Homophobia and Islamophobia in Germany


Nazi anti-refugee slogan in Germany

This 2015 AFP photo is from Waltrop in Germany. Neo-fascists had defaced a refugee home with the slogan ‘Dogs, get out’ and a nazi swastika.

By Judith van de Hulsbeek, Dutch NOS TV correspondent in Germany, 15 June 2015 (translated):

Germany: hatred against Muslims, Roma and gay people grows

Today, 21:02

The dislike of Muslims but also of Sinti, Roma and refugees generally is surging in Germany; according to a study by Leipzig University among 2420 Germans. …

The university is doing this research since 2002 every two years, about far-right sentiment in German society, such as anti-Semitism, xenophobia and playing down the Nazi past. On these ‘classic far-right’ issues the results stay more or less the same. Around 10 percent of respondents expressed racist, anti-Semitic or Nazi ideas and think, for example, that the German nation is inherently superior and that Jews have too much influence.

In 2014 questions about specific target groups (eg. Muslims, Roma, LGBTQ people) were added to the study. There a clear increase is seen. Thus more than 40 percent of respondents replied they think it is disgusting when two men kiss in public. …

In Germany, some 100 refugee centers have been set on fire since early 2015.

German extreme rightist shoots refugee children


This video says about itself:

30 January 2016

Frauke Petry, one of the leaders of right-wing German opposition party Alternative for Germany (AfD), has sparked outrage with provocative comments about refugees.

“Border guards must prevent illegal border crossings and even use firearms if necessary,” Petry told German newspaper ‘Mannheimer Morgen’, in an interview published on Saturday.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

German shoots refugees with air rifle

Yesterday, 16:32

In the German city of Lingen, forty kilometers across the border at Oldenzaal, a man with an air rifle from a distance has shot refugees at a reception center. Two migrants who were outside were injured. They are a five-year-old girl from Macedonia and a boy of 18 from Syria.

Initially it was not clear that the migrants were shot at. The mother of the Macedonian girl sounded the alarm when she saw that her daughter had a leg wound. She suspected that someone had thrown a rock at the child. When the gunman struck again an hour later, wounding the Syrian, an eyewitness called the police. Which could finally arrest the man.

The 21-year-old gunman lives opposite the refugee centre in Lingen. He fired the shots from his home, about forty meters away. His motive is still unclear, police say. Local media report that the man has links with far-right groups.

The mayor of Lingen detests the shelling. He wants the shooter, who is suspected of grievous bodily harm, to be punished severely. For the time being the man of 21 at large. The refugees have been treated at the hospital, but are recovering.

This article in the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung in Germany reports on the gunman’s links to the extreme right. It says he had been convicted for violent crimes nine times before.

Racist German politician attacks national football team


This video says about itself:

30 May 2016

Jérôme Boateng, a well-known German soccer player, was at the receiving end of some racist sentiment from Alexander Gauland, the deputy leader of Germany’s anti-immigration party, Alternative für Deutschland. Boateng is of German–Ghanaian heritage. He plays for Bayern Munich and the Germany national team.

From RT.com:

Right-wing politician says Germany national team ‘no longer German’

Published time: 4 June, 2016 15:45

German anti-immigrant party ‘Alternative for Germany’ vice-chairman Alexander Gauland has made yet another controversial racial comment about the German national football team.

The politician made global news earlier this week when he stated that most German fans felt colored player Jerome Boateng was good on the pitch but that they would not want him as their neighbor.

Gauland has been at it again with more questionable comments, stating that the German national side is “no longer a question of national identity” …

“A German or an English national football team is no longer English or German in the classical sense,” he said.

Nazi salute at England-Germany football match

Probably, Herr Gauland wants to go back to the time of this photo; the 1930s when both the English and German national teams did the nazi salute before their match.

“(Fans) cheer at the football (but) this multicultural world is still alien to most of them.”

The Bayern Munich defender was born in Berlin to a Ghanian father and German mother, with the center-half one of a host of other national team members to have links to other countries.

German international and Arsenal FC midfielder Mesut Ozil, who has Turkish family ties and is a practising Muslim, recently posted a photo of himself in Mecca on social media.

Mesut Özil in Mecca

Alexander Gauland and ‘Alternative for Germany’ (AfD) have also hit out against this photo, with the outspoken politician saying the picture was “hard to get used to.”

“For officials, teachers, politicians and decision-makers, I would indeed ask the question: Is German democracy the right place for someone who makes the pilgrimage to Mecca?” he said.

“Does their loyalty lie with the German constitution, or with an Islam that really is a political Islam?”

Head of the AfD in Saxony Andrea Kersten went one step further, calling Ozil’s trip to Mecca a “publicity stunt.”

Refugees help German flood disaster victims


This video says about itself:

Refugees spent Halloween night at Austrian-German border

1 November 2015

Hundreds of refugees waited at the Austrian-German border at the bridge between Braunau and Simbach am Inn last night ready to cross into Germany.

That was then. Today, refugee news from Simbach, similar to when there was flooding in England.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Refugees bailing out cellars in Germany

Today, 17:29

In Germany, refugees help with clearing debris in collapsed buildings, bailing out basements and cleaning streets and houses. Eg in the southern German town of Simbach am Inn in Bavaria, dozens of refugees offered their help after the high water had wreaked havoc.

The help is gladly accepted, says Mayor Klaus Schmid. “We can use every helping hand. Without volunteers we would not be able to get it done.”

Among the helping refugees are many Syrians. One of them, Mouath, says he is happy that he can do something in return. “We have received so much help from the people in Simbach. We can now give something in return, which is good.”

“We mourn along”

Feallou Diob [from Africa] followed the news about the flooding on the radio. “It’s a major disaster. We heard that there are seven deaths. We mourn along, and therefore we decided to help.

The municipality receives all requests for aid and coordinates assistance. In minivans volunteers are brought to where the need is greatest.

Incidentally, there is also help from neighboring Austria. Three women from nearby Braunau have crossed the border. “We can not stay at home and let our neighbors drown.” They have helped in clearing a basement of a printing business which was flooded.

Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau. Good to read that today, people from there are better than Hitler, or than present day extreme right German politicians who want to shoot refugee women and children.

From DPA news agency today:

Naja Al Hassa, a 30-year-old Syrian, was one of 25 refugees helping to clean up the small town of Simbach am Inn after floods ravaged large parts of southern Germany on Wednesday.

“We have received so much help from the people of Simbach am Inn, now we can give something back,” Al Hassa said. “That feels good.”

Simbach am Inn was one of several Bavarian cities hit hard by torrential downpours and flooding that left six people dead, with rescue teams still searching for at least three missing people.

The refugees said they want to be a part of the community and feel closer to this goal shoveling dirt alongside city residents. “We know what it means to live in a war zone and what it’s like to lose your home,” Al Hassa said.

Jana Kirchner, whose arcade was completely destroyed by the floods, said she thinks this is the best way for these refugees to integrate. “They can even learn a few words of German in the process,” Kirchner said.

Despite being sore and covered from head to toe in mud, the refugees remain in high spirits. Kirchner said the refugees’ cheerful mood keeps her spirits up. It’s an impressive feat when surveying the damage and work needed to rid the streets of ankle-deep mud.

Meanwhile in the small city of Braunsbach, at least 46 refugees, both men and women, have stepped up to help volunteer staff and residents clean or unload relief supplies, according to council member Danica Goehler.

The mass deaths of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea has reached a new, grim record over the first five months of 2016. According to the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR), at least 2,510 refugees drowned between January and May during their attempts to cross to Europe. The European governments and European Union bear full responsibility for turning the Mediterranean into a mass graveyard for refugees: here.

German anti-African football player racism


This football video is called Jérôme Boateng – Defensive Skills – 2015/16.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

German politician in race row over Jérôme Boateng comments

Alternative für Deutschland’s Alexander Gauland reportedly said Germans like the footballer but would not want him living next door

Peter Yeung

29 May 2016

Germany’s anti-immigration Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party has apologied after its deputy leader was quoted as saying people would not want the international footballer Jerome Boateng as a neighbour.

Alexander Gauland, the deputy leader of the anti-immigration party, told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: “People find him good as a footballer. But they don’t want to have a Boateng as their neighbour.”

Boateng, born in Berlin to a German mother and Ghanaian father, has played 57 games for Germany and was a key player in its 2014 World Cup-winning team.

Michael Müller, Berlin’s mayor, said the comments were “nonsense” and that they “dragged football into the dirt”.

He said in a statement: “At least now it’s clear that the goals of Gauland and AfD are all about division and exclusion in society and not its cohesion.

“Any team sport by nature has something that connects and the members of a team do their best to work together to achieve a goal so wish I myself also a functioning society.

Frank Henkel, interior and sports senator, added: “In football, there is only one response to this failure by Gauland – namely the red card.”

Frauke Petry, AfD’s party leader, suggested Mr Gauland wasn’t sure if he made the comments.

German secret service and neo-nazis


This video says about itself:

22 August 2014

Thuringia’s special state parliamentary investigative committee on the ten murders committed by the NSU neonazi terrorist cell from 200[0] to 2007 is harshly critical of the role of the state’s agency for the protection of the constitution, and says the murders could have been prevented.

By Dietmar Henning in Germany:

Further evidence of ties between German neo-Nazi group and domestic intelligence agency

25 May 2016

The trial against the National Socialist Underground (NSU) at Munich’s district court is in the closing stages. For three years, the court and its chair, Judge Manfred Götzl, have looked at thousands of pieces of information. The main question has always remained: How could 10 murders, bomb attacks and a series of bank robberies take place under the noses of the police and intelligence agencies? Who held, and is holding, a protective hand over the right-wing terrorists?

Over recent weeks and months, further evidence has come to light demonstrating close connections between the domestic intelligence agency, police and NSU.

Research by Welt editor Stefan Aust and filmmaker Dirk Laabs recently revealed that Ralf Marschner, who worked for the intelligence agency (BfV) for a decade as agent Primus, most likely employed the three NSU terrorists, Uwe Mundlos, Uwe Böhnhardt and Beate Zschäpe, after they went underground in 1998. Both men worked in his construction firm, Mundlos as a foreman under the name Max Florian Burkhardt, while Zschäpe helped out in one of his businesses.

Aust and Laabs then reported earlier this month that in 2001, Marschner was involved in an attack on a pub in Zwickau together with Susann Eminger, Zschäpe’s best friend. At this point, Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt had already lived in the city for a year. Eminger visited Zschäpe in the apartment throughout the entire period of their illegality. Eminger’s boyfriend at the time, André, and her husband since 2005, is charged in the Munich trial with aiding the NSU.

On April 21, 2001, Marschner, Eminger and other skinheads burst into the bar and assaulted guests. According to witness statements from the owner, Marschner was the leader of the group. A political motive was later ruled out by the relevant investigators.

The state prosecutor in Zwickau laid charges of grievous bodily harm against Marschner and Eminger. However, these charges were not included in the Munich proceedings. These charges was kept under wraps by the federal prosecutor’s office as part of its so-called investigation into support structures. “Further investigations on the part of the federal criminal office (BKA) to clarify the extent of relations between Eminger and the agent Marschner remain unknown, even though they would have been required due to the trial over the bar brawl,” wrote Die Welt.

Proceedings against Marschner for the bar assaults were “temporarily suspended” two years later, while Eminger had to perform 20 hours’ community service. Agent Marschner has apparently enjoyed protection from the judiciary for decades. In Saxony alone, several dozen legal proceedings have been led against him since 1990 by the judiciary. The intelligence informant has never been sentenced to prison.

Even when Marschner was accused of killing a 17-year-old on the “Day of German unity” in 1990, he emerged innocent from the proceedings. The files on Marschner and the murder investigation were allegedly destroyed during the flooding in Chemnitz in 2010, authorities announced last week.

A petition by a representative of the joint plaintiffs in the NSU trial to order Marschner, who now lives in Switzerland, to appear as a witness was rejected by Judge Götzl, following consultation with the federal prosecutor. Even if the agent knew and employed Mundlos, Böhnhardt and Zschäpe after they went underground, this was not of immediate relevance in determining the questions of the acts committed and guilt of the defendants, the court said by way of justification.

The inviting of another witness, who was present at a meeting in 1998 between the Brandenburg interior ministry and agents from Thuringia and Saxony, was also rejected by the court. This meeting decided not to provide information to the police about an agent who had supplied the underground trio with a weapon. While a representative of a joint plaintiff concluded from this that the Interior Ministry had “made possible the series of murders by the NSU,” the court declared that it did not draw the conclusion that “joint responsibility of the state existed in the acts of the defendants.”

But this is precisely what is becoming ever clearer. Marschner’s handler at the intelligence service, code-name “Richard Kaldrack,” was at the same time managing agent Thomas Richter, code-name “Corelli.” Richter was also active around the NSU terrorists and was possibly in contact with them. He worked for the intelligence agency for 18 years and received €300,000 for his services.

Among other things, he made available electronic storage space for a neo-Nazi magazine, which published a greeting to the NSU as early as 2002. He was a founding member of the Ku Klux Klan in Baden-Württemberg, which also included two colleagues of police officer Michèle Kiesewetter, who was murdered by the NSU in 2007. A CD containing data with the title “NSDAP/NSU,” which he handed over to the intelligence service in 2005, only emerged years later. In 2014, shortly before he could be questioned about this, the 39-year-old died suddenly of a diabetes illness that apparently nobody was aware of.

Now, a telephone from Richter, “Corelli,” has also appeared. Corelli allegedly used it in 2012 and handed it over to the BfV in autumn 2012. There it was concealed in an armoured cupboard. It was then discovered in a fifth search in the summer of 2015, the intelligence agency now declares. Intelligence agency experts, who were until April this year working on it, have found a series of pictures and names from the radical right-wing scene. It has now been passed to the BKA for further evaluation of the available data.

Journalist Thomas Moser, who has been working on the NSU story for years, told Teleopolis last Tuesday about “overlaps” between the intelligence agency and the NSU.

He cited from protocol notes from a situational briefing in the police directorate (PD) in Gotha from November 5 and 6, 2011, found by the parliamentary NSU committee. As part of its area of responsibility, the bodies of Mundlos and Böhnhardt had been found in a burnt-out caravan the previous day.

In the protocol, among other things, the following statements are cited: “Efforts to locate the trio were abandoned in 2002. It was known that the state domestic intelligence agency (LfV) was concealing the target persons.” “The PD head intended to do everything to locate Ms. Zschäpe before she was withdrawn by the LfV.” And: “At least one member of the trio was allegedly working for the intelligence service until 2003. … The trio or part of it was closely tied to the intelligence agency, or the state intelligence agency had something to do with them, something like that.”

The police in Thuringia therefore assumed that the NSU trio was being protected by the intelligence agency. The situation briefing was led by Michael Menzel, who had led the police directorate in Gotha since 2009 and since 2015 has worked as criminal director in the Thuringia Interior Ministry. Menzel was also on location when the bodies were discovered and could have tampered with evidence. He was invited as a witness by the Munich trial, as well as by a number of parliamentary investigations, but always responded in vague terms.

Menzel, who began his police career in the GDR, is tied by several threads to the NSU. Among his colleagues in Saalfeld, where he headed the criminal police from 1998 to 2001, was Mike Wenzel, who as an intelligence officer dealt with the Thuringia Home Protection (THS), a right-wing organisation out of which the NSU emerged. Wenzel’s niece, Kiesewetter, was believed to be the NSU’s last victim in 2007. Her service weapon was later found in Mundlos and Böhnhardt’s burnt-out caravan. Even though nothing was publicly known about the NSU at that time, Wenzel immediately drew a connection between the so-called “döner murders” and the death of his niece.

It has long been known that over 20 agents of the intelligence service were operating around the NSU. A handler for agents in Hesse, Andreas Temme, was even present when Halit Yozgat was murdered in Kassel in April 2006. Any boundaries between the intelligence services and the NSU terror gang are virtually undetectable.

Whether the intelligence service is jointly responsible for the NSU murders, or whether one of the NSU members collaborated with intelligence, remains unclear, largely thanks to the joint efforts of the interior ministry, intelligence agencies, police authorities, federal prosecutor and the Munich District Court.

This video from Germany says about itself:

2/10/1980 MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR THOSE WHO DIED IN THE NEO-NAZI OKTOBERFEST BOMB

All 6 neo-Nazis, arrested in connection with the bomb attack at the Munich Beer Festival, have been released after questioning.

By Dietmar Henning in Germany:

1980 Oktoberfest bombing: German government and secret service still withholding information

25 May 2016

On September 26 1980, 12 innocent bystanders and the perpetrator, Gundolf Köhler, were killed in the most serious right-wing attack in post-war German history. Over 200 were injured, some seriously.

At the time, the investigators and secret service drew a veil over the background to the attacks and those responsible. Although evidence and witnesses pointed to the involvement of state bodies and neo-Nazi terrorist groups, the authorities soon settled on a narrative that Köhler was the sole perpetrator. The state attorney halted any investigations two years after the attack.

It was only thanks to the initiative of journalist Ulrich Chaussy and the victims’ attorney Werner Dietrich that the attorney general was forced to take up the case again at the end of 2014. In February 2015, they demanded the Secret Service and Foreign Intelligence Agency (BND) look through their files covering the Oktoberfest bombing and the right-wing scene at the time and make the relevant files available.

The state attorney in Karslruhe sent the two agencies a long list, which included the following search terms, among others: Karl-Heinz Hoffmann (the paramilitary group the culprit Gundolf Köhler trained in) and Heinz Lembke (the neo-Nazi who was suspected of providing the explosives for the attack).

But the prosecutors are still waiting. The BND has since provided a few files; however, they are redacted. The Secret Service, which possesses far more files regarding the Oktoberfest attack, the culprit’s background and the neo-Nazi organisations of the time, is keeping these under lock and key.

This was revealed in an answer to a parliamentary question lodged by Left Party deputy Martina Renner. The Karlsruhe state attorney has been waiting for 15 months. The Secret Service has justified the long wait by saying that it involved “a very extensive trawl through the evidence.” However, the Secret Service and the government were close to completion of their review, it was said.

Given the previous practice and methods of the Secret Service, it is to be suspected that the time is being used in order to “clean” the files, or even to destroy them. For example, following the uncovering of the far-right terrorist group Nation Socialist Underground (NSU), numerous files were shredded.

There are numerous clues pointing to the links between the Secret Service, Köhler and the “Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann” paramilitary group. In his updated book, Oktoberfest—the attack: How the cover up of right-wing terror began, Ulrich Chaussy describes how the authorities were not willing to carry out investigations into the right-wing scene after the assassination and even sabotaged such efforts. The penetration of the right-wing terrorist groups of that time, especially the “Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann,” by the secret service agencies is still being kept secret. In his book, Chaussy draws several parallels to the murders carried out by the NSU.

For example, the authorities dismissed confessions by two members of Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann. The statement “that was us,” by Walter Ulrich Behle, an undercover agent for the North Rhine-Westphalia state secret service, was described as “alcohol-induced bragging.” And the statement of Stefan Wagner, who said while on the run from the police, “I was part of the action against the Oktoberfest,” was supposed to have been false. The state attorney claims Wagner had had an ironclad alibi for the day of the attack, while in his book, Chaussy cites a high-ranking Federal Criminal Agency officer saying, “Stefan Wagner’s alibi was never checked out on tactical grounds.”

Heinz Lembke, a right-wing radical who had accumulated huge caches of secret weapons and explosives, and was suspected of having supplied the explosives for the attack, was never examined in more detail as part of the investigation into the Oktoberfest bombing. He was arrested only a year after the attack, when one of his weapons caches was discovered accidentally. In early November 1981, a day before he was to testify before the public prosecutor, he was found hanged in his cell. His file contains the restrictive notice: “only partially admissible in court,” which suggests the activities of an undercover operative.

Given the close relations between the secret services and the neo-Nazi scene in Germany, the federal government and intelligence agencies have withheld background information about the Oktoberfest bombing for decades. The government has repeatedly refused to answer questions in parliament from the Greens and the Left Party. Real names are generally kept secret.

On April 7, 2015, the parliamentary justice secretary, Christian Lange, said on behalf of Justice Minister Heiko Maas (both from the Social Democratic Party), in response to an inquiry by the Greens, that the government had again come to the conclusion that “questions about the operation of undercover sources and agents—the function of people—even if it concerns long-past operations, cannot be answered to protect the operation of the intelligence services.”

Parliament’s right to information finds its limits “in the best interests of the nation or a federal state, which could be compromised by the disclosure of confidential information.” In this way, the Justice Ministry places the interests of the state and its intelligence agencies higher than the rights of parliament and the public interest.

Both the Green and Left Party parliamentary groups lodged a constitutional challenge to the Supreme Court, submitted in May 2015, to force the government to answer their questions. A decision is still pending.