German government neglects nazi threat


This 19 August 2017 video says about itself:

Hundreds of neo-Nazis have rallied in Berlin to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess.

Far-right activists gather every year to commemorate the suicide of Hitler‘s one-time deputy, but the gathering has drawn more attention after last weekend’s far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that led to the death of a young woman.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Thursday, December 6, 2018

German government admits over 460 neonazis with active arrest warrants have not been prosecuted

AT least 467 German neonazis remain free to conduct acts of violence and stir up racial tensions despite having active arrest warrants, the government has admitted.

The figures were revealed in response to questions from the opposition Die Linke party which is concerned over the rise of far-right violence across Germany.

More than 100 of the neonazis are wanted for committing a violent crime with authorities warning that further crimes could take place following far-right rallies or music concerts. Around 32 are believed to have fled the country.

Germany has a history of failing to deal with far-right activity. In the most notorious case members of the National Socialist Underground (NSU) group evaded arrest for decades, despite an arrest warrant being issued by a Saxony court in 1998.

Between 2000 and 2007, they murdered nine immigrants and a police officer, robbed numerous banks and carried out three bombings.

Die Linke MP Ulla Jelpke said: “The security authorities need to think of something to capture these fugitive nazis more quickly.

“The figures are an alarming sign that the nazi scene remains violent and criminal.”

German army neo-nazi terrorism


This 10 November 2018 video is called Secret Plot by 200 Elite German SAS Soldiers to Slaughter Politicians.

By Peter Schwarz in Germany:

A terrorist network inside the German Army

17 November 2018

For a long time, virtually no one could have imagined that paramilitary networks would again emerge in Germany, closely linked to the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) and the secret services, stockpiling weapons, drawing up death lists of political opponents and being covered up by the state.

In the Weimar Republic, there had been numerous such groups, which murdered hundreds of predominantly left-wing political opponents. The best known was the Consul Organization, also known as the “Black Reichswehr”, which had about 5,000 members.

Emerging from the Ehrhardt Navy Brigade, a Freikorps (volunteer corps) involved in the bloody suppression of the November Revolution in 1918, it maintained close contacts with the Reichswehr (Imperial Army), the police and the judiciary. Among its best-known victims were Zentrum party politician Matthias Erzberger and Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau. Later, members of the Consul Organization played a leading role in building Hitler’s SA.

Similar forces are at work in the “Shadow Army inside the Armed Forces” exposed in a report published by the German news magazine Focus in its November 10 issue. Based on an investigation of documents from the Federal Prosecutor General’s Office, the magazine describes “a conspiratorial network of about 200 former and active Bundeswehr soldiers”.

“Numerous interrogations”, according to Focus, “paint the picture of a conspiratorial troop that is supposed not to shy from the deliberate killing of political opponents. According to the investigators, the elite fighters had also set up secret caches of weapons, ammunition, fuel and food—on the German border with Austria and Switzerland.”

According to Focus, one witness told the investigators of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) that participants, “in their abysmal ‘hatred of the left’ and refugees, had created a ‘file with addresses and photos’ of targets who had to ‘go’.” In the inner circle, “it had been discussed to gather the spied-upon persons and bring them to a certain place ‘where they should be killed’.” According to other testimony, the first targets on the list were Dietmar Bartsch and Sahra Wagenknecht, leaders of the Left Party faction in the Bundestag (parliament).

Investigations against the terrorist cell in the Bundeswehr have been ongoing since April of last year, when Bundeswehr officer Franco A. was arrested on suspicion of terrorism. However, neither the Attorney General’s Office nor the BKA considered it necessary to warn the public. Franco A. is at large again, even though the evidence against him is overwhelming.

The revelations by Focus are still being tacitly ignored and hushed up by other media outlets and the establishment political parties. Had the news magazine uncovered a terrorist conspiracy by Islamists or left-wingers, it would dominate the headlines for days on end. The demands for harsher laws would be deafening. But in the face of a conspiracy whose centre lies inside the Bundeswehr, the silence is deafening.

This alone is proof that what is involved is not an isolated case. The right-wing extremist conspiracy is tolerated, covered up and supported by the highest authorities in the state and politics.

According to Focus, the core of the conspiratorial network is the Special Forces Unit (KSK), the Bundeswehr’s elite corps. The KSK was founded in the mid-1990s, when Germany was again preparing for international military interventions.

While the combat operations of the Bundeswehr are publicly presented as “peace missions”, the KSK, which is trained in the fight against terrorism and hostage liberation, carries out its dirty work shielded from public eye. The deployments of the 1,100-strong unit are so secret that not even the number and names of fallen soldiers are published. In Afghanistan, the KSK was involved in the massacre at Kunduz, the bloodiest German military operation since the Second World War, which claimed the lives of over 100 civilians.

It has been known for a long time that right-wing radicals are running wild inside the elite unit. As early as 2003, the then KSK commander, Brigadier General Reinhard Günzel, was dismissed for publicly expressing his solidarity with anti-Semitic statements by Christian Democratic Party (CDU) member Martin Hohmann, who now sits in the Bundestag for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). In lectures that he subsequently gave to neo-Nazis, Günzel denied the unique character of the Holocaust, attacked the Nuremberg war crimes trials and praised the courage, bravery and sacrifice of German soldiers in the Second World War.

In April of last year, it became known that KSK soldiers had celebrated a farewell party with music by the right-wing extremist band “Sturmwehr” and had given the Hitler salute. Only this week, a civil court sentenced a lieutenant colonel to a fine of 4,000 euros. The Bundeswehr leadership had previously let an internal procedure fizzle out.

The reason for the silence concerning the Focus revelations is not that they are suspect. Those responsible in the ministries, political parties and editorial offices are well informed about the radical right-wing activities inside the Bundeswehr and their links to the neo-Nazi scene. They cloak themselves in silence because they are covering up and supporting these machinations.

This was also made clear by social democratic Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in his speech on the 100th anniversary of the November Revolution. In it he explicitly defended the bloody suppression of the Spartacus uprising, which Friedrich Ebert had organized in close cooperation with the right-wing radical Freikorps. There is a direct line from the Freikorps to Hitler’s storm troopers.

Just as then, Germany’s rulers, working together with right-wing radical forces, are preparing for the violent suppression of bitter class struggles. The so-called “people’s parties”, which had organised “social peace” in the post-war period, are quickly losing their influence. According to the latest polls, support for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) stands at only 13 percent. The growing gulf between rich and poor, rising rents and unbearable working conditions are turning more and more people against the capitalist system. The proposals for building a German or European army that can compete with the USA, Russia and China, cannot be achieved by democratic means.

“The excessively high tension of the international struggle and the class struggle results in the short circuit of the dictatorship”, wrote Leon Trotsky in 1929, “blowing out the fuses of democracy one after the other.” This is being confirmed again today. This is the reason why the ruling class is returning to the methods of rule of the Weimar Republic, tolerating and encouraging right-wing conspiracies and, especially in refugee policy, adopting the program of the far-right AfD.

A witness quoted by Focus told the BKA investigators that the terrorist network in the Bundeswehr was preparing itself for a “Day X” in general staff terms. Day X was a “time of extreme crisis”, a “collapse of public order”, which “the police face helplessly”. In other words, it is preparing for the suppression of a social uprising.

Back in the summer, in its annual report, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), as the German secret service is called, for the first time listed the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party, SGP) as a “left-wing extremist party” and as an object of observation, thus preparing a possible ban. The only justification it gave was that the SGP had a socialist programme, criticised capitalism and rejected the establishment parties … . The report was closely coordinated with representatives of the AfD and was the responsibility of the then head of the BfV Hans-Georg Maaßen, who now openly advocates right-wing extremist positions.

This is part of an international phenomenon. Everywhere, the ruling class is turning to right-wing and fascist forces in anticipation of fierce class struggles. In Warsaw, the ruling party PIS celebrated the hundredth anniversary of Polish independence side by side with neo-Nazis. In the USA, President Trump is seeking to build up a fascist movement with his virulent agitation against migrants and refugees. In France, President Macron praises the dictator and Nazi collaborator Marshal Pétain.

All those who reject a return to unrestrained exploitation, war and fascism must take this as a warning. The alternatives today are not socialist revolution or capitalist reform, but socialist revolution or barbarism. Only an independent intervention of the working class based on a socialist program can prevent the relapse into war and fascism.

German soldiers’ nazi murder plot


This 20 August 2017 video says about itself:

Another branch of the German military is being investigated over far-right activities – this time, an elite unit’s accused of giving Nazi salutes and playing neo-Nazi rock music at a party. There’s been a series of similar scandals stretching back months. Miguel Francis Santiago reports.

By Christopher Lehmann and Johannes Stern in Germany:

At least 200 soldiers in German Army neo-Nazi terror network

15 November 2018

The neo-Nazi terrorist cell in the German Army associated with Lieutenant Franco A. is much larger than previously revealed. This revelation was included in an article in the current edition of the news magazine Focus titled “The Conspiracy.”

Based on investigations by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), the magazine reported on a network of at least 200 active duty and retired soldiers, including members of the special forces command (KSK) and Military Intelligence Service (MAD).

The following was already publicly known about the case of Franco A:

The lieutenant was arrested on February 3, 2017, at Vienna’s airport while trying to retrieve a weapon he had previously concealed there. Subsequent investigations revealed that he had collaborated with two other accomplices, Maximilian T. and Matthias F., to carry out attacks on high-ranking politicians, among them former president Joachim Gauck, Justice Minister Heiko Maas and Left Party Minister President of Thuringia Bodo Ramelow. They were also planning to attack institutions such as the Central Council of Jews and the Central Council of Muslims.

Despite this, Franco A. has been a free man since the end of last year. In November 2017, Germany’s Federal Court cancelled his arrest warrant. According to the official explanation, there was insufficient evidence at that point in the investigation to indicate the immediate threat of a criminal act in connection with a serious act of violence.

The Frankfurt am Main Court of Appeals argued along similar lines this year. In a decision on June 7, it confirmed that Franco A. would not be charged for the preparation of a serious act of violence.

In light of the latest revelations, the decisions by the two courts raise serious questions. In their article, authors Josef Hufelschulte and Alexander Rakkow paint a picture of a close-knit terrorist network, which, like the Black Reichswehr during the Weimar Republic, is preparing the murder of politicians and the violent suppression of revolutionary struggles. Even though the charges against Franco A. were thrown out, the BKA investigation already provided evidence of the existence of a shadow army.

The Focus article begins with the summation of the BKA interrogation of former Air Force officer and major in the reserves Horst S. on July 13, 2017, as part of the BKA’s investigation into the Franco A. case. According to the statements of Horst S., a group chiefly composed of elite soldiers was “preparing at the general staff level for an ominous ‘Day X’. ” Asked by the investigator what was meant by this, the 48-year-old soldier answered that ‘Day X’ would come during an extreme crisis caused by “attacks on women and children by refugees, rapes, terrorist attacks or German cities [becoming slums].”

In a transcript of the witness’s testimony printed in Focus, the statement continues: “Associated with this is I believe also the fear that the state will lose its monopoly on violence and cannot fulfill its tasks as a result.” This has “led to consideration being given to what can be done if such a case occurs.”

The result of these considerations was that “we would have to take precautions in different aspects of life for such a case. That means we would need to procure, for example, diesel to power emergency generators, radios and long-lasting foodstuffs. Munitions should also be stored so we could fight.”

The plans for attacks were apparently far advanced. In concrete terms, Horst S. “named individual participants, who, in their deeply rooted ‘hatred of the left’ and refugees, had organised ‘a folder with addresses and pictures’ of targeted persons, who had to ‘go’’.

Two acquaintances of Horst S. saw the lists and “also have a well-stocked weapons cabinet.” According to the transcript, discussions took place in a small circle about bringing the targeted people to one location “where they would be killed.”

The “allegedly conspiratorial squadron” included members of the elite KSK force, according to Focus. For this reason, the authorities kept “secret the initial evidence of a potential underground network ready to commit violence.”

There were also connections to the Uniter organisation, which is mainly made up of KSK combatants, but also included paratroopers, reconnaissance troops, members of special forces police units, lawyers and doctors. An employee of the Bavarian state intelligence agency is also a Uniter member.

Focus wrote that within the association, “according to witness testimony, a conspiratorial network of around 200 active duty and former soldiers has formed.” Testimonies “in the file numbered GBA 2 Bjs 205/17-5a” painted a picture “of conspiratorial soldiers, who apparently were even willing to consider targeted killings of political opponents.”

According to information obtained by investigators, the soldiers “had secret locations for weapons, munitions, fuel, and food”, and established so-called “safe houses” on the borders with Austria and Switzerland. These arrangements were made in chat groups.

Uniter published a statement on its website distancing itself from the allegations and accusing Focus of “disinformation.” In a threatening tone, it said that since the article was published, it had “made direct contact with all named representatives of the authorities, including the police and military, as well as the responsible state prosecutor.”

It declared that it can be “established that the information in the article is drawn from several proceedings, creating an overall picture that would not stand up to any research.” The chat groups mentioned in the Focus article were “certainly not authorised or operated by Uniter”, the statement asserted.

The World Socialist Web Site does not possess any independent information in this case, but it is obvious that widespread right-wing extremist terrorist networks are operating in Germany and are being concealed by sections of the military, the police and the intelligence apparatus. The domestic secret service, in particular, has deep roots in the neo-Nazi scene and has been implicated in a series of right-wing extremist violent acts.

Several dozen informants from the secret service and police operated around the right-wing terrorist group NSU, which was responsible for the murders of nine immigrants and a police officer. The latest revelations surrounding the sacking of the long-standing president of the domestic intelligence agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, have confirmed that the intelligence service was led by a self-acknowledged right-wing extremist.

A lieutenant

This is a wrong translation from the German original. His rank is ‘Oberstleutnant’, lieutenant colonel, very much higher than lieutenant.

from the Military Intelligence Service (MAD) is currently appearing at the Cologne District Court on a charge of betraying secrets in the Franco A. case. The officer is accused of having warned suspects associated with him about imminent investigations by the state prosecutor, according to a court spokesperson. The man was a contact point for the BKA and the state prosecutor at the military intelligence service, added the court spokesperson, thereby indirectly confirming Focus’s information.

According to the news magazine, the MAD lieutenant

colonel

is 42-year-old Peter W., who last autumn “warned a KSK member about raids on Uniter members.” Prior to his work with the intelligence services, W. was a member of the KSK.

“According to the investigators’ findings”, the main beneficiary of the tip-off was staff sergeant Andre S., “a strict KSK trainer who is responsible for the unit’s military security.” According to testimonies, S., who now heads Uniter, was an “informant” to Uniter about MAD and had presented “the only credible information about the KSK’s internal processes”.

A report in the TAZ daily newspaper also suggests that S. had contact with Franco A. Under the pseudonym Hannibal, S. was the administrator of chat groups in which Franco A. was “allegedly also a member.” The newspaper reported that “the authorities responsible” did not want to “share” whether Franco A. and S. “knew each other personally or only virtually.” The Cologne District Court suggested that they might have moved in each other’s “orbit”.

The explosive character of these disturbing revelations stands in stark contrast to the response in the political establishment and the media. The major daily newspapers have barely reported on the terrorist network, and spokesmen for the government and military have remained silent.

At the federal government’s press conference on November 9, Defence Ministry spokesman Jens Flossdorf confirmed that proceedings “against a member of the MAD” were underway, but added that he could “provide no further information.” A “report by the MAD” would be provided only to “the appropriate intelligence committees in Germany’s parliament.” He would not, was not permitted, and could not “provide any more specifics on this.”

More child soldiers than ever in German armed forces: here.

German military nazi murder plot


This Voice of America video says about itself:

Evidence of Pro-Nazi Extremists in German Military Deepens

19 May 2017

Evidence of far-right extremism within the German armed forces is growing following the arrest Friday of four students at a military university in Munich. Police are trying to establish whether they have links to another soldier accused of plotting to frame refugees in a terror attack. As Henry Ridgwell reports, the allegations remain sensitive in a country where the 20th century Nazi history casts a long shadow.

That was then. And now …

By Daniel Bettini in Israel, 12 November 2018:

Report: Far-right German commandos planned to kill politicians, immigrants

Covert network of some 200 neo-Nazi and far-right soldiers and veterans planned to abduct and execute Green Party leader Claudia Roth, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and former president Joachim Gauck, as well as leaders of asylum group, on ‘Day X’, when law and order collapses, German magazine Focus reports.

Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) uncovered a plot by a covert network of some 200 neo-Nazi and far-right soldiers and veterans of an elite commando unit to murder left-wing politicians and asylum seekers, according to an extensive investigative report in German news magazine Focus.

The plot, carried out by a group within the Bundeswehr’s KSK unit, was to be unleashed on what they dubbed “Day X,” when law and order in the country would collapse, something they believed was “imminent.”

Death squads planned to abduct and murder Green Party leader Claudia Roth, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and the country’s former president Joachim Gauck, as well as leaders of asylum groups.

The plotters all reportedly belonged to a group called “Uniter,” which was founded in 1996 to benefit German soldiers returning from tours in Afghanistan and Africa. …

German authorities learned about the alleged secret group during an investigation into a German officer who was caught trying to pose as a Syrian refugee last year. During the officer’s interrogation, German security forces learned of his affiliation to the far right and his plans to carry out attacks against politicians and immigrants.

The investigation further found that soldiers from right-wing groups tried to establish neo-Nazi cells within the German military.

Noha El Tawil writes, 12 November 2018:

According to Sputnik [based on Focus], leftist [Left party] leader and Bundestag member Dietmar Bartsch was on top of the assassination list that has not been unveiled yet. …

As Sputnik reported, investigations have been crippled because of a defendant, who is a lieutenant colonel with the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD). He warned his partners within the KSK about “upcoming searches and the overall progress of the investigation.”

From the Daily Mail in Britain, 10 November 2018:

Secret plot by 200 elite neo-Nazi soldiers within ‘German SAS’ to slaughter politicians and immigrants in mission known as ‘Day X’ is smashed after former major confesses all

Elite soldiers planned to kill Green Party’s Claudia Roth and other left-wingers

They wanted to execute their plot when law and order broke down in Germany

Believed that was imminent and death squads were formed for assassinations

From the Daily Mirror in Britain, 10 November 2018:

The 200 soldiers were also set to target leaders of asylum groups they blamed for rapes, terror and social unrest. …

Originally, [authorities] thought it was an alcohol-fuelled fantasy, but a former Air Force major broke under interrogation to reveal the truth.

British Army soldier was ‘recruiter’ for National Action who wanted ‘race war’. Dad-of-three Corporal Mikko Vehvilainen, 34, was caught with mass killer Anders Breivik’s manifesto and a stockpile of deadly weaponry: here.

German Army considers minors and foreigners to swell its ranks: here.

On November 14, Germany’s grand coalition government—consisting of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Christian Social Union (CSU) and Social Democratic Party (SPD)—passed a bill that will increase the country’s military budget by a massive 12 percent. German defence spending will increase by €4.71 billion to total €43.23 billion next year: here.

Far-right German secret police boss Maassen sacked at last


This 18 September 2018 video says about itself:

Chemnitz comments see Hans-Georg Maaßen moved to Interior Ministry

German domestic intelligence head Hans-Georg Maaßen seems to have been moved from one top job to another.

That was then. However, now after Maassen has once again whitewashed violent neo-nazis

By Peter Schwarz in Germany:

Hans-Georg Maassen: A right-wing extremist at the head of the German secret service

7 November 2018

The latest development in the case of Hans-Georg Maassen demonstrates that Germany’s domestic intelligence service has been run by an outright right-wing extremist for the past six and a half years.

Maassen was due to be dismissed two months ago as head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz), after backing a neo-Nazi demonstration in the East German city of Chemnitz. At the time the government decided to entrust him with a leading position at the Interior Ministry, but he continued to remain at his previous post. Now, the German Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, has sent him into retirement.

On Sunday it was revealed that Maassen had used his position as head of the secret service to maintain his defence of the neo-Nazi demonstration in Chemnitz while denouncing his alleged critics in the government as “left-wing radicals.” In a farewell speech to leaders of European intelligence services in Warsaw on 18 October, he described himself as the victim of a conspiracy by “left-wing radical forces” inside the Social Democratic Party (SPD). The speech was then posted in the BfV intranet to be read by Verfassungsschutz employees.

Despite overwhelming proof to the contrary—there is overwhelming evidence that neo-Nazis attacked immigrants, showed the Hitler salute and vandalized a Jewish restaurant—Maassen maintained his version of the Chemnitz events at the meeting in Warsaw.

The claim that neo-Nazis had “chased” foreigners in Chemnitz was “fictitious”, he said. “I have already experienced a lot of German media manipulation and Russian disinformation. But that politicians and media freely invent a ‘chase’—or at least spread this misinformation unchecked—represents for me a new quality of fake reporting in Germany.”

He had told the appropriate German parliamentary committees that “a struggle against right-wing extremism does not justify inventing right-wing extremist crimes”, Maassen bragged. In response “the media, Green and leftist politicians” had called for his dismissal because they felt that “due to me they had been caught out with their fake reporting.”

For “left-wing radical forces in the SPD”, Maassen continued, his case provided an opportunity “to provoke the break-up of this coalition government”. He had also been forced out of office by his political opponents and sections of the media because he was “known in Germany to be a critic of an idealistic, naïve and left-wing immigrant and security policy.”

On Monday afternoon, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer placed Maassen in temporary retirement—after thanking him for his “good services.” Up to that point, Seehofer had consistently defended him. As a retired senior civil servant Maassen will receive 72 percent of his previous salary for the next three years and at least 35 percent for the rest of his life. Seehofer could have dismissed him on the grounds of a serious dereliction of duty.

Maassen’s departure and the displays of indignation by some politicians from the government and opposition camp about his recent remarks serve, above all, to cover their own tracks. Maassen’s right-wing extremist views were not only well known, they were desired. His task was to pave the way for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), in order to impose the government’s antisocial and militaristic policies in the face of growing opposition from the working class and youth. Maassen was part of the political conspiracy with which the ruling elites are enforcing highly unpopular policies.

This is particularly clear in the official annual report of the Secret Service, which Maassen presented this summer alongside Interior Minister Seehofer. The AfD and its far-right milieu are ignored in the report, while any criticism of capitalism is branded as “left-wing extremism”.

The “ideological basis” of “left-wing extremists”, it states, is “the rejection of the “capitalist system” as a whole. In particular, the report states that “left-wing extremists” blame capitalism for “all societal and political ills such as social injustice, the ‘destruction’ of housing, wars, right-wing extremism and racism, as well as environmental disasters.”

The Socialist Equality Party (SGP) is noted in the report for the first time as a “left-wing extremist party” and “object for observation”, because it opposes “the EU, alleged nationalism, imperialism and militarism”.

No political organization besides the SGP protested against this report, which places all opposition to capitalism and its consequences—war, social inequality, right-wing extremism, and nationalism—into the murky category of “hostility to the constitution”, and threatens it with legal prohibition. Now it is clear that Maassen, who had met with leading representatives of the AfD and drew up the report with them, himself supports the political line of the AfD.

It is not without irony that he is now also denouncing the SPD as “left-wing extremist”—the very same party that has always vigorously defended the Verfassungsschutz and its anti-democratic methods and which has itself provided its president for many years.

Maassen has worked for the Ministry of the Interior since 1991 and was a close associate of Otto Schily (SPD), who headed the ministry from 1998 to 2005. In 2002, under Schily’s rule, Maassen ensured that Murat Kurnaz, who had grown up in the German city of Bremen, was detained for three years longer than necessary in the US Guantanamo Bay detention center, although Kurnaz had committed no crime.

A right-wing figure like Maassen was only able to stay at the helm of the BfV for six and a half years because he had broad support from within the secret service itself and from leading political circles. Even now, none of the parties has called for the dissolution of the secret service or even a purge of its leadership, although it is well known that not only Maassen, but also many of his employees, are politically close to the AfD, and that the Verfassungsschutz effectively runs and finances Germany’s neo-Nazi scene via its undercover agents.

Instead, all of the parties are anxious to continue Maassen’s right-wing policies without him. His successor is the BfV’s previous deputy, Thomas Haldenwang, who worked closely with Maassen.

Green Party deputy Konstantin von Notz praised Haldenwang in the highest tones. “I’m looking forward to working with you,” he said. “I wish the new president a good hand to tackle things with determination and restore lost confidence.”

Little information has emerged from the gathering of European intelligence chiefs in Warsaw but one can assume, based on Maassen’s own words, that his right-wing course had their support. He had “enjoyed listening to this circle” and had experienced “a high degree of collegiality and solidarity”, he said. “I have found that we have the same goals, share the same values and fight against the same opponents of freedom and democracy.”

Maassen also hinted to the gathering of senior intelligence officials that he was considering going into politics himself, but did not indicate for which party. For its part the AfD was jubilant. “He is an outstanding official committed to a high work ethic and has the courage to pronounce even uncomfortable truths,” declared AfD leader Jörg Meuthen. “Of course, if he had any interest in joining us, he would be welcome.”

Even Germany’s right-wing bourgeois media must now admit that Maassen is a de facto member of the AfD. “The way Maassen cultivated contacts in the political sphere gave the impression that he was a kind of constitutional legal advisor, not least for the AfD,” commented the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Tuesday. And the Frankfurter Rundschau wrote: “It raises the question of whether Maassen is the only one in the leadership of the German security authorities who thinks like him—or whether he is merely the tip of an iceberg.” It is quite possible that in future “we will see him in politics, in the Bundestag sitting diagonally behind [AfD leaders] Alexander Gauland or Alice Weidel. But the question remains whether Hans-Georg Maassen says more about the police and intelligence services, than [Social] Democrats care to admit—this question is more urgent than ever”: here.

At a press conference last Thursday the German Interior, Minister Horst Seehofer, (Christian Social Union, CSU) presented Thomas Haldenwang (Christian Democratic Union), the new president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV). The change of personnel at the top of the German domestic intelligence service is aimed at strengthening the agency “after the turbulence of the past few weeks,” as Haldenwang put it, and increase surveillance of the population. Haldenwang’s predecessor, Hans-Georg Maassen, was retired by Seehofer at the beginning of November after publicly backing demonstrations and pogroms by radical right-wingers in the city of Chemnitz. Maassen described violent attacks on immigrants, leftists and a Jewish restaurant as “fake news.” Speaking at a meeting of heads of European domestic intelligence services on January 18 in Warsaw, Maassen went so far as to accuse “leftist radical forces in the SPD” of forcing him out of office: here.