German elite soldiers’ neo-nazi scandal continues


This 28 May 2020 video is called Germany’s KSK commando unit in turmoil over neo-Nazi infiltration.

Translated from Judith van de Hulsbeek, Dutch NOS radio correspondent in Germany, 30 July 2020:

After a series of right-wing extremist incidents and whistleblower warnings, the Ministry of Defense is going to do something about the army’s German elite unit, the Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK). A company [the second company] within the KSK will be immediately disbanded, international missions will be immediately cancelled. Elite soldiers who are currently abroad will be brought back to Germany.

The KSK has been in the news in recent years due to right-wing extremist incidents. Three years ago, it turned out that KSK soldiers

‘Soldiers’ may mean privates. But in this case, it was about senior officers.

do the Hitler salute at parties and listen to right-wing extremist music. In recent times, a KSK soldier was arrested, among other things, because he had built up a weapons arsenal at home and accused of having prepared an armed attack.

Culture of looking away

In early June, an officer in the unit sent an urgent letter to the Secretary of Defense in which he wrote that there was a culture of looking away. Right-wing extremist views, he wrote, are ignored and even tolerated.

One of the training officers is said to be openly neo-Nazi and nicknamed himself Y-88. 88 stands for ‘Heil Hitler’, as the eighth letter of the alphabet. The trainer was only fired after more than ten years. People like that are no exceptions, according to the officer. He called on the minister to tackle the ‘uncontrollable swamp’.

The ministry has submitted to the KSK a list of more than 60 requirements for reform. Not only is a company dissolved and international missions scrapped, all soldiers will also be questioned again about their views.

Furthermore, there will be more supervision of the training and the weapons stocks will be more strictly controlled. Inspections revealed that tens of thousands of ammunition and kilos of explosives had disappeared. Military intelligence must from now on also cooperate with the ‘ordinary’ secret service.

There are extreme rightists in the military intelligence, but there are also extreme rightists in the civilian secret service with which it must now cooperate.

Self-cleaning ability

The problem with right-wing extremism has been going on for a long time and something really needs to change now, the ministry thinks. “If the KSK does not prove that it has a self-cleaning ability, the question is whether it should continue to exist in this form,” State Secretary of Defense Tauber wrote in the letter to the Bundestag. The unit has until October to make improvements.

See also here. And here.

German slaughterhouse millionaire, no football boss anymore


This 29 June 2020 German video says about itself (translated):

Schalke fans protest against board member Clemens Tönnies

Football club fans have formed a human chain in front of the home arena in Gelsenkirchen. They demonstrated against the management of the association, which also includes meat entrepreneur Clemens Tönnies.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Controversial meat baron Tönnies resigns as director of Bundesliga club Schalke 04

Clemens Tönnies leaves as chairman of the board at Schalke 04 after almost twenty years, the German football club reports on its website. The 64-year-old businessman is under attack for the disappointing sports performance of Schalke 04 and the recent coronavirus outbreak at his meat factory Tönnies Fleisch.

Schalke 04 did not win the last sixteen Bundesliga matches, finished in twelfth place and again did not qualify for European football. It is the worst series in history. Even before the coronavirus crisis, the club from Gelsenkirchen balanced on the verge of bankruptcy. …

Coronavirus outbreak

Two weeks ago, a major coronavirus outbreak was diagnosed at a branch of the Tönnies meat factory in Rheda-Wiedenbrück (in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia). More than 1,500 people tested positive in the slaughterhouse, making it Germany’s biggest source of infection.

According to the authorities, Tönnies violated the coronavirus rules, endangering the entire region. About 7000 people had to be quarantined. In the slaughterhouses of Tönnies, many foreign workers work under appalling conditions.

Mr Tönnies also got much criticism, including by Schalke players, for his anti-African racism.

German policemen’s neo-nazi network discovered


This August 2013 video says about itself:

German police and security services have been severely criticised for failing to tackle neo-Nazi violence.

Members of an extreme right-wing cell called the National Socialist Underground killed 10 people over seven years without being caught.

Now a parliamentary report says police dramatically underestimated the neo-Nazi threat.

Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips reports from Berlin.

On 25 June 2020, German broadcasting organisation WDR reported that a neo-nazi network had been discovered in the police force of Aachen city.

Police officers greeted one another with ‘Heil Hitler‘ on police communications gear. Their job then was to protect the Aachen synagogue from neonazi violence.

In an internet chat group of at least four Aachen policemen, in which nazi swastikas, photos of Adolf Hitler and racist comments were exchanged.

German slaughterhouse corporation COVID-19 scandal


This video from Germany says about itself:

Ruptly is live from Rheda-Wiedenbrueck on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, after 400 employees of meat processing company Tönnies tested positive for coronavirus.

The Guetersloh district authorities have decided to shut down the operations at the meat company and close all schools and daycare centres until the summer holidays.

Tönnies is going through their second wave of COVID-19 infection this year.

The meat industry has been criticised for not respecting coronavirus hygiene and safety rules since the pandemic started, leading to concerns, as some 130,000 people are employed in 1,500 slaughterhouses across Germany.

Then, it was still ´only´ 400 infected workers …

Tönnies is the biggest meat processing corporation in Germany.

Germany: Alarm mood at the meat baron Tönnies: here. When that article was written, it was still ´only´ 657 infected workers …

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

The corona outbreak in the German meat processing company Tönnies is spreading further. 1029 employees turned out to be infected, compared to almost 700 earlier this week. Two-thirds of the infected workers work in the cutting department.

All 7000 employees of the company in North Rhine-Westphalia are in quarantine. The German health minister Lauterbach has closed the plant. He thinks it is “not responsible” to keep the business open because the source of the infections has still not been discovered.

“Did it happen in the canteen, on the way in, while working or is it the ventilation?” he wonders.

Clemens Tönnies, the millionaire boss of the slaughterhouses, is also the owner of the football club Schalke 04. Schalke 04 players dislike him because of his racist views on Africans: here.

UPDATE 21 June 2020: meanwhile, 1553 Tönnies workers infected.

Neo-nazi network in German armed forces


This 28 May 2020 video is called Germany’s KSK commando unit in turmoil over neo-Nazi infiltration.

By Gregor Link in Germany:

Fascist network uncovered in German Army’s Special Forces unit

18 June 2020

On Friday, the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported on a 12-page letter sent by a sergeant in the Army’s Special Forces commando unit (Kommando Spezialkräfte—KSK) to Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. The letter makes clear that the 1,100-strong unit, which operates in top secrecy and specialises in lethal operations, is directed toward suppressing domestic opposition with the methods of fascist terrorism. According to the letter, some of the KSK soldiers compare the unit to Hitler’s Waffen-SS.

Right-wing extremist tendencies” are “tolerated” in the KSK and “sometimes consciously covered up”, wrote Der Spiegel, based on the soldier’s letter. According to the author of the article, evidence of the presence of right-wing extremist soldiers is “internally acknowledged, but for a variety of motives collectively ignored or even tolerated.” It is “drummed into” the soldiers from their superiors “not to report any incidents”.

According to the news magazine, the letter describes “accurately” and “in detail” how the trainers silence their recruits. They are “taught to be subservient”, which, in the words of the commando soldier, is “incompatible with the limits of the system of orders and obedience in the Army.”

The letter states that “To bring soldiers and, above all, critical officers into line”m “punishments” are used to create a “type of carcass obedience” and “a culture of accepting illegal behaviour”. Through the “firm leadership of newly recruited KSK fighters in training”, the recruits are “taught a rigorous obedience”, which, according to the text of the letter cited by Der Spiegel, “has been compared by commando soldiers in training to that of the Waffen-SS.”

The soldier goes into detail about the fascist outlook of his trainers. He says that one of them, who always uses Nazi codes in radio communications, makes no secret of his “national conservative ideology.”

One of the trainers mentioned in the letter is Daniel K., who, according to Deutsche Welle, was “heavily involved in the founding of the elite unit” and previously, in 2007, attracted notice due to his right-wing extremist ideology. At the time, he sent a threatening letter signed with his full name to a higher-ranked Army officer. That officer, a spokesman for the critical soldiers’ organisation “Darmstädter Signal”, had requested on the grounds of conscience to be relieved from duties related to drone operations in southern Afghanistan.

K. wrote at the time, “I deem you to be an internal enemy and will direct my actions to destroy this enemy with a decisive blow.” He attacked the “contemporary conglomerate of left-wing uniform-wearing recipients of care,” and urged the critical officer to return “to the swamp of Stone Age Marxism.” In conclusion, he warned, “You are being observed, no, not by impotent instrumentalised services, but by a new generation of officers who will act if the times demand it.” He wrote in the postscript, “Long live holy Germany!”

The officer filed a formal complaint concerning the threat, but no action was taken in response to K.’s letter, other than it being noted in K.’s personnel file. Although his superiors knew by 2007 at the latest that K. was a right-wing extremist, he was allowed to continue training soldiers and rose through the ranks to become a lieutenant colonel.

He was suspended in 2019 only after it emerged he was a supporter of the far-right “Reichsbürger” and the right-wing extremist “Identitarian Movement”. According to media reports, he claimed that the state no longer had the situation under control due to the influx of immigrants, meaning that “the Army now has to take things over.”

The author of the letter to the defence minister stressed that it would be “naive” to view K. as an isolated case.

Just a month ago, another KSK soldier was suspended after his close ties to the Identitarian Movement were revealed. The Tagesschau reported last Wednesday that the soldier played a part in the mistreatment of Murat Kurnaz in Afghanistan.

Kurnaz, who was born in Bremen, was held in the US Guantanamo Bay prison camp for four years as a “Taliban fighter.” After his release, he accused two KSK soldiers of having abused him in Afghanistan in 2002. The Defence Ministry confirmed that the incident involved the soldier who was suspended a month ago and a fellow soldier, who were posted to the US air base in Kandahar on “guard duty.”

Kurnaz testified in 2006: “Then one of the two Germans said to me, ‘You picked the wrong side. Eyes on the ground … Do you know who we are? We are the German force, KSK.’… Then he slammed my head on the ground and one of them kicked me.”

According to research by Southwest Broadcasting (SWR) and Tagesschau, the soldier remained stationed in Calw with the KSK before “making a career in the United States.” After a leadership training course at Fort Bliss, Texas, he took a post at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and later became an official liaison between the German and US militaries.

Spokesmen from the Army and the Bundeswehr refused to discuss the content of the allegations with SWR.

The links of the two KSK soldiers to the Identitarian Movement are also significant because one of the movement’s most prominent supporters, Brenton Tarrant, carried out a fascist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand in March 2019, killing 51 people and injuring another 50. One year earlier, he donated €1,500 to the Identitarian youth movement, prompting its leader, Martin Sellner, to initiate enthusiastic direct email contact with Tarrant.

Under far-right Austrian Foreign Minister Herbert Kickl (Austrian Freedom Party), Sellner was able to delete the messages from his hard drive shortly before the Austrian police carried out a search warrant on his home. According to the Military Intelligence Service (MAD), the KSK soldier suspended in May also donated money to the Identitarians.

The KSK pursues the interests of German imperialism around the world in secretive operations and specialises more than any other Army unit in killing people.

Against the backdrop of the return of German militarism and the revival of the class struggle, such capabilities are increasingly required at home. Der Spiegel wrote that according to the letter, K. demanded that his recruits write “essays … that sketch out a potential KSK domestic intervention.”

Such plans are already well advanced. The letter to the defence minister makes clear that the far-right network in and around the KSK, which has repeatedly been in the headlines in recent years, is no mere “isolated case”, but is systematically promoted from above and covered up.

Just a few weeks ago, investigators took a KSK soldier into custody after he was found to be hoarding military weaponry, and a large underground store of explosives and munitions from the German Army’s supplies was found on his private land.

As the World Socialist Web Site reported, a right-wing extremist “shadow army” composed of KSK soldiers, police officers, judges, lawyers and intelligence service agents is preparing to round up and kill political opponents on “day X”, using death lists, military transports and munitions seized from the Army. Witnesses reported in 2017 that in this context, discussions about a “final solution” had taken place.

A central figure in this terrorist network is Andre S., code-named “Hannibal”, a former KSK soldier and friend of Franco A., an army officer strongly suspected of planning political assassinations, using the fabricated identity of a refugee. Together with an intelligence agent, Andre S. founded the organisation “Uniter”, which provided the personnel and organisational basis for the network.

The available information leaves no doubt about the fact that these right-wing extremist command structures have enjoyed the backing of figures at the highest levels. The MAD (Military Intelligence Service), in collaboration with the domestic intelligence service, placed the leading figures under surveillance and even used “Hannibal” as an informant during his time as a soldier.

In its official annual report, the agency wrote that it was supporting “members of the Army who are in a ‘social close relationship’ to suspected extremists, to protect them from … unjustified suspicion.” In this context, the MAD described the KSK as the “focus of the work.”

The cover-up will continue even after the sergeant’s letter. Eva Högl (Social Democratic Party), the new parliamentary commissioner for the Army, confirmed this in an interview with Deutschlandfunk. She said it was “very, very important to say that there is no blanket suspicion, neither towards the army or the KSK.” The army is “not a hotbed for right-wing extremists,” she continued, but rather a “piling up of isolated cases.”

Högl said she intended to carefully review “whether the right-wing extremist structures or networks exist.” But she would leave the investigation to a working group composed of the MAD and the KSK. This means the criminals—the KSK and the MAD, which covered up these developments—will be investigating themselves.

Asked whether “the dissolution of the elite unit could take place at the end of the review process in a worst-case scenario,” Högl answered: “This is not the time to talk about or even consider the dissolution of the KSK. Next year, we will celebrate—if it comes to that, and I hope it will—25 years since the founding of the KSK, and I am firmly convinced that we need this elite unit. It performs a tremendous service under extremely difficult conditions.”

The author also recommends:

Right-wing networks in the German state exposed
[18 October 2019]

Germany: Links found between right-wing network inside army and police officer murdered by far-right terrorists
[1 April 2019]

Coronavirus news, Honduras and Germany


This 7 May 2020 Spanish language United States TV video says about itself (translated):

Honduras is the Central American country with the highest mortality rate due to COVID-19 | Telemundo

The coronavirus has simultaneously attacked the entire region, although with different results in each country. Honduras is the hardest hit territory, while Panama, with greater capacity to carry out tests, seems to be one of the least affected.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

[Right-wing] Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández is infected with the coronavirus. He said he has mild symptoms and has started treatment.

Two employees and his wife are also infected with the virus and are being treated.

When British Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson became infected, government propaganda also said that he had ‘mild symptoms’. However, Johnson landed on intensive care. Doctors say he had a 50% chance of dying then.

Usually, ‘mild’ coronavirus infection is not mild.

Germany is often called a country with ‘good’ anti-COVID-19 policies. Compared to Trump’s USA and Boris Johnson‘s Britain, that is true. But that is a very low standard. There were recent outbreaks in German slaughterhouses, a German church, a German restaurant, and a Berlin apartment complex.

Also from Dutch NOS radio today:

In Germany, 30 people have died from the effects of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours. That is more than in the previous days, when fewer than ten deaths were recorded. …

The German death toll from covid-19 is 8830, according to the Robert Koch Institut (RKI), Germany’s health authority.

German neonazi on trial for Lübcke murder


This 2019 video says about itself:

Germany: Two more suspects arrested linked to politician’s murder

Two more suspects were arrested in a case linked to the murder of German politician Walter Luebcke on Thursday.

Elmar J. and Markus, aged 64 and 43 respectively, were detained on suspicion of being accessories to murder. …

Luebcke was found dead on the terrace of his family home in Wolfhagen near Kassel on June 2.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Murder of politician Lübcke shocked Germany, suspect in court today …

Today, the trial of prime suspect Stephan Ernst (46) begins among big interest in Frankfurt.

The main question is of course: did Ernst do it? At least there is a pile of evidence against him. His DNA was found at the crime scene and on the murder weapon, and he made an extensive confession shortly after he was arrested. Among other things, he said that he hated Lübcke for his commitment to refugees, thought about harming him day and night, and that he had already stood several times in front of Lübcke’s house.

Since childhood in neo-Nazi circles

Ernst has been in neo-Nazi circles since childhood. In 1993 he carried out a fire attack at an asylum seekers’ center and assaulted a German-Turkish imam. For that, he was sentenced to six years youth prison as a 19-year-old. Later he joined the neo-Nazi party NPD. He often attends demonstrations of the extreme right and keeps coming into contact with the police. He also has connections with members of the now-banned militant neo-Nazi group Combat 18. During this court case, Ernst is on trial apart from the murder of Lübcke, for attempting to murder an Iraqi asylum seeker more than four years ago. …

But his confession is not the only proof against him. In Ernst’s house, lists of ‘possible targets’ were found on a hidden USB stick. It was a synagogue, local politicians and anti-fascists. He kept entire files with addresses, number plates, behavioral patterns. Also found: manuals for building bombs and conducting underground operations. “Anything that aims to destroy the enemy is good,” Ernst himself wrote.

Many in Germany wonder how it is possible that a well-known neo-Nazi like Ernst was not on the radar with the intelligence service. …

He had a family, bought a house and was CEO of his own company. The secret service thought he had “cooled down” and was no longer watching him.

Incorrect estimate

An absolutely incorrect estimate, says Katharina König-Preuss. She sits for the Die Linke left party in the Thuringian parliament and is an expert in the field of the extreme right in Germany (and also receives repeated threats herself). “If the judiciary does not hear from a neo-Nazi for five years, so does not see him at demos or other meetings, his file will be closed, because they think that this person has turned his back on the scene. That is an absolute mistake. It happens more often that neo-Nazis withdraw when they have a family, but that does not mean that they say goodbye to the ideas.”

Investigation after the murder has shown that Ernst did still support the extreme right. He is said to have supported the banned ‘Identitarian Movement‘ with multiple donations and had contact with Combat 18 people.

The British Conservative Daily Telegraph reports:

The main suspect [Stephan Ernst] in the assassination of a German politician last year previously worked as a campaign volunteer for the nationalist Alternative for Germany party (AfD), it has emerged.

The NOS article continues:

There are also photos of him at a demonstration in Chemnitz, where several right-wing extremist groups gathered

König-Preuss: “Eg, no extensive research has been done on the members of Combat 18. They should also take a closer look at right-wing extremist elements in their own governmental organisations, with the army and the police.”

The fact that the violence of the extreme right is increasing also has to do with the fact that there is now a party called AfD in parliament. “The road from words to actions is not long. If people with racist beliefs find out that they are no longer alone with their ideas, that even a party with 25 percent of the vote [in Thuringia] thinks the same about refugees, this may be a reason for some to go from verbal abuse into reality.”

“In the case of Walter Lübcke, it was repeatedly claimed that he had betrayed the German people, that he was cooperating in the ‘replacement’ of the German people. On that hate speech, someone like Stephan Ernst also bases his conviction that he in fact, by killing, represents the will of the people.”

German neo-nazi murder attempt on anti-fascist woman


This 14 September 2019 German video is about a big anti-fascist demonstration in Einbeck town.

Translated from Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad today:

Two neo-Nazis detained after attack on home of activist woman in Germany

The German police have arrested two men suspected of carrying out an attack on the home of a 41-year-old woman near Göttingen (Lower Saxony). These are right-wing extremists aged 23 and 26. The latter was seriously injured because the explosive that he wanted to throw into the house exploded prematurely, German media report.

According to the state minister of the interior, the woman is known for her fight against the right in the region. The two suspects belong to the extreme right-wing scene in the city, said Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD).

The duo blew up the letterbox in the front door of the activist’s home in Einbeck yesterday morning. Although the explosive went off prematurely, fragments of the letterbox on the inside flew many meters into the living area due to the force. There were no injuries.

A witness saw two suspects run away after the bang and called the police. Shortly later, they were able to find the men in an apartment where the blood trail of one of them led to. The 26-year-old is known to the public prosecution service. He was charged with sedition late last year. Weapons were seized in the apartment of the two.

The 26-year-old visited the concentration camp monument in nearby Moringen with two other right-wing extremists in November. They downplayed the imprisonment of men, women and young people in the SS-led camp against employees. The trio also posed in right-wing extremist T-shirts in front of the gates of the former concentration camp.

Series of attacks on anti-fascists

The extent of the damage proves the strength of the explosive, according to the 41-year-old woman’s lawyer. “You shouldn’t think about what could have happened if someone had been near the door”, he told public broadcaster NDR. According to him, his client was “already a target of threats from members of the neo-Nazi scene in Einbeck” in the past. The attack, he said, had a new, more dangerous dimension. In the south of the state of Lower Saxony, according to the lawyer, “a series of attacks by neo-Nazis against committed anti-fascists” has been going on for some time.

Neo-nazi plot in Germany


This June 2019 video says about itself:

Germany: Counter-protest dwarfs neo-Nazi march in Chemnitz

Far-right activists were met with scores of counter-protesters as they marched through Chemnitz on Saturday, marking ‘The Day of the German Future’. Around 250 neo-Nazi protesters marched through the city centre, carrying flags of Imperial Germany and shouting xenophobic slogans such as ‘Germany for Germans, foreigners out.’ The protest was countered by around a 1,300-strong rally who attempted to disrupt the march, even scuffling with the police at one point.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

The German police raided this morning in 25 homes belonging to members of the so-called Reichsbürger movement. They are suspected of, eg, forging passports and driving licenses.

The police raided in the federal states of Baden-Württemberg and Hessen. It is said to involve 31 supporters of the movement, which is regularly associated with right-wing extremism. …

Members of the Reichsbürger movement do not recognize the current state in Germany because it was imposed by the Allies after World War II. …

They claim that Adolf Hitler‘s Third Reich supposedly is still the legitimate government of Germany.

In 2016, a Reichsbürger shot and killed a member of a German arrest team, and in 2017 police raided members of the group who were preparing attacks on Jews, asylum seekers and the police.

German restaurant, church, coronavirus epicentres


This 24 May 2020 German TV video is about the COVID-19 outbreaks after a party at a restaurant and a church service.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

The number of corona infections after a party in a restaurant in the German town of Leer has risen to eighteen. Seven infections were reported on Saturday. The number of quarantined people has risen to 118, local authorities report.

Fourteen infected people attended a private party at the restaurant on May 15. Four others have been infected through them. They all come from the area of ​​Leer, which is just across the border of Dutch Groningen. The restaurant also received guests on May 16, 17 and 20.

Some of the people who have to be quarantined already show coronavirus symptoms. Part of the management of the nearby big shipyard Meyer must also be kept in isolation, because the personnel chief was present at the party.

Shake hands

Visitors to the party say that in the restaurant anti-coronavirus rules were broken. Eg, guests or staff are said to have shaken hands, kept insufficient distance and did not wear a mask, even though the rules said they had to.

According to German media, the restaurant boss may also have made mistakes with the guest list, so it is not clear who has been inside. Eg, candidates coming for job interviews interviewed in the restaurant are said to not have been registered.

Fine

The local authorities are investigating the reports. The restaurant may be fined € 25,000. …

A [Baptist] church service in Frankfurt has also led to a corona outbreak. The service was on May 10 and it is now known that 107 people have been infected.

On 1 May, anti-coronavirus rules for religious services had been relaxed.

High COVID-19 infection rates among doctors and nurses in Germany. By Markus Salzmann, 25 May 2020. According to the public health body Robert Koch Institute, more than 20,000 workers in German hospitals, doctors’ practices, nursing homes and care services are now infected.