‘The Bomb-Makers of Jena’: Suspects in Bizarre Case Identified as Neo-Nazis
The underground lives of three suspected neo-Nazis came spectacularly to the surface over the weekend following a bank robbery, a double shooting and an arson in eastern Germany. A cop killing appears to have been solved, but now authorities in the state of Thuringia are suspected of helping the suspects.
Uwe M. and Uwe B. robbed a bank in Eisenach a few days ago and then shot each other in a trailer, where investigators later found a police-issue pistol that linked them to a cop killing in eastern Germany that dated back to 2007. Their roommate and accomplice, Beate Z., is now in jail, accused of blowing up the house where they lived in Zwickau. The trio is a well-known band of fugitive neo-Nazis, and they’re at the center of a spectacular investigation in Germany into a series of crimes in the eastern part of the country so odd they would be difficult to invent.
In the rubble of the home which the 36-year-old Beate Z. allegedly blew up, investigators have found nine handguns, a repeater pistol, and a machine gun — including a gun of the same make used to kill young police officer Michèle Kiesewetter in 2007. The trio, however, has been known to German authorities longer than that. A German far-right band called “Eichenlaub” mentions them in a song penned in 1998 — a time when they supposedly disappeared underground, suspected of building several bombs, the subject of police arrest warrants.
On Tuesday, Beate Z. turned herself in to police in the city of Jena. It was the end of a long, bizarre story that has yet to be fully told.
Bombs and the Far Right
Uwe M., Uwe B. and Beate Z. belonged to the “Thüringer Heimschutz,” loosely translated as the “Thuringian Homeland Defense,” a group that has served as a catch-all for the neo-Nazi scene in the eastern state of Thuringia. The Thüringer Heimatschutz grew out of another group, the “Anti-Antifa Ostthüringen” — a right-wing extremist group that made headlines in the 1990s for bomb threats and attacks. Uwe B., Uwe M. and Beate Z. are among the suspected perpetrators.