Schlagende Verbindung

The German university fraternities that deliberately cut each other in the face while swordfighting, as a result of which any company manager with a facial scar is thought to have a powerful right-wing network supporting him. This is still going on.

Not all Burschenschaft fraternities are schlagende Verbindungen.

Hamburg’s state Verfassungsschutz has announced they will be keeping a closer eye on the “Germania” Burschenschaft because some of its members might be right-wing extremists.

In 2013, said the officials, HB Germania’s political activity increased and included:

Multiple invitations to right-wing extremists, including a public relations expert and neonazi politician, Jürgen Schwab, who was to give a talk on “Manipulation of International Law.”

Close ties to a Hamburg fraternity of right-wing extremist high school students [Schülerverbindung]. I did not know there were Verbindungen-type fraternities for schoolchildren.

Update on 11 Jun 2014: The foundation in charge of the Wartburg castle in Eisenach said the Deutsche Burschenschaft will no longer be allowed to hold their annual meeting at the castle. Spiegel said this group is an umbrella association of right-wing student Verbindungen, who’ve caused talk lately by wondering aloud if they should require proof of Aryan ancestry for membership!

Update on 13 Jun 2014: In addition to Hamburg’s “Germania” fraternity, Verfassungsschutz is also looking at Munich’s “Danubia.” And two N.P.D. members of Saxony’s state parliament have said they were members of Gießen’s “Dresdensia-Rugia.”

The president of Saxony’s state Verfassungsschutz is a Burschenschaftler. He indicated that in college he joined a fraternity that his family member(s) had joined, that he has been active as one of their Alte Herren (“old gentlemen,” the alumni), and he didn’t mention it before because he thought this was a private matter.

(SHLAWG en da   fair BIN doong.)

“Liebe deinen Nächsten. Für mich sind das unsere Österreicher.”

“Love your neighbor as yourself. For me, that means our Austrians.” Campaign slogan of the racist populist ex-Jörg-Haider* F.P.Ö. party, which came in third in Austria’s 29 Sep 2013 parliamentary election. Quoting the Bible to encourage and give permission to hate foreigners, i.e. anyone who isn’t Austrian. F.P.Ö. politicians said the slogan was an attempt at a “positive” campaign, avoiding “negative” messaging, and that the other political parties were against Austria.

(Bah.)

* Jörg Haider’s old political party has gone through several name changes and reorganizations. Süddeutsche.de said there are now two viable political parties carrying on the horrible Haider’s legacy: F.P.Ö. & B.Z.Ö.

Windhund-Verfahren

“Greyhound method” for first-come-first-serve allocation of press seats in the small state courtroom where the last surviving member of the neonazi serial-killing terrorist cell will go on trial this month. The foreign press didn’t find out about signing up until half an hour after local journalists had gotten the last seat. There has been serious shouting, ernsthafte Diskussion and a rapid decision by the constitutional court in Karlsruhe, and now the trial has been delayed a couple weeks and seats will be redistributed.

(VIND hoond fer FAR en.)

Saustall

“Sow sty.” In German, the sow is a more intensive metaphor for the pig. Pigs are pigs, but the sow is the SOW. After a six-month investigation of the Saxony state Verfassungsschutz office (Saxon LfV), the investigating committee (of “independent experts” under a former German Attorney General) has said the place wasn’t a complete sow sty but they still have some recommendations for reform. The commission proposed creating a permanent “Verfassungsschutz commissioner” for Saxony, a position that does not yet exist in any other German states and would be similar to the state “data protection commissioners” who are already widespread. The Verfassungsschutz commissioner should have an intelligence background, investigate independently, and not be dependent on which parties control majorities in state parliaments or on legislature election periods.

The investigation was started half a year ago by the CDU governor of Saxony after some Saxon LfV files relevant to the serial-killing neonazi terror cell turned up but no one knew whence or how. Although the independent commission did not discover the origins of those files either, they did find many problems with the Saxon LfV’s filing system and also recommended “tightening things up” organizationally inside that authority, leaving power structures as they are but sending “the best people” to federal centers.

(ZOW! shtoll.)

2649 Belege

2,649 pieces of evidence” which have been collected in a report that will be used in preliminary discussions of another runup to an attempt at banning the far-right German political party NDP (“usually described as a neonazi organization“) for violating the German Constitution. Every failed attempt to ban the NPD apparently has worse consequences than if they hadn’t made the effort, which is one reason why Federal Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) said he’s skeptical about the current process. In 2003, the high court in Karlsruhe could not ban the NPD because too many people involved with the party and trial had been paid informants (V-people) for various government agencies. The current report has acknowledged that pitfall by collecting its 2,649 evidence items from public statements rather than testimony from potentially compromised witnesses.

On 5 Dec 2012 one of the small number of government institutions (Bundesverfassungsorgane, lit. “Federal Constitution Organs”) authorized to petition to ban a political party in Germany—in this case the state governors, who were also the group behind this report—unanimously voted to try again to ban the NPD. As Tagesschau.de explained in an online guide to this procedure, the hurdles for banning a political party in Germany are quite high due to lessons learned during the Weimar Republic.

Update on 22 Nov 2013: The federal states announced their petition to ban the N.P.D. party is now complete and will be submitted to the supreme constitutional court [Bundesverfassungsgericht] in Karlsruhe in early December 2013. The federal parliament, Bundestag, and federal government had decided not to join a new attempt at a ban, after failing to achieve one ten years ago before the court in Karlsruhe. The N.P.D. is currently experiencing financial troubles.

Update on 03 Dec 2013: The petition to ban the N.P.D. was submitted to the Bundesverfassungsgericht, which will decide whether to hear the case. Only two political party bans were ever issued in the Federal Republic of Germany, and both were more than fifty years ago, said ARD tagesschau.de legal correspondent Christoph Kehlbach.

(TSVYE t ow! zant, ZEX hoond errrt, N OY! N   oond   FEER tsig   beh LAY geh.)

Halitplatz

“Halit Square,” in Kassel, Germany. Named after a man allegedly killed by the neonazi serial-killer cell. Halit’s parents were at the dedication ceremony and unveiled a memorial explaining what happened and listing the names of all ten victims known of thus far.

The street sign says, “Halit Yozgat, 1985–2006. Kassel victim of a right-wing terrorist series of murders.”

(Hall EET plots.)

Bouffier

The slightly creepy governor of Hesse, which includes the financial metropole Frankfurt am Main. The guy he replaced, Roland Koch, was also slightly creepy.

Bouffier it turns out was Hesse’s interior minister when the bank-robbing neonazi serial killers shot someone with an immigrant background in Kassel in 2006. Bouffier forbade direct interrogation of any V-people in the matter, even though a V-man of the Hessian Verfassungsschutz happened to be sitting in the café at the time of the murder.

Update on 02 Oct 2013: The “V-man” in question, Andreas T., was not a “Vertrauensmann” or police snitch being “run” and paid by the Hessian Verfassungsschutz but was in fact a Verfassungsschutz official who worked for that domestic intelligence agency. This week he testified at the Munich trial of the surviving neonazi terrorist cell member. He, and two other customers who were there when café operator Halit Yozgat was shot, said they didn’t hear the sound of the shot or thought a computer had been dropped in the next room. The Verfassungsschutz official walked out of the café without noticing or helping the dying man. At the neonazi’s trial, Halit’s father described how he found his son lying on the floor and held him as he died.

After the murder was announced in the news, Andreas T. still didn’t report in that he’d been at the café when it happened. In his trial testimony, he said this was because he’d been flirting with several women online while his wife was pregnant. For years, Kassel police suspected the victim’s family and friends of having committed the murder. Now German voters suspect state and federal police and/or spies of a cover-up, because their actions taken together made it look like that might be a possibility.

(Boof yay.)

Rechtsextremismus-Datei

The federal government of Germany has created a central file to collect data on right-wing extremists who are willing to use violence. The file is not intended to collect data on nonviolent people with right-wing extremist thoughts and feelings. All German government entities investigating violent right-wingers are to send all their relevant information to this central file. ZDF heute journal says this is the first visible structural governmental change made in response to the recently discovered organizational failures.

Leftists parliament member Petra Pau (Die Linken) says if this central file had existed during the thirteen-year rampage of a recent neonazi terrorist cell it would not have solved the case because the investigating police never considered the murderers might be right-wingers, deciding instead the killings were due to immigrants’ fighting amongst themselves. There was an institutional failure to consider neonazis dangerous. Tagesschau.de notes that right-wing extremist V-people, paid informants, will not be registered as informants in the new file.

(WRECKED ex tray miz moose   dot EYE.)

Sonderermittler

“Special investigator.”

In February 2012 Berlin state senator and state interior minister Frank Henkel (CDU) learned important Berlin police information about the neonazi terrorist cell but never passed it on to either parliamentary committee investigating the disaster. In March 2012 he did share the information with the federal Attorney General of Germany in Karlsruhe, who apparently informed the two investigating committees about it in Sept. 2012. Henkel now says he regrets people didn’t understand him better. He cites security concerns as the reason he didn’t tell the state and federal parliamentary investigating committees the things he was supposed to tell them. He says it was the federal Attorney General’s idea to maintain silence. (The federal Attorney General sent a letter to news agencies on 19 Sept. 2012 stating that there was no secrecy agreement.) Henkel is now considering appointing his own Berlin state Sonderermittler or special investigator to investigate the terrorist cell.

Update on 26 Sept. 2012: Senator Henkel said his police top managers are the ones who credibly indicated to him that there was an agreement with the Attorney General in Karlsruhe to keep this information secret. His police top managers wrote a letter contradicting this—on 3 April 2012. His police top managers said Spiegel’s quotes from this six-page letter are out of context. Spiegel published the entire letter online in response.

Update on 27 Sept. 2012: Henkel’s man has been named. He is a “senior prosecutor” and will investigate for three months, making regular reports including to the Berlin parliament and the Bundestag’s investigating committee.

(ZONE der err MITT lerrr.)

Untersuchungsausschuss

“Investigating committee.” There appear to be two parliamentary committees investigating the organizational failures in Germany’s federal, state and local law-enforcement, and domestic, foreign and military-intelligence, pursuits of a right-wing terrorist cell of bank-robbing serial killers that rampaged through Germany for more than a decade. The Thuringian state parliamentary committee investigating the affair is based in Erfurt. The federal investigating committee, consisting of Bundestag members, is based in Berlin.

Apparently Germany has a federal Attorney General in Karlsruhe [Bundesanwaltschaft] who is also looking into this. Some of the key organizational failures appear more willing to open their files to the federal Attorney General than to the responsible Untersuchungsausschuss committees.

Update on 16 Feb 2013: The federal investigating committee traveled to Ankara, Turkey, on 15 Feb 2013 to inform the Turkish government about the progress of the investigation. Eight of the ten people allegedly murdured by the neonazi cell had Turkish backgrounds.

(OON ter ZOO koongs ow! ss shooss.)

Bundeskriminalamt, BKA

Federal-level German police. Like the Verfassungsschutz, the German police are managed in state and federal offices with some degree of mutual autonomy.

Thirteen suspects are under investigation by Germany’s Attorney General (Generalbundesanwalt) in the matter of the neonazi terror cell that murdered people of immigration backgrounds for more than 13 years without getting caught. The Berlin state police (Berlin Landeskriminalamt) are now in trouble after the investigating parliamentary committee discovered, last week, that one of these suspects, who supplied explosives to the neonazi terrorists, was a paid informant to the Berlin police. From 2001 to 2011. Berlin state interior minister Frank Henkel (CDU) found out about this in Feb. 2012 and informed Germany’s Attorney General about it in March 2012. But, says this Spiegel-Online article, the investigating committee in Berlin only found out about it last Thursday morning (13 Sept. 2012), and was informed not by the state of Berlin but by Germany’s Attorney General.

“Hardliner” law-and-order Berlin state senator, and Berlin interior minister in charge of the Berlin police, Frank Henkel (CDU) is now being asked by the SPD party to finally provide all relevant files or resign from government.

The Berlin police received at least five tips from the TNT-delivering V-man between 2001 and 2005 reporting hearsay about the location of the underground cell, but they didn’t forward the information to Thuringian Verfassungsschutz, which had been actively looking for the bank-robbing neonazi serial killers since 1998. Federal Verfassungsschutz even routinely investigated this informant for a security clearance once when he applied for a “sensitive job,” and gave him the clearance because the Berlin police hadn’t passed on the fact that he was their connected neonazi. Thuringian Verfassungsschutz apparently didn’t pass on much about him either. He won’t be charged for supplying explosives to the right-wing terror cell, due to the statute of limitations.

(BOON dess CREAM een oll omt.)

Ägide

Aegis.

The Erfurt committee investigating the cell of neonazi serial murderers who only got caught posthumously (after they decided to commit suicide while setting their apartment on fire) has invited Helmut Roewer back to answer difficult questions about how Thuringian Verfassungsschutz paid ultimately-unhelpful neonazi informants 1.5 million euros in cash under Roewer’s aegis. 1.5 million is a lot to be unaccounted for or misspent in German government. Roewer was in charge of the state Thuringian Verfassungsschutz office from 1994 to 2000.

Roewer also appears to have personally made unusually high information payments to a “Günther” who was known only to Roewer and does not appear in the agency’s other files. Tax authorities have been asked to look into whether all V-people payments were properly reported on individuals’ income tax returns, as income to social welfare offices, and by Thuringian Verfassungsschutz as outgo.

If I understand this correctly, in 2006 Germany’s federal government ruled that informants receiving money from Verfassungsschutz and the Bundesnachrichtendienst owe 10% tax on those monies. Normal tax rates would range between 15% and ~42%.

(Ague EE deh.)

Spitzel bespitzelt Spitzel

“Spy spies on spy.” A quote from left-wing Thuringian state parliamentarian Martina Renner (Die Linken) and the subheadline to this Spiegel-Online article reporting that the Thuringian state parliament’s investigating committee now calculates there were about 40 “V-people, spies or informants” in the 1990’s group whence came the Thuringian neonazi cell that murdered people with immigrant backgrounds for years without getting caught. Thus it appears the Thuringian state Verfassungsschutz, the federal Verfassungsschutz and other agencies paid about one out of every four people in the cell’s source group for information.

Thuringian Verfassungsschutz violated its criteria in selecting these paid informants and apparently also in evaluating the results obtained from them (cf. updated V-Mann, V-Frau).

The investigating committee in Erfurt has had access to V-people acquisition and evaluation files since last week. The investigating committees in Erfurt and Berlin now have access to about 2000 files, including 795 from Verfassungsschutz and 685 from the police.

The three secret services dealing with this problem at the time were the Thuringian state Verfassungsschutz (LfV), the federal German Verfassungsschutz (BfV), and the Militärischer Abschirmdienst (MAD), a new one to me.

(SHPITS el   beh SHPITS elt   SHPITS el.)

auf dem rechten Auge blind

Blind in the right eye. The accusation that for years state and federal German police failed to catch right-wing neonazi serial killers because of internal police failures that have yet to be clarified. At least three, now four, high-level heads have rolled so far. Mysterious documents were mysteriously shredded. The investigating committee now claims the shredded files have been recreated, reviewed and weren’t mysterious.

Apparently some German police have been paying people in the neonazi scene for information for years. This has undermined evidence when neonazis were put on trial, made it difficult to outlaw neonazi political parties and dropped a lot of money into neonazi treasuries, while failing to provide good information about e.g. neonazi serial killers.

(OW! F day m reck ten OW! geh blinn d.)

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