German state backed neo-Nazi cell: Report

German state backed neo-Nazi cell: Report

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
German state backed neo-Nazi cell: Report

In this Nov. 16, 2011 file picture a police van stands in front of a burnt-out house in Zwickau, eastern Germany that was destroyed by a supposed member of a far-right terror gang. For years, authorities suspected organized crime. AP photo

The neo-Nazi group responsible for the murders of eight of people of Turkish origin and one of Greek origin were indirectly supported by German police, armed forces and the country’s intelligence agency, according to a report released by the Turkish Parliamentary Human Rights Commission.

The report, titled “The neo-Nazi murders in Germany between 2000 and 2006,” said a German paramilitary force called the Reserve Army trained neo-Nazi groups and members of the extreme far-right National Democratic Party of Germany (NDP) to use weapons.

A team from the Turkish Parliamentary Human Rights Commission, consisting of ruling Justice and Development (AKP) deputy Münevver Çiğdem Ökten, Tunca Toskay of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Şafak Pavey of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), and Nazmi Gür of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) prepared the report following their May 9 visit to Germany to examine the legal process in the investigation of the racially motivated killings.

Germany was shocked by the scandal in Dec. 2011 when it was revealed that a previously unknown neo-Nazi group, calling itself the National Socialist Underground, was behind hate murders in various cities between 2000 and 2006. The case has left the impression that the police were blind to the threat of far-right violence and did not investigate the murders properly because they involved immigrants.

The series of murders began in Nuremberg, where Adolf Hitler made an appearance before the Holocaust, the report read. The victims all worked in small shops, stalls and kiosks, with two having worked in döner kebab restaurants, leading the German media to describe the murders as the “Döner Killings.” The report denounced the German media for its role in the underestimation of the racist motives behind the murders, which influenced German public opinion.

The report strongly criticized the German state for not investigating the murders properly, and said the “murderers received professional help.”

“The lack of coordination between the German military, security forces and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution caused the murders to continue. In some cases the intelligence agency did not cooperate with the police, and in some cases military officials ignored intelligence,” the report read.

The commission accused the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution of direct involvement in the murders.

“[The commission has] determined that the office participated in the murders directly or indirectly. Some informants provided guns, fake IDs and passports to the terrorist group, as well as supporting them by renting vans or hotel rooms,” the report read.

The head of German intelligence, Heinz Fromm, was forced to resign on July 2 amid explosive revelations that his agents deliberately destroyed and manipulated files containing information about the case.

The report also criticized the German judiciary for insulting the families of the Turkish victims. “Victims were treated as criminals and their families were treated as suspects,” the report said. According to the report, underage relatives of the victims were forced to take repeated DNA tests and were photographed as if they were suspects.

The report acknowledged the efforts of the German president and federal government to shed light on the murders, but said the compensations paid to the families of the victims were not enough to cover even material damages, and fell far short of covering psychological damage.