The state is in the dock in munich

the state is in the dock in munich

The word "historical has been wearing thin lately. From the historic victory in the bundesliga to the historic vote in the bundestag, the superlative must hold sway. But you should only call something historical what will one day be written in the history books. The trial of beate zschape, which is to begin on monday, undoubtedly belongs in this category.

It is not just a question of the guilt or innocence of the sole survivor of the zwickau terror cell. Or just to wallow after the NSU's unprecedented series of murders. The state's failure in the fight against right-wing terror is coming into focus – and not just abroad.

For more than 13 years, beate zschape, uwe mundlos and uwe bohnhardt murdered their way through germany. Ten deaths can be attributed to the trio; a german policewoman, a greek and eight turkish citizens of the state died between 2000 and 2006, literally executed with shots from the same pistol.
The only survivor of the trio after the suicide of the two persons, beate zschape, and some of the NSU's helpers must stand trial before the higher regional court in munich. The charge against zschape is murder. It is a purely circumstantial trial, because there is neither a confession nor eyewitness reports of direct involvement of the suspected terrorist from the right-wing camp. The accused has so far remained silent.

The NSU trial is unprecedented – historically – even before the reading of the 500-page indictment. The crimes of the NSU also have a political dimension: investigative committees of the bundestag and various state parliaments, including one in munich, are looking into the actions of the neo-nazis and the inactivity and inability of the authorities to get to the bottom of the murders.

They were very close to it, even before the series of murders began, when the trio had not yet gone underground. At that time, the various federal german intelligence services had deployed 24 V-men – spies – in the national socialist underground and its surroundings. Among them was kai D. From upper franconia, who "looked after the right" for the bavarian office for the protection of the constitution and in this scene apparently did much more than just observe.

Reconstruction helpers from france
D. As a computer expert, he played a major role in setting up the right-wing information channels and was a member of the "franzische heimatschutz" in coburg probably also one of the midwives of the "thuringer heimatschutz", in the environment of which the NSU terrorists became radicalized.

Today D. Disappeared, the constitutional protection plays down its role. It is striking that D. Like many other spies in the right-wing camp, "switched off" by the intelligence services was when mundlos, bohnhardt and zschape went underground. It is at least annoying that the sources of information dried up just at the time when they had been particularly important. What the intelligence services and their spies already knew, how close they were to the NSU, will probably never become fully public, the investigation committees can still meet for a long time.

Blackened passages in reports and mountains of shredded files have shaken confidence in the rule of law. This is another reason why the zschape trial is so explosive and historic: the state will be in the dock in munich starting on monday.

Even after the first fatal shootings, the authorities were close to the mordern. The most important trace was the murder weapon, a ceska zbrojovka 83, weapon number 034678, caliber 7.65 mm. The pistol is a mass product from czech production, used in large numbers by armed forces and the police. However, the weapon used by the NSU to execute its victims was a rarity, as our newspaper has learned from investigators.

The weapon was a rarity
The pistol of the NSU killers, however, had a silencer and was only manufactured in this special version in very small series. Most of these weapons were distributed in the former eastern bloc countries as gifts to guests of the state, and their remains are very well documented.

For the "bosporus" special commission the police, who were deployed after the first murders in nurnberg, were the hebe trace. "This was like a confession letter, the perpetrators wanted to be recognized", say connoisseurs of the "bosporus-investigation files.

In the end, eight possible weapons remained that must have been smuggled into germany via switzerland. But because the police in switzerland were looking for gun buyers from the milieu of the turkish mafia and pursued a racist background at most on the edge, the hot trail soon went cold. A "historical" one chance was lost.