German lawyer receives additional threatening fax from the far right

By Marianne Arens
22 January 2019

German lawyer Basay-Yildiz has received another message threatening her and her family. The fax signed “NSU 2.0” apparently originates from the neo-Nazi network located in Germany’s police apparatus, which first sent the lawyer a similar fax in August of last year. The existence of second threatening fax signed with “NSU 2.0” was reported by the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Basay-Yildiz defended the Simsek family over a period of five years during the trial of the National Socialist Underground (NSU) terror group, which murdered at least 10 people between 2000 and 2006. An investigation into the first fax sent revealed the existence of a far-right chat group in the Frankfurt city police, which exchanged images of Hitler and swastikas. A policewoman involved in the group evidently used a police computer to retrieve the details of Ms. Basay-Yildiz, her family and their home address. In December, six police officers, five of them from police station No. 1 in Frankfurt, were suspended from the service.

The second message leaves no doubt that those behind the fax are either in touch with the police or are themselves police officers. The direct link to the Hessian police is clear from the passage in the second fax, which reads: “You...[vile obscenities] are obviously unaware of what you have done to our police colleagues.”

In the fax, the lawyer is insulted racially and once again her two-year-old daughter is threatened with death. Other close relatives—her husband, mother and father—are called by their real names. These names can only come from a police computer because they were never circulated on social networks.

The extreme right-wing authors of the faxes can obviously rely on protection from the highest political circles. The second fax arrived on December 20, just one day after a meeting of the Interior Special Committee investigating the police scandal. The Hessian interior minister, Peter Beuth (Christian Democratic Union, CDU), failed, however, to inform parliament or even his own committee, let alone the public, about the new fax. It was only made public after the lawyer personally contacted the Süddeutsche Zeitung last week.

Beuth was aware of the threats directed against the lawyer and her two-year-old daughter by the self-proclaimed “NSU 2.0” at the beginning of August, when the first fax arrived, but the case was kept secret for months. This was required, according to the investigating authority, “in order not to jeopardise the investigation.” More than five months later, the case has still to be resolved and the perpetrators remain at large.

Beuth has acted in similar fashion to his predecessor, Volker Bouffier (CDU), who is currently premier of Hesse. Following the murder of Halit Yozgat by the NSU in Kassel in 2006, Bouffier kept silent about the fact that a German undercover agent, Andreas Temme, was present at the murder scene. He also failed to inform the parliamentary interior committee.

In addition, the state of Hesse does not appear to be lifting a finger today to protect Ms. Basay-Yildiz. The police merely suggested “that I could have a gun licence to protect myself,” she told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Of course, the question arises: Do I need a weapon in Germany? What for?”

The reaction of leading politicians is also instructive. Just a few days ago, they were all rushing to issue statements of solidarity for far-right AfD deputy Frank Magnitz, who had blown out of all proportion an attack on him by persons unknown. All of the politicians who publicly defended Magnitz—federal Interior Minister Heiko Maas, federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (both SPD), Cem Özdemir (Green Party) and many others—have not said a single word in solidarity with Ms. Basay-Yildiz.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that another lawyer, Cologne attorney Mustafa Kaplan, has also received a threatening letter signed “NSU 2.0.” Kaplan was also involved in the NSU lawsuit as a lawyer on behalf of the victims. He represented one of the victims of a nail bomb attack in Cologne on June 9, 2004. He and his family were both threatened in the letter.

More and more evidence has emerged to reveal the close connection between the police and right-wing extremist groups. These incidents are not, as politicians claim, “unfortunate individual cases.”

Last week, at the trial in Halle, Saxony, of a heavily armed, right-wing extremist couple, it was reported that the woman was apparently a friend of a policeman in Hesse and had received information from a police computer. The woman belongs to a group of so-called “Aryans,” who, on May 1, 2017, had attacked and beaten up alleged enemies—in fact, uninvolved hikers—in the town of Halle.

Once again, the Hesse Ministry of the Interior confirmed “ongoing investigations,” but said that the policeman concerned had shown “no signs of right-wing extremism” and had been transferred to Lower Saxony, and that the case has nothing to do with the investigation in Halle. Nevertheless, the apparent links between a police officer and a far-right, violent criminal are highly suspect.

In Frankfurt, police station No. 1 apparently has major problems with right-wing police violence. A video of a police check from December 9 documents an unprovoked and violent assault carried out by officers at the city’s main police station. The video was made public by the Frankfurter Rundschau. Police station No. 1 is responsible for the main station. When the police found out that their actions had been filmed, they dragged the young man who recorded the video, along with others, to the station and threatened to beat him up if he failed to reveal his cell phone pin.

Nevertheless, Interior Minister Beuth repeatedly intones that there is “no evidence of a right network” in the Hesse police. Although he is responsible as minister for the activities of the extreme right in the police, he remains in office in the newly formed state government, a coalition of the conservative CDU and the Greens.

The Greens continue to support Beuth as interior minister. They have proven to be reliable partners of the CDU and support a powerful state apparatus. In their coalition agreement, they agreed together with the CDU on new measures to intimate those who demonstrate. In future, the new law will allow the police to film all participants at a demonstration by helicopter, mini-drone or cameras mounted on autos. The law also includes a ban on “militant and intimidating behavior.” The prohibition of uniforms and attempts at disguise in the previous law were insufficient, according to Jürgen Frömmrich, the parliamentary faction leader of the Greens. The new law was a “shining star” in the coalition agreement, he gushed.

The Left Party also turns to the state and the police itself when it comes to dealing with the activities of the neo-Nazis in the ranks of the police. According to Left Party interior spokesman Hermann Schaus: “I really hope that the police who apparently issued the personal data from the police computer are intensively investigated and interviewed.”

This statement reveals the utterly bankrupt orientation of the Left Party: It appeals to the same state that shields those responsible for the crimes of the far right and provides the greatest support for the AfD. It is no accident that the Left Party has taken up the demands of the other parties for domestic rearmament. In its 2017 Bundestag election programme, the Left Party had already called for more police, better police equipment and more surveillance, and wrote: “Many people want more security and to be able to better contact the police.”

The behaviour of the Left Party recalls the petty-bourgeois democrats of the 1930s. In the Transitional Programme of 1938, Leon Trotsky wrote: “The reformists systematically implant in the minds of the workers the notion that the sacredness of democracy is best guaranteed when the bourgeoisie is armed to the teeth and the workers are unarmed.”

 

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