured and police said they could not say what kind of device had caused the destruction, but photos posted online show the force of the blast, shattering the glass and splintering the window frame.
Heute Nacht wurde um 2 Uhr ein Sprengstoffanschlag auf das Lokomov verübt. Es wurde eine Schaufensterscheibe samt Teilen...
Posted by Lokomov on Monday, November 7, 2016
The damage of the attack is estimated by police to be around €2,500.
Lokomov said on Facebook that they believe the attack was “an attempt to intimidate” them due to their current theatre project "Undetected Neighbours" which aims to reflect on the attacks of the notorious NSU terror cell, five years after they were discovered in November 2011.
The three-person terror group is implicated in the murders of ten people - mostly with immigrant backgrounds - between 2000 and 2007. They are also accused of carrying out bombings and multiple bank robberies, a number of which occurred in Chemnitz.
The last surviving member, Beate Zschäpe, is currently on trial.
Lokomov said they have been the target of far-right vandalism in the past, including paint bombs being thrown at the centre, and pavement stones being thrown through the window while people were inside. A group of right-wing extremists had also assaulted visitors to the centre.
“But with this attack, it has taken on a new quality,” building owner Lars Fassmann told DPA.
“With this sad peak in a whole series of attacks on institutions that are against right-wing extremism, the politically-motivated violence of the right-wing scene has reached a new level,” said Chemnitz Green party politician Petra Zais.
In nearby Zwickau, two memorial benches for the NSU's victims were stolen overnight, police reported on Tuesday.
The 11 wooden benches had only been installed on Friday and had previously already been smeared with paint and damaged. The NSU trio had last lived in Zwickau, before the two male members apparently killed themselves after a failed bank robbery in 2011, leading police to finally connect the dots of their crimes after years of officials failing to see a connection.
“There must have been criminal energy at work, because we had neatly hooked up and bolted everything together,” wrote the artist group that installed the benches, Sternendekorateure (Star decorators), in a statement on their website.
“It is sad, it is shocking and it unfortunately says so much, Zwickau.”