For months, people in an alleged right-wing terror cell spent their evenings waiting for a gas station in Freital, a smaller city inside the eastern German state of Saxony. They drank beer, munched bockwurst and planned attacks against refugees and left-wing dissidents.
This was right within the nose of the local police, whose station was over the road. And, now, it appears, one officer was helping them all along.
The 51-year-old policeman, who had previously been dismissed from his job last week, happens to be being investigated for tipping off the group regarding the some time and place of police deployments out, useful information for many who wish to blow up the automobile of the city councillor from a left-wing party or send fireworks through the windows associated with an asylum seeker’s home.
When the so-called Group Freital’s members were arrested for belonging to a terror organization last April, it looked just as if the location would turn into a model to the fight right wing-terror in German, where the variety of attacks against refugees has risen dramatically in the past two years. This was the 1st time that this attorney general, traditionally keen on Islamists and left-wing extremists, thought we would prosecute such attacks as terrorism.
But this latest revelation of a complicit cop enhances the flak that police and the judiciary are facing because of their suspiciously sloppy investigations.
The spokesperson for Saxony’s Green Party, Valentin Lippmann, spends plenty of his time pestering hawaii’s conservative government with parliamentary enquiries. He is, as he described it, “personally irritated“ relating to this issue. He believes that the prosecutor’s office attempted to play down the situation from the Group Freital and is also annoyed in regards to the not enough information hitting theaters about this.
Last week, the Green Party launched a short enquiry where demanding to find out, among other things, when exactly the truth against the police officer was opened. Because the 27-year-old gang leader, Timo S., reportedly gave authorities the policeman’s name last December this past year.
In Saxony as well as in other former Soviet-occupied East German states, the press, conforming for the official state ideology, simply didn’t report incidents of right-wing extremism. In 1989, shortly before his demise, Communist Party leader Erich Honecker claimed, preposterously,
“Xenophobia is extremely strong inside German mentality. Here inside GDR it’s been overcome.”
Such denial have lingered on over the decades. “For 26 years their state government has acted like, ‘Saxons are resistant to right-wing extremism,” Lippmann says, citing Saxony’s first minister president, Kurt Biedenkopf, who spoke these words in an interview in 2000 and not took them back.
Like Honecker, Biedenkopf probably knew better. Most likely he was blinded by his Heimatsliebe, love with the homeland. Saxony is definitely accused of thinking itself distinct through the all Germany: The Holocaust was the fault with the Germans, not Saxons, and also the DDR, Communist
East Germany? Those were the Prussians.
But Saxony? In fact it is not safe from right-wing extremism.
The state’s capital, Dresden, birthed the virulently anti-immigrant Pegida protest movement and it has served as a magnet for soul-searchers from the far right ever since the ultranationalist National Democratic Party got elected for the state parliament in 2004.
In 2011, a Neo-Nazi terror cell accountable for nine anti-immigrant murders was discovered in Zwickau, a major city near to Dresden. The three-person crew, who called themselves the National Socialist Underground, was hiding, robbing and shooting people there for more than several years.
Nor was Saxony proof against xenophonic violence this past year when thousands refugees came to Germany. There were 64 attacks against refugee accommodations inside the region, the greatest number for just about any German state, and 201 right wing extremist offenses, the other highest, behind far more populous North Rhine-Westphalia.
Freital particularly stood out as one in the locations that greeted asylum-seekers with raised middle fingers, shattered glass windows, and explosives, as opposed to with candy and flowers, as with a few other German cities. Bottles, eggs and fireworks flew from the air in June a year ago when countless people appeared repeatedly to protest in front of your old hotel that will serve as being a temporary asylum home. Then in a counter-protest in July, one reporter captured a pensioner relaxing in a fold-out chair outside his local bar, giving a Hitler salute. The man later apologized, claiming he was “totally wasted.”
It was from a demonstration that summer an elderly care worker, two bus drivers, a railway trainee, a warehouse worker and one guy who had previously been unemployed but once belonged on the hooligan group “Fist with the East,” got together in Freital’s gloomy Kellerbar and made a decision to start their own circle of alleged terrorists.
Their attacks would soon escalate in brutality. When the group blew out the windows of your kitchen with an asylum home in November a year ago, deaths or severe injuries were only avoided because four young Syrians were able to get out from the kitchen and into the hallway in time.
A couple of days prior to attack an anonymous witness provided police officers with screenshots in the group’s chats on the Korean messenger app KakaoTalk. The group had chatted about the Cobra-12-explosives these folks were buying from Chechnya, that they used the code name “Fruit”, and mused about possible attacks or, “Remmidemmi” as bus driver Phillipp called them.
It’s great that 1000s of refugees were visiting Dresden, ring leader Timo S. keyed in one from the messages, adding which he would consume a number of, in order to smoke and clean, one more thing, his oven needed something of burning.
The local Dresden prosecutor began investigating four in the group members individually for causing explosions, no-one was killed or severely injured from the attacks. Then in April, the federal prosecutor demanded the files and took over true.
On a Friday night, the Aral gas station, the location where the gang employed to meet, is nearly deserted. The sticker from your football team Dynamo Dresden, using the slogan “Aggressive Kreative“, which reportedly once hung inside driveway, has since been removed.
“They weren’t in here! They were outside and very quiet,“ the friendly looking cashier said when asked in regards to the group.
The new national scrutiny is difficult to consider with this ambitious region. Since Germany’s reunification in 1989, Saxony has worked hard to be the paradigm of an modern German state, acing school evaluations and outshining another former eastern states economically. But now the area has rebranded with the press with headlines like: “Saxony includes a Problem,“ “This is the reason why Saxony is often a Breeding Ground for Xenophobia,“ and “Failed State.”
Even the Green Party’s Lippmann thinks this really is within the top. “All states leading their fingers at Saxony, whilst they would surely make some of the same mistakes,” he admits that.
He believes that part from the concern is the overly complacent attitude of the long-term reigning conservative CDU party, police and judiciary, where nobody wants to admit mistakes.
“That’s really coming down around us now,” he explains, “The state definitely has problems dealing with right-wing extremist structures, and nothing has done about this.”
When asked how it’s love to be inside the Green Party such a place, he chortles, “Let me let you know, it’s not easy.”
In Freital, the Left Party has set up its office around the high street next to a derelict copy shop. Posters inside window advertise, “100% Social.“
For Timo S. and the mates, the “übertolerant” left was an evident target. In addition to blowing up the vehicle of an city councillor who had spoken outside in defense of refugees, they are also arrested for vandalizing the party’s offices and trying to inflatable a different housing project in Dresden.
As the bus station, even as wait, two young women with elaborate piercings are complaining concerning the bad rep their city is getting.
“Everyone is pointing at us, even though every one of Germany is joining in,“ one woman said.
She was talking, specifically, about another right-wing terrorist who is not a Saxon: the 44-year-old man from Cologne who may have been charged for stabbing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ally Henriette Reker within the neck which has a butterfly knife in October recently. Reker still existed severely injured. But no person called Cologne “the place that Germany is embarrassed about,” as one German tabloid labelled Freital last year.
“It’s not the case what you come up with us, that everybody here is really a Neo-Nazi. We ‘Ossis’, the nickname for residents of former East Germany, are always the mark,“ she says.
Travel books on Saxony barely mention Freital. Restaurants, playgrounds, parking lots (and after this the gas station) are generally empty. The former industrial city has be a ghost town, not simply since this past year, and also in the course with the past century. It’s nearly Dresden, less than a village, and people tend to leave rather than to come.
The anti-extremist band “Loud against Nazis“ offered to perform a concert in Freital this February, nevertheless the mayor declined. None of the for him.