KKK in German police scandal


This music video is called Ramones – The KKK took my baby away LIVE in Sweden, in 1981.

From weekly Der Spiegel in Germany, with photos there [by the way, Der Spiegel misspells Klu Klux Klan; I have corrected that to Ku Klux Klan]:

8/02/2012

Racist ‘Scandal’ German Police Kept Jobs Despite KKK Involvement

By Florian Gathmann

Officials allowed two German police officers to keep their jobs even after it emerged they had been members of a Ku Klux Klan spin-off group. The men were also colleagues of a policewoman believed to have been murdered by a neo-Nazi terrorist cell discovered last year. Whether there was any direct connection or not, politicians are demanding answers.

A racism scandal is unfolding in Germany this week following the revelation that two police officers in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg had been members of a German spin-off group of the Ku Klux Klan. The two men are still serving in uniform — one on the normal police force and the other as a squad commander for the riot-control police. The state’s Interior Ministry on Wednesday confirmed reports that the men had been involved with a group that called itself the European White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (EWK).

The development has left many officials dumbfounded: How, they are asking, could public officers who swear an oath to protect the constitution have been members of a racist organization? Officials first uncovered the links during an ongoing investigation of the murderous National Socialist Underground (NSU) neo-Nazi terror cell. Between 2000 and 2007, the group allegedly murdered at least nine small businessmen of mainly Turkish descent, along with one policewoman, Michèle Kiesewetter. The two police officers with alleged Ku Klux Klan links also happened to be colleagues of Kiesewetter.

If not for neo-Nazi terror investigation, light might never have been cast on the fact that the Klan has been active in Germany. EWK operated in Baden-Württemberg between 2000 and 2002, with domestic intelligence counting some 20 members in the end, according to German daily Die Tageszeitung. But even more unbelievable than the group’s existence is that German police officers were involved, and that very little action was taken once they were exposed. While they were both reportedly subject to disciplinary action, they were still allowed to keep their jobs.

Sebastian Edathy, a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party who heads an investigative committee on the crimes of the NSU in Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, is calling the situation a scandal. “Civil servants who are or were members of a decidedly anti-democratic, extremist organization must be removed from the police force,” he said.

Hartfrid Wolff, a member of the business-friendly Free Democratic Party who is also a member of parliament’s domestic affairs committee, expressed similar shock over the revelations. “I never would have imagined this,” he said. Fellow domestic affairs committee member Wolfgang Wieland of the Green Party, spoke of “inexcusable behavior”.

Police Officers Claimed Ignorance

Internally, authorities have been aware of the case since 2003, when they uncovered evidence of the officers’ temporary membership during a search of the EWK leader’s apartment in the city of Schwäbisch Hall. During the ensuing disciplinary proceedings, the two officers justified their participation by saying they only become aware of the true character of the organization after they had been members for a while. After learning the truth about the group, they claim, the men left it. One of the police officers reported that it only dawned on him after an aggressive neo-Nazi from eastern Germany with tattoos of Adolf Hitler appeared at a meeting.

Membership for one of the officers lasted half a year, while the other quit the EWK even sooner. The men appear to have convinced their superiors of their naïveté, because they both kept their jobs.

But with the newly revealed connection to murdered policewoman Kiesewetter, their KKK past has come into question once again. One of the men had been Kiesewetter’s immediate superior in the riot police, leading a group of about 10 officers.

‘Connection Remains Uncertain’

But was there a connection between these two officers and Kiesewetter’s murder? There has been ample speculation that her alleged murderers, the NSU, were in possession of insider information.

See also here.

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