Report 7: Trial day June 6, 2013


The 7th trial day did not continue with the questioning of Carsten S., rather, the accused Holger G. gave his testimony. After an open discussion about his biography he read a statement. In it he gave all his alleged assistance to the three in hiding and heavily charged the accused Zschäpe and Wohlleben. However he justified his actions as not politically motivated but rather purely in service of friendship, therefore he could not have known the fatal racist consequences. He refused to answer any further questions.

At 9:48 the accused entered into the courtroom, followed at 9:54 by the Senate. After attendance attorney Wolfgang Stahl, defense for Beate Zschäpe, said he had seen Prof. Saß, psychological consultant for Zschäpe, before court but he was not in the hall. The presiding Judge Manfred Götzl explained that Prof. Saß had to be at another matter on the premise. Then he notes that Prof. Leygraf, the psychological consultant assigned to Carsten S., also could not be present, but in the next week could be there again. As previously stated yesterday, Jacob Hösl, defense attorney for S. states that that his client would like to pause his testimony until the psychological consultant is back. There is an objection from the co-plaintiff that S. has already testified without Leygraf present, Hösl replied that yesterday’s testimony had shown that the consultant must be present in order to be able to create a true picture of his client. Originally Leyfraf should have also been present at the interrogation, but this has become difficult with the postponement of the trial. Hösl: “I would like to emphasize that it is only a break. We will certainly come back to the points.” Also the co-plaintiffs have not had sufficient opportunity to question S.

Götzl then wants to continue with the testimony of Holger G. His defense attorney, Stefan Hachmeister, however announces that his client will first give information only about his person and then he will read a statement, a copy of which will be on record. Götzl asks if there is a possibility for further questions, to which Hachmeister at this time declines. Götzl, “For the assessment of the testimony it is indeed crucial if he would freely give information.” He and his client know this, answered Hachmeister, but have settled on this strategy. It is not out of the question that G., at a later time, will make further statements and answer questions freely.

It follows with testimony on personal relationships of G. Also G initially reads that, and it quickly becomes an interrogation through Götzl. The reading is interrupted several times because G. at first speaks too quickly and too vaguely. First G. changes seats during an inserted break and now sits in the second row of the accused benches behind Zschäpe and her defense team and next to Wohlleben and his defense team. Carsten S had also sat there for his testimony, now he once again sits behind. The move of S. into the second row takes place without any explanation. When G. still cannot be easily understood, Götzl again takes a break so that a longer microphone can be attached. G. himself tests the microphone system, making jokes and laughing. Multiple times during the testimony Götzl admonishes the accused, asking him to speak slower and more clearly. G. “You are interrupting my timing.” If G. speaks freely about himself he often says “one” as “I.”

G. was born in 1974, from 1980-1989 he went to school in Jena. The highest level of school he completed was the compulsory level of German secondary school. He had experienced a “typical GDR upbringing” with the Young Pioneers, the Thälmann Pioneers and the Free German Youth (FDJ). Since 1989 he trained as a mechanic first with Carl Zeiss in Jena and then later with Jenoptik. He was then put on short-term work, but he finishd his apprenticeship. G, “Then I was, in regards to the conditions of the GDR, upset about the West German conditions, typical at the time, unemployed.” From 1993 he did a job creation scheme and from 1994-1997 a further apprenticeship with quality assurance, during which he was only in Jena on weekends. With help from his brothers, who already lived in Hannover, his mother and he moved to Hannover shortly before the end of his apprenticeship in 1997. There were more jobs there than in Jena. Until 2011 he worked at a company as a warehouse worker. There he was successful, he rose the ranks quickly to shift supervisor and was also an employee’s council member. That he had done a good job there one must also notice that he stayed employeed at the business in a diminished capacity. From April 2011 until his arrest he worked at another company. After his dismissal from his detention, pending trial he again found work, which he had again lost because of the trial.

He discusses his family circumstances explaining that his mother was a single parent since the divorce from his “biological producer.” He had an older sister and an older brother. He had little contact to his biological father. He regarded his mother’s life partner as his father, but he died already in 1986. The death of his stepfather was a dramatic experience for him; he was the “black sheep” of the family. He received bad grades in school. After his brother moved out he was alone with his mother. Through the recess he repeated several times remotely the sentence “The result was that all the love and care was concentrated on the youngest. This was not conductive to development.” The relationship in the family was stable and good, as it is now. He adds, “I also don’t know how I would have survived otherwise.” He was with his partner since 2007; she has had a stabilizing influence on his life.

Götzl asks an intense question, namely what “black sheep” meant. G. said he had developed, after the death of his stepfather, a “problem with authority.” “There was no father figure if I deserved a punch in the neck. Mother concentrated on me to give way.” He had a tendency to subculture; he was first a Punk and then “in the other direction.” He differentiated himself from GDR Punks but with other Punks. Götzl asked about what he meant: “G, “that is a personal assessment. One should not confuse GDR-Punks with the Punks here. Growing up as a Punk in the GDR had nothing to do with Marx and Engels.” He had in any case missed a lot of school and finally in September 1989 left high school because he had, together with another student, taken apart a moped belonging to a Russian teacher. Luckily he was “soft-like” and got his first apprenticeship.

The presiding Judge asks about the role of his current life partner in G.s life. G. answers, “One is introduced to her and everything changes.” She has had a stabilizing influence on his life, because she has taught him to take responsibility for others. He until then, did not take responsibility in private. At work he had already taken responsibility, since 2011 he has not spent a day out of work.

But in his private life he first learned this through his current partner. And further: “naturally no one had told her what I had done earlier, so in 2011 it had fallen from the clouds.” He previously had a log relationship, which was broken off in 2004 and also was not as deep as the one with his current partner.

G. did not want to comment on his political development, rather on his alcohol consumption. He had since about 2002 regularly consumed alcohol on the weekends. This had to do with his community. In his Nazi-time it was not possible, it was so intense because he had to take part in marches on the weekends. But he had developed a “fun way” he had gone to a lot of punk and hardcore concerts and then he had developed stronger ties. At the time he had also consumed drugs. Since about 2007 he didn’t drink at all any more. He has had hardly any consequences, “The only thing is that my memory has suffered a little, sequences of time cause me trouble today that I used to have no trouble with.” He discusses his gambling addiction, because he was in treatment in 2009 and 2010. His gambling addiction was similar to his alcoholism of his “drunk quarter,” he had not gambled for three months, but he was still in debt. Götzl asked about his friendships and came to also speak about Beate Zschäpe, Uwe Mundlos, Uwe Böhnhardt and Ralf Wohlleben. G. affirms that he was friends with these people, but he would not like to say anything more. Attorney Hachmeister explains, “what we mean, is that he does not want to answer further questions at this time.” If there are additional questions about his person, they could be placed subsequent the reading of the statement, probably not questions about his story though.

At 11:40 there is a recess the trial continues at 11:50

At this point Holger G. reads his statement from a sheet of paper. A copy of the statement lies in front of Judge Götzl. He confesses to all the charges of being an accomplice that the State Prosecutors accuse him of, although he must fall back on the fact that he had no idea that he had provided support for a terrorist group. He had done these things due to his attitudes about serving his friends; concerning the true meaning he had no awareness. His text was organized by headings, which he, at the behest of Götzl also reads.

To begin with he apologizes to the victims families, “First I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the families of the victims. I am appalled at the extend of the suffering that these deeds have brought to the victims and their families.” He himself was ready to take responsibility for his part in it, but he wanted to make it clear that his contribution to the deeds was not in the way that he is being accused of by the Federal Prosecutor. This does not refer, to be sure, to the objective actions, but instead to the subjective appraisal of himself. He therefore wants to supplement his testimony.

G. had met Zschäpe, Böhnhardt und Mundlos in Jena. They belonged to a click of young people who also considered themselves Neo-Nazis and named themselves “National Resistance Jena.” They were people that wanted to make a difference politically. “We wanted to change the system, we were not roaring and thrashing through the streets, we wanted to make policy.” He had seen belonging to this group as an appreciation of his person. Beate and the Uwes had a certain reputation, they were at events and they embodied in their appearance an authority and genuine appeal.” (At this point Götzl interrupts and points out that on the paper “authentic” is written instead of “real.” These corrections happen more frequently throughout the testimony.) The respect for the three had rubbed off on him. He could also say that the three were always encouraging of their friendship. He had once gone to a police hearing even though that was frowned upon in the Scene. He had there submitted an identification of André K. from a picture at a concert for the authorities, which had lead to a process against K. “The Uwes had only said about it, don’t’ worry about it, you’re just that way. That had impressed me very much.”

There indeed had been conversations about violent actions but, “I can only remember a few moments, these were also not, as I have been accused by the Federal Prosecution, a permanent topic of discussion.” He had not thought that the three were capable of performing such violence. He had known that Böhnhard would not dodge a fight and had weapons. But he had never used them, “After the discovery of explosives they had said that they only conceived of it as an ultimate threat. I had no reason to have doubted them.” He rejects the accusation that he already know before they went into hiding that the trio was responsible for the bombing attack and the explosives found in Jena. He had first heard about this from the press and then André K. told him on a visit to Hannover. Indeed he was shocked, but he did not have the feeling the decision to want to go into hiding could be or should be called into question. When K asked him if he could help the trio into hiding, he had committed to the first line of supply help (like the handing over the first passport to Böhnhardt, getting together the 3,000DM). He had voluntarily committed his assistance. He wanted to help his friends, “Our whole scene was based on comradeship.” Also he had learned from the FDJ that you stand up for one another. He had the feeling that they approved of his friendship and through that he felt valued. And further “it didn’t change my perception that I liked these people. Naturally I had the feeling that what I was taking part in was forbidden. But definitely could not have imagined the extent of the crimes that they are now accused of.” This is because he had no reason. Granted these conspiratorial circumstances are correct, the meetings between the three would have occurred at his house between 2007 and 2010. As well Zschäpe and the two Uwes would have stayed totally normal in public. They went out to eat and played pool together, they three would talk about their holiday acquaintances. “I totally had the feeling of meeting friends. Except for the code names, that were like nicknames, it was normal.” On this point he clearly contradicts the statement of the Federal Prosecutor. He characterized the term “system check” that is used in the statement of the federal prosecution; first, in the aftermath of the interrogation, “I have, of course, gone over my past thoughts and thought about why they used my identity. Only in terms of today’s views did it occur to me the meeting was a system check. At the time I did not feel that way.” ….. “I have brought to my testimony that distinctive expression. That I had to be present at systems checks is not true.” Three or four times in the year he had met with the three, drank beer and played Doppelkopf. From 2008 it was only in Hannover or the surrounding area. The trio had always announced themselves, with one exception, by telephone and he could decide on the meeting time. “I always had the perception as if it was an opportunity for old friends to meet. The dominant themes were of a private nature. I talked about my partner; they talked about their vacation acquaintances. Uwe Mundlos could give hour-long monologs on computer programs and about games. His exit from the Nazi-Scene dated to around 2004. That’s when he had his break. “Before I had worked together with many “foreigners” they “were totally ok” and therefore had placed his prejudices in question.  His break came when his then best friend had betrayed him with his then girlfriend. Then he noticed, “that the ideals such as camaraderie and loyalty were not worth anything.” He did however still have contact with people from the scene. In 2005 he still took part in two Neo-Nazi demonstrations out of a sense of obligation to his friends and in 2011 he also once more went to a Neo-Nazi concert. He has turned his attention to other things and people and that was what initially broke his contact to the Trio.

Then G. is called upon for the delivery of his driver’s license to the three, which would have occurred in the following year. One evening, that he could no longer classify, they had called. Since 1997 he had lived at the same address. He had thought his exit from the Scene would have ended his friendships. But the three had said that there was not a problem and that they had also distanced themselves from the Scene. In that case they were engaged in a more relaxed and more moderate politics than he knew. He had the feeling that something illegal was happening, at the same time he felt obliged to the three. Initially he took refuge in excuses. But, “they had arguments, the license was only to be used in case of an emergency. Holger, we won’t make a mess of it, your passport we have had for years. And if you say to me that that was really stupid and naive, I can only say today that you are right.” He trusted the three that they didn’t do anything wrong with the document. He did not give them the driver’s license so that motor homes could be rented and people murdered. The same applies to the health insurance card that he had provided for Beate Zschäpe. One of the Uwes had called and said that Zschäpe had abdominal pain and needed a card for the doctor. “I knew that she in the past had had surgery on her abdomen. I asked how they figured it. They suggested that I offered someone on the tram money. She had assured me that the card would only be used once. I didn’t trust myself, so I talked a friend into it and paid her 300 Euros.” The friend had no idea what was happening with the card.” To explain he says, “I would say that I felt sorry for Beate. If you accused me that I had done this so that a terrorist cell could murder people that is not true.

When he was getting a renewed Passport for Böhnhardt in 2011 after the first had expired, it was different. The appointment was set up at G.s house, when G’s partner was not there, because she was never excited about G’s old acquaintances. There he had said it was enough that he had built something that he did not want to compromise. The others had expected that. Zschäpe had a cake with her and the three had their further arguments well prepared. He was in the claws of the two Uwes, “Böhnhardt appealed to my human side. Mundlos kept him in view, so that he no longer could back down, since if the three of them were caught as a result of these expired passports, he would be caught because of the documents either way.  He found that to be a threat, he didn’t know that his actions were barred by limitations.” “In the end I had agreed. In retrospect I think that they were certain that they could convince me, they had brought the hair clippers with. (G had said in his testimony that he needed to get his haircut in order to look more like Böhnhardt in the passport photo.)

Two other accomplices called G. to have him take 10,000 DM from the three and change it and to deposit it. The money he had spent, which he had to tell them. He had the feeling that the trio accepted this. To the transport of a weapon from Jena to Zwickau he said, “It is correct that in 2000 or 2001 I handed over a weapon. I was to visit Wohlleben in Jena and day or day before Ralf asked me if I could bring it to the three in Zwickau.

He was afraid of being watched. I had agreed. Ralf took from his room a cloth bag. I had not opened it. Ralf drove me to the train station and said that Beate would pick me up. I wanted to see what was in the bag. When I reached into the bag, I touched an objet that felt like a gun. I was shocked and enraged, because I wanted nothing to do with it and Ralf knew my general distain for weapons. Beate picked me up and brought me to the Polenstraße. There one of the Uwes took the gun and cocked it. I said, what the hell are you doing.” Here G. expounds a statement in the interrogation. He had testified that he had said, “You can’t save the world with five people.” He had the number five in his interrogation arbitrarily selected. The three then placated him and apologized.

Finally he stressed that he never had the impression that he had been friends with a terrorist organization. And “that the three lived underground, that I helped, that I did this I am terribly sorry and I would like to apologize for myself. But until the death of the two Uwes no one had any idea it was a terrorist cell. That is still hard for me today to make sense of picture that I have of them. I ask for understanding that I am not available to answer further questions.”

After the reading he leaned back and sighed audibly. Judge Götzl announced the afternoon pause. Afterwards RA Pajam Rokni-Yazdi the second defense attorney of G. says that G. would not answer any more questions today, and if it would not be better to recess the court until tomorrow.

Attorney Scharmer, lawyer for the co-plaintiff Gamze Kubaşık, before the end of the session would like to place a motion. It has to do with the order for the so-called 129-er list, that the GBA had placed. The list contains further accused and accomplices and people from the environment of the Trio. These people could, according to Scharmer, be considered as witnesses. Therefore it makes sense at the beginning of the trial to work out that these potential witnesses would not participate in the trial. Accused, dead and others involved in the trial are not excluded. “There has already been a person with us in the audience here that is on the list” (probably Maik E.) He also asks if the updated version of the list was from 2012. Attorney Sturm, defense of Zschäpe, attaches themselves to the motion and also urges that attention is paid to person control so that these people cannot come into the hall.

The Ismail Yozgat, co-plaintiff and father of the murdered Halit Yozgat stands up and would like to say something. Judge Götzl prevents that. Yozgat will be added to the list to give a statement but now we are having the interrogation of the accused.

At 12:30 he ended the session.

Attorney Stolle comments on the testimony from G.
“Holger G has admitted the objective acts and with this considerably damaged Beate Zschäpe and Ralph Wohlleben. Like Carsten S. Holger G. also tries to deny any personal responsibility for the murders, bombings and bank robberies. In that regard his testimony was not believable. Someone who delivers a stolen weapon and then identification papers for life in the underground for three people who were wanted for planning bomb attacks, cannot seriously claim that he assumed that Mundlos, Böhnhardt and Zschäpe had no further attacks planed.”

Attorney Scharmer comments on his motion for to lead for an exclusion of those from the so-called 129er List as potential witnesses:
“It is obvious that those the Attorney General’s office investigated, especially the contact people of the trio, will come into consideration as witnesses. Then they could, if necessary, they would be able to give information to the emergence, support or at least to the concrete life situation of Mundlos, Böhnhardt and Zschäpe while underground. If they are allowed to participate as observers of the trial, that jeopardizes the authenticity of their statements. That is not true for other people who are bound to secrecy with respect to the trial such as lawyers, because these people cannot be called to the stand. In addition we would like to know from the Attorney General if in the meantime the list has been actualized.”


[Protokoll auf Deutsch]