German neo-nazi terror and the secret service

This video is called Germany’s Neo-Nazi & Far-Right Extremism, The Immortals and Attacks on Immigrants.

By Dietmar Henning in Germany:

Neo-Nazi murders in Germany: What role did the intelligence agencies play?

16 July 2012

Every passing day brings new revelations confirming that the murder rampage carried out by the neo-Nazi organization “National Socialist underground” (NSU) would have been impossible without the active support of the German secret services.

The three members of the NSU, Uwe Mundlos, Uwe Böhnhardt and Beate Zschäpe, went underground in 1998 and were able to live undisturbed in East Germany until November last year. Between 2000 and 2007 they killed nine foreign workers and a police officer, carried out three bomb attacks and raided 14 banks—apparently under the noses of, or with the assistance of, the various federal and state secret service agencies.

The question is increasingly more sharply posed: What political and organizational role was played by the intelligence community, especially the Thuringia State Office for the Protection of the Constitution (LfV), as the state secret service is called?

This issue was notably not raised at the parliamentary committee of inquiry held in the East German state of Thuringia earlier this week. The inquiry heard testimony from several key figures, including the former Thuringia LfV president Helmut Roewer, but the conclusion drawn by the media and in political circles was merely that “chaos reigned” (Süddeutsche Zeitung).

In fact, what appeared as chaotic and eccentric behaviour by intelligence agents had a definite political content. Under Roewer’s presidency from 1994 to 2000, the LfV made available considerable sums of money to assist the organization of the neo-Nazi scene and the NSU in the state.

No[where] … at the enquiry the question was posed how it was possible for Roewer, a former army tank commander, to take over the Thuringia LfV in 1994. At the enquiry, Roewer even claimed he had received his certificate of appointment from a stranger in a bar when he was drunk.

The state of Thuringia had been governed since 1992 by a coalition of social democrats and conservatives led by Bernhard Vogel (Christian Democratic Union, CDU). Previously, Vogel had been the long-time premier of the West German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. His interior minister was initially Franz Schuster (CDU), followed by Richard Dewes (Social Democratic Party, SPD) towards the end of 1994.

Roewer came as an undersecretary from the Interior Ministry run by Manfred Kanther (CDU). Kanther had grown up in Thuringia, and in 1957 fled to Hesse in West Germany. He was associated with the right wing of the CDU. In the state of Hesse, the CDU has traditionally distinguished itself by its anti-communism and extreme right-wing positions.

Roewer, who at the time was a member of the free-market Free Democratic Party (FDP), writes today for the extreme right-wing Austrian publishers Ares-Verlag. But even in the early 1990s he made no secret of his right-wing inclinations. A photo has been circulated in the German press showing the reigning domestic intelligence chief in 1999 at a Weimar cultural festival dressed in the costume of General Ludendorff, who participated in the Munich coup in 1923 alongside Adolf Hitler.

In the anti-communist euphoria that followed the collapse of Stalinist East Germany, even the most right-wing elements could apparently assume the highest state offices. A man such as Roewer, accordingly, was given control of the Thuringia intelligence service, where he operated without oversight and—contrary to the rules—undertook as department head to personally direct undercover agents active in building up the neo-fascist milieu in the state.

Roewer was forced to quit office in 2000 following irregularities in connection with the payment of his undercover agents, his creation of phony cover companies and the unmasking of one of his spies within the extreme right-wing milieu.

Roewer owed his six-year career at the top of the Thuringia intelligence agency to state premier Vogel, who personally signed his certificate of appointment; state Interior Minister Schuster, who proposed him; Secretary of State Michael Lippert, who protected him; and the social democratic state Interior Minister Dewes, who gave him a free hand and still stresses their close collaboration.

Dewes told the parliamentary committee of investigation that he had only heard the names Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt “after the action in Eisenach”, i.e., on November 4, 2011. And he had not engaged with intelligence sources.

Dirk Adams, who represents the Green Party in the NSU-committee, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung: “There has been virtually no control. Roewer shut it down because he was very close to the then interior minister [Schuster].”

Under Roewer, vast sums of money flowed to the neo-Nazis. With Tino Brandt and Dienel, the intelligence agencies had the two most important neo-Nazis in Thuringia on their payroll.

9 thoughts on “German neo-nazi terror and the secret service

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