Despite the numerous murders and attacks by right-wing extremists, German authorities have long believed that the neo-Nazis were incapable of organized terror. For the “Royal Air Force Brown” concepts, minds and structures will be lost. In public perception too, the image of faded bald heads was so widespread, hitting drunk but otherwise getting a little at the stake. It was a cartoon.
Justus Bender wrote: “As long as right-wing terrorists are seen as irrational hate criminals, the public does not view them as suitable recipients of anger and discontent.” The neo-Nazi lack of spirit does not mean that they have no plan. Strategic papers and terrorist directives have been in circulation on the military scene for decades, some of which are introduced by Bandar in his small book.
As a journalist in Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung He has been researching right-wing extremism for a long time. He, too, is now pursuing a plan: studying pamphlets that publish “Resistance Without Lead” and creating terrorist cells aimed at strengthening society’s defenses.
Because everyone who knows the right-wing terrorists’ plan has already thwarted it. From realizing that the neo-Nazis are also advancing “coldly and calculating,” Bandar anticipates some kind of editorial work for the collective psyche. If the perpetrators are taken seriously in their treacherous rationality, they have earned our “anger, our rejection and our title.” If the anger is suppressed, it is directed against state institutions who are accused of failing to prevent murder.
The focus is on the state and its powers
But aren’t such accusations often reasonable and justified? If someone misunderstands the strategy papers Bandar analyzed, officers in the Criminal and Constitutional Protection offices are the first to be with them full-time. Highlighting their role critically does not necessarily mean minimizing the guilt of far-right perpetrators.
As elegant as Bender’s article looks, it hides a lot in terms of content. Anyone using the far-sighted “escalation model” developed by a team led by sociologist Wilhelm Heitmeyer can see that the texts of the strategy that Bandar deals with arise from the planning and support environment that can motivate and secure terrorists – but this core of violence is surrounded by other social classes He provides ideological support without being guilty in the legal sense.
The book largely ignores this link to the social climate, which contributes to the fact that right-wing terrorists – whether they are NSU neo-Nazis or killer Walter Lübcke – feel empowered to act. Martín Steinhagen understands this relationship much better in his portrayal of the attack on Lübcke.
The freelance journalist doesn’t just describe the sometimes touching story of the victim and the terrifying biography of killer Stefan Ernst. Not only did he lecture about the results of the court proceedings, which ended in the spring with Ernst’s sentence of life in prison. Based on this case, the book shows the broad impact of right-wing violence running through the Federal Republic.
The book is powerful as the interaction between individual actions and social mood becomes tangible. Stefan Ernst had already spent his youth hating. On the day of November 1992 when it was reported that three Mullen people had been killed in a racially motivated arson, Ernst was also struck. In Wiesbaden, an imam was stabbed with a knife in the train station toilet. The emergency surgery saved the man’s life.
Much has been read lately in reports on the murder trial in the Lübeck case, but Steinhagen now sorts the results so they’re easy to read and combines them with useful background information. He did extensive research and was able to see files that were still locked and keyed for decades as it recorded how constitutional protections in Hesse accounted for her work after the NSU disaster. The name of Stephan Ernst appears several times throughout this report.
With the authorities there is “mess in the file system.”
Steinhagen said the testimony issued by the agency itself was “devastating”. Apparently there was “a mess in the file system” in the Authority. The material was not registered, some things simply disappeared. Often, the sources in the neo-Nazi scene are not asked and do not attempt to verify the information or analyze it in a comprehensive overview. The report notes that interesting hints “were not always followed up in the evaluation as well as in procurement.”
A similar picture has already surfaced in other offices while the NSU case was dealt with. As Justus Bender has rightly written, one of the goals of right-wing terrorists is “isolation between victim groups and the security authorities.”
His advice that bereaved victims should condemn this aim first before expressing potentially justified criticism of investigators or constitutional protection officers, but it appears somewhat arrogant in light of the failure of the offices at which Steinhagen works. He hints that people are so simple-minded that they cannot look at several levels simultaneously: the brutal plans and actions of the hard-right, the irresponsible actions of the security authorities and the racist rhetoric reaching the middle of society.
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