Harsh German refugee camps


This 16 April 2019 video says about itself:

Harsh Conditions in German Refugee Camps

In Germany, there’s growing criticism of the so-called ‘holding and processing centres’ where migrants are sent when they first arrive in the country. Migrants say that conditions inside are horrific.

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Stop deporting refugees, German demonstrators demand


This 6 October 2018 music video from Bochum in Germany shows local musicians at a big Seebrücke Bochum demonstration against governmental anti-refugee xenophobia and other racism.

From the World Socialist Web Site in Germany:

Thousands protest against German government’s brutal deportation policy

By our reporters

2 April 2019

In Berlin and other German cities, including Nuremberg and Cologne, more than 5,000 people protested on Saturday against Interior Minister Horst Seehofer’s plans to further deprive refugees of their rights, treat them like criminals and criminalize their supporters. At the same time, they demanded the resumption of maritime rescues.

The demonstration had been called by the pan-European initiative “Seebrücke” (“Sea bridge”). Its petition against Seehofer’s bill “No ‘Orderly Return Law’ but Seehofer’s resignation!” has already received more than 15,000 signatures.

The demonstrators made their protest against these right-wing politics clear with self-made posters. “Stop deportations”, “Deport Seehofer”, “Life-saving is not a crime, but failing to is!” and “Refugees Welcome” were some of the slogans.

Part of the rally in Berlin

The so-called orderly return law provides for legal penalties if rejected asylum seekers and refugees given a temporary stay do not prove the veracity of their identity information and actively participate in their own deportation.

Asylum seekers, whose deportation is not possible for the time being according to the authorities, should not receive a temporary stay, but an “invitation to leave”. Linked to this are harsher work prohibitions and the exclusion of integration possibilities. Only accommodation, food and toiletries should be provided.

At the same time, the European Union decided last week to end its “Operation Sophia” in the Mediterranean.

At the start of the demonstration in Berlin, WSWS reporters spoke with Kathrin, who, as head of operations on the “Iuventa”, a ship that is part of the “Jugend Rettet” (“Youth saves”) initiative, actively participated in the rescue of refugees on the Mediterranean.

The “Iuventa” had saved around 14,000 people from distress between 2016 and 2017, reported Kathrin. The ship was seized in Italy in 2017 and has since been held in the port of Trapani in Sicily. The 10 crew members confront a criminal investigation in Italy for “aiding illegal immigration,” and face up to 20 years’ imprisonment.

Kathrin

Kathrin condemned the prosecution as a “bureaucratic legal measure” that serves to “condemn men to death with open eyes”. Although “only a handful are being charged, it affects us all. It is something that endangers the freedom of democratic society.”

The Italian investigation into the crew of the “Iuventa” had not started under Interior Minister Matteo Salvini (Lega), infamous for his refugee policy begun in mid-2018, Kathrin clarified. Months before, a bug had been installed on the ship, telephone calls had been intercepted, and undercover agents had been deployed on other ships.

The escalation of reprisals against refugee aid workers is not a national phenomenon. “In fact, this strategic criminalization of solidarity and humanitarian aid is currently happening across Europe”, Kathrin said. Everywhere, people are prosecuted, for example those who had helped refugees with a place to sleep, something to eat or a shower. “Providing life-sustaining measures is to be penalized if it is given to those with the wrong passport”, she said.

Kathrin was participating in the protests because “this inhuman policy is supported by the German government.” To date, the government had still not made a statement on the charges against the crew. On the contrary, “Seehofer was one of those who demanded that the crew of the rescue boats should be prosecuted.”

Ruben, a maritime rescuer for Sea Watch, also stressed that anti-refugee politics were a European problem.

Ruben

Not only right-wing, but also supposedly left-wing governments, were implementing this policy, according to Ruben. “For example, you can see it in Spain, where the so-called socialists rule and Sanchez also prevents rescue ships from leaving port.”

Referring to the ending of “Operation Sophia”, Ruben noted that the European Union was deliberately deploying Libya to do their “dirty work”. “They know you can’t take people back to Libya with their own warships, because it’s clear human rights crimes are commonplace there. There are court rulings prohibiting European ships from returning people there.” Therefore, he said, the Libyan militia were used, which could not be held legally responsible for its actions.

Asked by the WSWS reporters about his perspective for the fight against right-wing government policies, Ruben replied, “We are building a solidary Europe from below.” 50 cities had already joined the sea-bridge movement and declared themselves to be safe havens.

Ruben found it particularly interesting that “suddenly people no longer talk only about migration, but also about climate change and article 13.” Since all these topics are being discussed, “the [neofascist] AfDis falling in the polls”. he said.

SGP candidate Markus Klein with Arnoud at the SGP's stall

Arnoud, who is visiting Berlin for several weeks, discussed the current developments in EU policy and parallels between Germany and France with Markus Klein, a Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party, SGP) candidate for the European elections. In France, too, the asylum laws are being tightened up.

At the same time, popular resistance is growing in the form of the yellow-vest movement. Arnoud explained how Macron was increasingly trying to suppress the protests and to mobilize the military against them.

Asked about the need for an international policy against this turn to the right, Arnoud agreed: “In times of globalization, this seems to be the only option.”

German neonazi soldiers’ network, new information


This 24 July 2017 video says about itself:

Germany: Defense Minister visits former barracks of Franco A, ‘mastermind’ of far-right ‘terror plot’

German Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen visited Hammelburg military barracks, Monday, where former Lieutenant Franco A, who was later charged with masterminding an assassination plot of senior German politicians, was stationed until his arrest. Von der Leyen followed several training exercises at the camp before outlining her opinion that the military training ground should be expanded.

Ursula von der Leyen, German Minister of Defence (German) “The armed forces are involved in 16 different missions at the moment. That means the soldiers are prepared for missions in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, to name just a few of the 16 missions. Hammelburg will also play a huge roll in the future, and the fact that the armed forces are growing again after 25 years is demonstrated [by] the fact that we hire more soldiers, 18,000 in the next 7 years, which means that we need more training. Hammelbach will get an investment of over 70 million euros in the next 5 years. That is urgent if you look at the infrastructure.”

Ursula von der Leyen, German Minister of Defence (German) “If we send our soldiers into the field then they need not only our thanks and our respect but they need very concrete gear. It’s about ensuring that they are well protected and in the position to withstand dangerous situations.”

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting in Germany:

Germany: Links found between right-wing network inside army and police officer murdered by far-right terrorists

1 April 2019

From one week to the next, the extent of the right-wing extremist network inside the German intelligence services, the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces), police and state authorities becomes ever clearer.

Recently, Berlin’s taz newspaper exposed the right-wing terrorist network around former Bundeswehr lieutenant Franco A. and the “Uniter” association of former elite soldiers. The authors also came across links to police officer Michèle Kiesewetter, who was murdered on April 25, 2007, allegedly as the tenth victim of the neo-Nazi National Socialist underground (NSU).

In November 2018, Focus magazine and taz first reported on a terrorist network of soldiers, police officers and intelligence agents planning to assassinate political opponents and stage a fascist coup on “Day X”. To this end, an infrastructure of “safe houses,” secret chat groups, warehouses and weapons’ depots was set up in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Driven by “hatred for left-wingers”, secret plans had been developed to “arrest left-wing politicians and kill them in designated places.”

The personnel and organization on which the network based itself was the “Uniter” association of former soldiers and the Special Forces Command (KSK), the elite unit of the Bundeswehr. It maintained symbiotic relations with other parts of the German state apparatus, elements of the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD), members of the secret services, and also reservists, police officers, judges and other civil servants.

The KSK was established in the mid-1990s, when Germany was again preparing for international war missions. The 1,100-strong elite force takes no prisoners. In Afghanistan, it was involved in the Kunduz massacre .

The KSK is obviously awash with right-wing extremists. Lieutenant Colonel Daniel K., who according to broadcaster Deutsche Welle was instrumental in founding and establishing the KSK, has since been suspended. In telephone conversations, he is said to have declared that the state was no longer in control of the situation due to the influx of refugees, so “the army must now take matters into its own hands.”

The “Uniter” association was founded in 2012 by KSK soldier André S., nicknamed Hannibal. According to taz, the Uniter founder was also a source and respondent for the German military intelligence service MAD for a long period of time.

The right-wing extremist Bundeswehr soldier Franco A. is said to have participated at least twice in meetings in Baden-Württemberg organized by Hannibal. Franco A. made headlines in 2017 because he had registered as a Syrian refugee while working as a Bundeswehr officer. Together with two other accomplices—Maximilian T. and Mathias F.—he apparently planned attacks on high-ranking politicians and personalities, which he then would blame on refugees.

“Uniter” was training right-wing extremists in its own combat unit called the “Defence Corps”. In summer 2018, “Uniter” had organized a training session in Mosbach in Baden-Württemberg, where Hannibal trained men in dealing with weapons “in combat situations.” According to witnesses, the training session was equivalent to paramilitary training.

“Uniter” also offers its services abroad. In February 2019, for example, it offered to provide military training to police officers and soldiers loyal to right-wing President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

“Uniter” maintains close connections with elements in Austria. As Vienna’s Der Standard reported on March 15, the club was, until a few weeks ago, part of a pseudo-“knightly” order called the Lazarus Union (Corps Saint Lazarus International), which has its base in an old castle near Vienna.

The Vice President of the Lazarus Union, according to the association register, is “Uniter” founder André S.. The Lazarus Union has special advisory status with the United Nations and is internationally active in connection with UN mandates, according to a press release from the Swiss branch of “Uniter”.

André S. also appeared two weeks ago at the Enforcetek weapons fair in Nuremberg, reports Der Standard —at the booth of an Austrian company, the High Profile Protection GmbH from Carinthia. Under the name “Tacticalbros”, this in turn links on Facebook again and again to “Uniter”. “Tacticalbros” offers weapons as well as “training,” such as “for snipers and spotters.” According to the description, the “trainers” are veterans of special forces and NATO.

In the meantime, taz has discovered a direct connection between “Uniter” and the Baden-Württemberg state secret service branch (LfV), as well as an indirect connection to the NSU. When André S. founded “Uniter” in Stuttgart in May 2016, a man named Ringo M. was also involved. At that time, Ringo M. was a serving police officer, and according to taz, an employee of the Baden-Württemberg state secret service since 2015.

Ten years earlier, in 2005, Ringo M., had become a member of the then newly created BFE 523 evidence-gathering and arrest unit of the riot police in Böblingen. Many right-wing extremists were obviously involved in this 50-member special unit, which was dissolved in 2014. There were colleagues, taz quoted a police officer, “who listened to the music of right-wing bands, they were mainly colleagues from the East.”

Two members of the BFE 523 were also members of the German offshoot of the Ku Klux Klan, which was co-founded by the secret service Confidential Informant (CI) Thomas Richter. Under the cover name “Corelli”, Richter had spent years around the NSU terrorists before he died under mysterious circumstances in 2014.

Chief of the BFE 523 was then police chief commissioner Thomas B., a trained sniper. Today, together with a firm of former special unit police officers, he advises companies that want to send employees to unstable countries, such as Libya. Years ago, under Muammar Gaddafi, the two had trained soldiers in close combat in Libya.

At the time, Michèle Kiesewetter was also a member of BFE 523. The young police officer was reportedly shot dead by the NSU in Heilbronn in April 2007. However, the motive for and the exact facts of the killing remain unclear to this day.

Maybe, the nazis considered her a ‘traitor’ who might become a whistleblower on nazi infiltration of police?

It is known that the NSU murders took place under the eyes of the secret services. Several dozen intelligence officers were active in the immediate periphery of the NSU and it cannot be ruled out that an NSU member worked for one of the intelligence agencies, although taz writes that it has so far found “no connection between Hannibal’s shadow network and the NSU perpetrators.” The Thuringia state legislature committee of inquiry into the NSU has summoned Ringo M. to a hearing in April.

The connections of the far-right network extend into the Bundestag (federal parliament). Martin Hess, a parliamentary deputy for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), who sits on the Domestic Affairs Committee, was formerly a BFE 523 instructor. And AfD deputy Jan Nolte, who sits on the Defence Committee, employs Maximilian T., the accomplice of Franco A., as a personal representative.

According to research by weekly Die Zeit, the AfD parliamentary group employs at least 27 activists and supporters of right-wing organizations. Die Zeit speaks of a “Nazi network inside the German Bundestag.”

The intelligence services cover up for the far-right by pretending ignorance or withholding information. For example, members of the parliamentary Defence Committee who asked the intelligence agencies for information on “Uniter” at the end of January received nothing. The representative of the foreign secret service (BND) claimed the organisation had no knowledge of an association that offered international paramilitary training. Neither MAD nor the domestic secret service allegedly knew what the “Defence Corps” of “Uniter” was.

However, research by taz has revealed that the Baden-Württemberg state secret service has at least one informant inside “Uniter”. Franco A’s contact man at MAD has also been charged because he is said to have warned the former in 2017 of an imminent raid on the KSK base in Calw in southwestern Germany.

Links between the state apparatus and far-right terrorist groups are well documented in German history. In the 1920s and 30s in the Weimar Republic, there were numerous groups that murdered hundreds, mainly left-wing political opponents. The best known was the Consul organization, also called the “Black Reichswehr”.

After the Second World War, the US intelligence agencies then set up “stay-behind troops” with the help of old Nazis, who were also to assassinate left-wing and Social Democratic politicians in the event of a Soviet attack. In the early 1950s, these troops were assigned to the BND under its boss Reinhard Gehlen, who had been responsible for espionage in the East under the Nazis. The secret troop is said to have been dissolved in autumn 1991.

Now these old structures are being revived, as, on the one hand, Germany seeks to act as a major military power worldwide. On the other, the ruling class is reacting to growing popular opposition to militarism and war, to social inequality and to the building of a police state by promoting right-wing extremists and fascists.

Neo-nazism today, why? New book


This 15 March 2019 video from England says about itself:

Christoph Vandreier [from Germany], author of Why Are They Back?, at the 2019 London Book Fair

The appointment of Adolf Hitler in January 1933 as Chancellor of Germany was the outcome not of an election, but of a political conspiracy involving a small number of senior military and government officials headed by General Paul von Hindenburg.

Its horrific consequences were World War II, the Holocaust and the destruction of tens of millions of lives.

Nearly 75 years after the fall of the Third Reich, the neo-Nazi right has once again become a major political force in Germany. Why Are They Back? analyzes the interaction of high-level political conspirators, media propagandists and right-wing academics at Berlin’s Humboldt University in the present-day resurgence of Nazism and German militarism.

German neonazis’ death threat campaign


This 5 September 2018 German video is about singer Helene Fischer making a statement on stage against xenophobia.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

In the last few weeks, more than a hundred threatening letters have been sent to politicians, public institutions and other public figures in Germany. They were signed by the “National Socialist Offensive”, “NSU 2.0” and “Wehrmacht“. According to the NDR broadcasting organisation and the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, these are right-wing extremist groups.

NSU 2.0 is a neonazi network of German police officers, called after the earlier nazi murder gang NSU.

The victims are addressed personally in the emails. One of the victims is singer Helene Fischer, who performed after the [neonazi] riots in Chemnitz during a concert against xenophobia.

There were also bomb threats. Earlier this week, the tax office in Gelsenkirchen and the main railway station in Luebeck were evacuated after bomb reports.

German right-wingers call Jewish peace activists ‘anti-Semites’


This 13 March 2019 video says about itself:

German Jewish Peace Group Wins Peace Prize; Then Attacked as being Anti-Semitic

Shir Hever talks about the Göttingen Peace Prize and how it transformed the debate around Palestinian rights in Germany, despite efforts by right-wing politicians to prevent the prize from being given to Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East.