‘Shameful’ Crime: German Officials Under Fire in Neo-Nazi Terror Case
A group of at least three neo-Nazis killed eight Turkish immigrants, one Greek man and a policewoman in a murder spree that stretches back 11 years — and went undetected until now. The case has shocked the nation and triggered accusations that authorities underestimated the threat of far-right violence for years.
German security authorities face growing accusations that they underestimated the threat of far-right violence for decades following the discovery of a neo-Nazi cell believed to have murdered nine immigrants and one policewoman since 2000.
The trio of right-wing extremists, two men and a woman, are accused of committing a spate of murders that has baffled police for over a decade: the shooting of eight Turkish men and one Greek man, who had all run small businesses or fast-food stands, between 2000 and 2006. It became known as the “Doner Killings,” a reference to the popular Turkish fastfood sandwiches known as Döner Kebabs. The gang, evidently consumed by hatred of foreigners, shot their vctims in the face.
Two of the alleged killers, Uwe Böhnhardt (34) and Uwe Mundlos (38), were found dead after apparently committing suicide in a mobile home in the eastern town of Eisenach last week following a botched bank robbery.
The woman, Beate Zschäpe, turned herself in to police last week and has been taken into custody. Police arrested a suspected accomplice on Sunday.
Shortly after the discovery of Böhnhardt and Mundlos, investigators searched a burned-out house in Zwickau that had been used by them and Zschäpe. There they found the murder weapons from the “Doner Killings” and from the shooting of a policewoman in the southern city of Heilbronn in 2007.
Attackers Made DVD Bragging About Killings
Police also found a 15-minute film recorded on DVDs ready to be sent to Islamic cultural organizations and the media. SPIEGEL has seen the DVD and printed stills from the film showing the murder victims’ bodies and grotesque montages using the cartoon figure of the Pink Panther to point out the scenes of the killings.
“Germany Tour — Nine Turks shot” said a placard in one cartoon scene. In the DVD, the group calls itself “Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund” (or National Socialist Underground — NSU). They are also suspected of having committed 14 bank robberies.
Now Germany is asking itself how and why authorities failed to detect the emergence of what is being called a right-wing terrorism network.