MY OBSERVATIONS AT THE 2022 TRIBUNAL NSU-KOMPLEX AUFLOESEN, NUREMBERG GERMANY-Caesar Mbotana
Between 3rd and 7th June, I was fortunate enough to attend the Tribunal Nationalsozialistischer Untergund(NSU) Aufloesen in Nuremburg. Different activists from all walks of life coming from different cities in Germany gathered for four superbly intense days of discussions on creating awareness of what happened during the turbulent EXISTENTIAL times of NSU. And as GlobalMatch, an Organization that profoundly believes in equality and no to Racism or Segregation and encourages Inclusiveness as its epitome of work, it was very important that I participated in a series of these events and getting to know about such turbulent history and how we can learn from it to make this world a better place for everyone.
The National Socialist Underground (German: Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund or NSU was a far right Germany Neo Nazi group which was uncovered in November 2011. The NSU is mostly associated with Uwe Mundlos, Uwe Boennhardt and Zschaepe, who lived together under false identities. Between 100 and 150 further associates were identified who supported the core trio in their decade-long underground life and provided them with money, false identities and weapons. Unlike other terror groups, the NSU had not claimed responsibility for their actions. The group's existence was discovered only after the deaths of Böhnhardt and Mundlos, and the subsequent arrest of Zschäpe.
The Racially motivated Murders
So far, the following crimes have been attributed to the NSU: the National Socialistic Underground Murders, a series of murders of nine immigrants of Turkish, Greek and Kurdish descent between 9 September 2000 and 6 April 2006; the murder of a police woman and attempted murder of her colleague; a 1999 bombing in Nuremberg the 2001 and 2004 Cologne Bombings; and a series of 14 bank robberies. However, with all these happenings it is said instead that the Bavarian State Police blamed the murders on foreigners.
One of the activists present narrated to us, that in April 2006, one murder mystery happened when a Turkish Businessman was killed, and an intelligence officer was present at the time of the murder, however, at first he said that he was not aware of the killing until the cameras showed him present at the time of the murder, this made people and observers critically ask questions of how such a possibly high ranking government security officer could deny his presence during the time of the murder. 'As details of the NSU's crimes came to light, numerous intelligence failures were revealed', one person said.
There was pressure put on the Attorney General of Germany at the time who finally called the NSU a "right-wing an extremist group whose purpose was to kill foreigners, and citizens of foreign origin". And after the underlying ideological pattern of the crimes became known by the public, Chancellor Angela Merkel stated on 14th November, 2011 that she wanted to consider a ban of the National Democratic Party (NPD) to weaken the power of extremist right-wing groups.
On further observations from the activists, I understood that Various German politicians from all parties unanimously urged for a parliamentary enquiry committee, which has now begun digging deeply into the details of what is widely regarded as one of the biggest scandals concerning national security in modern German history.
The NSU Trial,and what was it all about??
The NSU consisted mainly of three people: Uwe Böhnhardt, Uwe Mundlos (both dead) and Beate Zschäpe. The trio came from the eastern German city of Jena, where they were active in the right-wing extremist scene. The group’s existence came to be known only after the death of both Mundlos and Boenhardt,and the subsequent arrest of Zschaepe who asked to give out information on the group’s turbulent happenings however. Zschaepe was later sentenced to life in prison, and co-defendant Ralf Wohlleben, who supplied the group with the murder weapons, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
And the date November 4, 2022, will mark 11 years since the murder and robbery spree of the extreme-right terrorist cell "National Socialist Underground" (NSU) came to an end, the trial that shocked Germany and led to a public re-examination of right-wing extremism
And activists in 20 German cities renamed about 200 streets to honor the victims of the NSU murders.
The family members and children of the murdered victims still demand answers
Family members and activists in 20 German cities renamed about 200 streets to honor the victims of the NSU murders as they demand answers from government. Families of the victims have also submitted a report to the UN, to help in investigations.
“In this respect we consider the verdict non-satisfying. ”The daughter of the NSU victim Mehmet Kubaşık, welcomed the verdict against Zschäpe but said it should only be the first step in a longer process. “My hope now is that all of the other helpers of the NSU can be found and sentenced,”, Gamze Kubaşık said. “If the court is honest, it must admit that some gaps remain. As long as these gaps remain, my family and I cannot close this chapter.” She said.
The massive Demonstration to conclude the intense days
The demonstration on the last day, 7th June, 2022 marked the end of the memorial events. Placards with strong words for the victims, their names well marked, and never ever being forgotten were all over the streets of Nuremberg City. Other placards from activists to instigate important topics like Say No to Racism, Need for Inclusiveness, Equality and so on were on display to mark the events, and the message was reached.
This was one of the most fascinating periods in my internship period. And also participating in different workshops and contributing to them was really rewarding. I will not forget having attended a workshop facilitated by two brilliant deaf women, and giving their incites on inequalities that the deaf community faces world over, and giving my incites on the deaf community perspective in my own country, Uganda and the need for inclusiveness was really so empowering for me. All in all, we had a fascinatingly intense week with a lot to learn about. ‘The world deserves better’
By Caesar James Mbotana, 2022 GlobalMatch ASA Participant.