Germany apologizes for neo-Nazi killings

Germany apologizes for neo-Nazi killings

Germany apologizes for neo-Nazi killings

This file photo shows a hairdresser shop attacked by a racist group in Cologne. AP photo

Germany has apologized for not being able to prevent the deaths of 10 people – eight Turks, one Greek and one German policewoman – at the hands of xenophobic neo-Nazis.

While Federal Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich voiced the apology, it was Federal Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger who recalled that funds exist to compensate for damages and that relatives of the murder victims would be able to receive aid from these funds. The ministers spoke at a press conference after a summit on far-right terrorism in Berlin on Nov. 18.

Interior Minister of the state of Hessen Boris Rhein and Federal Interior Minister Friedrich both expressed their apologies for not preventing these murders, which have caused pain for relatives and friends of victims and for any departmental or individual malpractices.

Utmost transparency

Federal justice minister, federal interior minister and federal prosecutor general all emphasized that every effort would be made to bring to light even the smallest detail of the serial murders committed by neo-Nazis. They said shedding light on these murders was an obligation to the relatives and friends of the victims, as well as inevitable for a democratic state of law.

Fearless life

Interior Minister Friedrich said he understood very well the uneasiness people of migrant origin were experiencing because of these murders. “Migrants and people of migrant origin are citizens of this country too. Everybody living in this country should feel safe and secure. We want people of migrant origin also to live without fear and in a safe way. We will take all the necessary precautions for this,” he said.

New Center

At the summit in Berlin, it was decided that a new defense center against the extreme right would be set up within the framework of the struggle against extreme right in Germany. Ministers Friedrich and Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said it was planned that all the information collected in this center would be open for use by all relevant units and necessary amendments in the law would be made to enable this.

Federal Prosecutor General Harald Range said there was no evidence at this stage of cooperation between the murderers and members of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency. Range, who took office less than a week ago, said this situation may change any time and if any evidence is found, they would share it with the public.