Report 12: Trial day June 19, 2013


The accused Carsten S. was further questioned by the co-plaintiffs and finally by the federal prosecutor’s office.  Once again, he does not acknowledge the relationship between racist and misanthropic song lyrics and his own actions and convictions, as if he were an “Antiracist in the NPD” (Quotation from co-plaintiff attorney Hoffman).  His memory gaps also extend to most subject areas that do not have to do with the weapon used in the commission of the crimes.  At the end of the co-plaintiff’s examination, he gave an emotional apology: “I cannot measure the inconceivable suffering and injustice that was done to you, the relatives – to you – you as family members – I have no words for it.”

[deutsch]   [türkçe]

At 9:50 the senate enters the hall.  The examination of Carsten S. by the co-plaintiffs continues.  Proceedings begin with the representatives of the victims of the nail bomb attack on the 9th of June 2004 on Keupstraße in Köln.  Attorney Schön starts.  He asks initially if S. knew why Böhnhardt had to go to jail.  S. says he heard about the bomb workshop in a garage through media coverage.  He doesn’t know anything about normal bombs: “I can remember dummy bombs and then Christian K. said, ‘have you seen: blackened pipes.  It got rather trivialized.”  Once again he can’t remember debates about militancy.  Schön reads aloud a fundraising from the NSU.  Amongst other things the letter says: “The NSU’s tasks exist in the fight against the enemies of the German people.  (…) The actions are purusued according to the motto ‘Victory or Death.’  Every comrade is needed.  Give your best, enough words have been exchanged.”  While he read aloud, the presiding judge Manfred Götzl censured Schön, indicating Schön should please get to the question.  S. says, he neither knows this letter, nor other letters of its kind.  Schön’s following question provoked several objections form attorney Heer, Beate Zschäpe’s lawyer.  Finally Schön asked: “After being confronted with this letter, do any new memories come to you regarding arguments about violent actions in your, I’ll say for the moment, neo-Nazi circles?”  Attorney Klemke, Ralf Wohlleben’s attorney, objects here.  Schön asks in return: “What are they/you then?” [In the German, the question has an ambiguous subject, it could either mean they or you, prompting the following controversy] Klemke replies: “Do you mean me? You’ll get censured now.”  After the altercation they continued, Klemke demands that Götzl calls attorney Schön to order.  Götzl answers that Klemke can object to questions, but cannot demand calls to order.  The debate about to whom or to what the “they” refers in Schön’s formulation continues.  Schön says the “they” refers to the scene, in which it was possibly discussed.  Schön also says: “I’m against sanctimony.  When one hangs out in right-wing radical circles, in which one represents such people, then one shouldn’t be so sanctimonious.  Götzl requests that questions are posed precisely and do not become personal.

Schön asks next about the “Pogromly” game [neo-Nazi redesign of the popular board game Monopoly, sold to raise funds for the NSU].  S. says: “I knew that André was going around with the game at the time, I remember that.”  He never had part of it himself.  Attorney Kaplan asks predominately about S.’s exit from the scene.  S. says he was also ideologically finished with the Nazi scene.  Leaving was a process.  His homosexuality played a big role.  It became easier with each person whom he told about his homosexuality.  Actually, in the beginning he wanted to avoid that the right-wing scene found out about it, but then after two to four weeks it got around anyway.  Kaplan asks about the situation in which former comrades Ralf O. and Alexander H., amongst others, surrounded him.  S. explains that it was in a Villa that can be rented for private parties.  He was surrounded there, and then a female friend pulled him away.  Nothing further happened.  Primarily, the threats from his ex-comrades were about his homosexuality.  Ralf O. had, however, said: “Lay off him.”  To the question if the year 1999 was the heyday of his career as a party official, S. answers in the affirmative.  Kaplan asks than if he heard about neo-Nazi attacks in England at the time.  S. said no.

Next to examine S. is attorney Singer, followed by attorney Erdal.  Singer asks, amongst other things, once again to S.’s reasons not to answer anything from Wohlleben’s defense.  S.: “Well, I discussed this with my attorney, and we thought about if any information could come that would help.  But I would like that he [Wohlleben] presents his perspective, and it seems to me that when I allow questions, he could watch in peace as I be made to stand here like an idiot, I don’t know by what means, and I just see that as unfair.”  Later, he was asked to clarify the phrasing “stand here like an idiot” by another representative of a co-plaintiff: “Well, for me its not that I have fears or anxieties about what’s coming.  It’s rather the feeling that I’m the advance payment.  To offer him a platform for things that are difficult to comprehend, for theses, to twist my words.  That wouldn’t be a problem, if he were also pay in advance.”  He doesn’t have the same problem with Zschäpe’s defense, because he hardly knew here.  Erdal asks about Wohlleben’s connections in Mainz or Ludwigshafen.  S. doesn’t know about them; he doesn’t know Matthias H. or Malte R.

After further questions from the representation from the co-plaintiffs for the Keupstraße criminal actions, attorney Matt asks S. about what questions he has for Wohlleben.  S. answers: “They are similar questions to what the court has.  Why he approached me or why the two approached me and not Christian K. for example.  For me it’s that he answers the questions here, and speaks from his perspective.  Also, naturally, what else he knew.”

Attorney Kuhn would like to know if S. gave all the information about the desired weapon to Wohlleben.  S. says he assumes that he had also passed on that it should be German made.  Kuhn:  “Did you also pass along why it should be German made?”  S.: “I don’t know myself.”  Kuhn pointed to S.’s previous testimony that he said it should be a German model because one can more easily purchase ammunition for it.  S. confirmed the testimony.  He does not know if he passed that information along to Wohlleben.

Kuhn: “You told us that just before you left the scene you had in the back of your head that the three wanted to leave the scene or disappear abroad.  Isn’t that a contradiction, that one wants a German model so that one can more easily purchase ammunition.  Did you think about that?”  S. answered in the negative.  Kuhn asks about his contacts in Weimar.  S. answers negatively.  He was just once in a residence in Weimar with Christian K.  He doesn’t know a Martin R.  He can’t report anything about the Jena scene’s connections to Weimar.  Kuhn holds his testimony in front of S., in which S. said the motivation for the support of the three was also the reputation “that I acquired with Wohlleben and K. and in the lower hierarchy of the NPD.”  S. says he meant in the rise out of the lower hierarchy of the NPD.

Attorney Alexander Hoffmann adds before his questions, that S. should please answer exclusively from his memories [as opposed to what he read in the case files].  He would like to understand “what kind of life it was, that you lead.”  Hoffmann asks if S. made clear to his comrades that he was getting out of the scene.  S. says he had made clear in conversations with comrades that he didn’t see any sense in the ‘stuff’ anymore.  He also dressed himself differently.  Hoffmann asks next about music.  S. reports that he purchased CDs under the table in “Madley” [Right-wing associated store in Jena].  Hoffmann asks if he ever encountered the phrase “Blood & Honour.”  S.: “Definitely, in the scene.” However, he doesn’t know the symbol of “Blood & Honour.”  But there was probably one of their flags at a concert he was at.  S. tells about a concert in Schorba, where “Stahlgewitter” [Steel Storm], “Radikahl” and a foreign band played;  about 1,000 people were present and the concert was secret.  It was secret because of banned lyrics and banned music groups: “that’s why it happened in various placed.”  He didn’t know a lot about concerts.  They would get a call from “Rudi”, possibly at NPD events, and then they would drive there.  When asked, he named two bands that are illegal, but that he doesn’t know any that appeared with the label “Blood & Honour.”  He knows “Blood & Honour” as the group that organized the concert.  Hoffmann asks him about the band “Radikahl.”  S. says he had a CD or a cassette from “Radikahl” (“Wir Geben Niemals Auf” [“We’ll Never Give Up”]) and knows the original cover, but he doesn’t remember if there is a reference to “Blood & Honour” there.   He might have had fanzines from the neo-Nazi music scene, but he can only remember on one issue of “Rock Nord.”  He doesn’t have any memory of the magazine from the German section of “Blood & Honour.”  Next discussed was a trip to a concert in Hoyerswerda with Christian K.  Hoffmann asks if K. played there.  S.: “Yes, with ‘Eichenlaub’.”  And also: “he [played]together with a girl.  They also made a CD together, I know that.  We always used to tease him about one line: Alert, Alter, get in the bunker!”  Hoffman refers next to two issues of the “Blood & Honour” magazine from 1999 and 2000, in which “Eichenlaub” appear: “Once they give an interview, where they tell about the three in hiding and avouch their solidarity.  The other time it gives a report of a ‘Blood & Honour’ concert with ‘Stigger,’ the signature is with the word ‘Hamburger Sturm’ [Hamburger Tempest].”  Hoffmann wants to know if S. knows about the interview.  S. answers in the negative.  He also doesn’t know “Stigger.”

After the lunch break S. says:  “Something just occurred to me (…), Matthias B. had always teased him [Christian K.] as Lichtscheiben-Erlwig.”  Attorney  Hoffmann next asks S. if these things weren’t talked about on the drive to Hoyerswerda.  He doesn’t remember that they were.  Hoffman: “Did Christian K. talk about his critique of the three going underground in other places or times?”  S.: “Not that I knew.”  Hoffmann asks about further concerts.  S. announces he was only at a few, amongst others, at song nights.  “Vergeltung” was the name of the band again.  Hoffman than holds misanthropic and racist lyrics from the band “Zillertaler Türkenjäger” [Zillertaler Turk Hunters] up to S..  S. knew two of the three named songs, and states he has sung them.  Götzl intervenes: Hoffman could submit a request to present evidence, and then S. can speak to the subject.  Hoffmann: “Its about the defendant’s statements, that he doesn’t have anything against foreigners, and was somehow an antiracist in the NPD.”  Next he asks S. how it fits together to not consider yourself a racist and to sing along to these kinds of lyrics.  S.: “I don’t understand it myself, that’s also where this shame comes from.  It was amusing, but I never carried it over one to one.”  Hoffmann:  “Well, you said you participated in the violent action against the Döner stand.  That sounds to me then like you’d already carried it over one to one.”  S. remained silent.

Hoffmann wants to know why S. didn’t clear things up about his Nazi past with the AStA [General Student’s Committee] in Düsseldorf circa 2004:  “I spoke with them, but the direction of the conversation was ‘telephone number… Name…’; it seemed strange to me.”  Hoffmann: “To you, that didn’t mean a chance to explain?”  S.: “Sadly not.”  When the name Kay Diesner [neo-Nazi; murdered a police officer and seriously injured two other people] was mentioned, S. said that on a banner at a demo in Berlin it claimed solidarity with Diesner, but S. didn’t carry it.  He can’t remember a debate in the NPD about it.   He read “Deutsche Stimme”  [party newspaper of the NPD]irregularly, where this discussion took place.  In closing Hoffmann asks S. about André K..  S. had said that he [K.] was choleric.  When asked if he could concretize that: “Not everyone got along with him, and he was mostly befriended with those through whom he gained something.”  S. said, when K.’s potential for violence was addressed, that he never saw K. attack, but he knows that K. had to be held by several officials during an arrest in Saalfeld.

Next are the representatives of the family members of police officer Michéle Kiesewetter, who was murdered in Heilbronn on the 25th of April 2007 and the representative of police officer Martin A., who was severely injured in the same attack.  To start attorney Martinek, Martin A’s attorney, asks about what the scene attributes to the role of the police.  S. answers:  “They are identified as henchmen of the system, but for us personally, for myself as well, in interaction it was funny, that’s how I felt.  I had the sweatshirt ‘ACAB’, and when policemen spoke to me about it I said ‘Alles Christen außer Buddha’ [everything Christian except Buddha]and then we smiled to each other.  And I myself had two, as I call them, favorite policemen in Jena.  One said, ‘well, Mr. [S….], did the part [in your hair]fall out?’  And once I was stopped and I said, ‘how are you justifying this measure?’ and he said, ‘I don’t have to,’ and I said, ‘you have to say for wanted persons searches and then everything’s okay.’  I never gave the police in Jena the evil eye.”  He didn’t know about how police are armed and it wasn’t discussed in the scene.  The question from attorney Wolf, lawyer for the relatives of Michéle Kiesewetter, asks if in the scene a difference is seen between male and female police officers.  S. answered in the negative.  Perhaps at the most it was something in the direction of “she looks hot.”

At the end of the examination by co-plaintiffs, S. would like to make a personal statement.  After a long silence, he said, haltingly: “I cannot measure the inconceivable suffering and injustice that was done to you, the relatives – to you – you as family members – I have no words… to describe how I feel about it, that I can’t find appropriate words … what it triggers in me … Myself, I’m absolutely unsure, or rather I think an apology would be too little, an apology sounds to me like a ‘Sorry’ and then its over.  It won’t be over for a long time.  I wanted to express to you my deep sympathy.”

Afterwards, attorney Heer states that Zschäpe’s defense doesn’t have any questions for Carsten S. at the moment.  André K.’s defense also announces that they have no questions.

After a break, judge Götzl asks S. if it ever became a contentious subject, how the three in hiding acquired their livelihood.  S. answered in the negative, and also had not thought about it.

Chief prosecutor Weingarten S., with the BGH [Federal Court], next asked again to the chronological placement of the telephone conversation in which Wohlleben had reported that someone was shot.  Once again, S. places it after the time of the weapon hand-off.  When asked, he said the conversation must have happened before the destruction of the SIM card.  He placed that in the time after he was put in preventative custody that began before the weekend of the Rudolf Hess actions in August 2000.  Weingarten asks S. about the time of his exit from the scene, which he dated at the end of August, beginning of September 2000.  Weingarten: “If one takes the 21st of August as the end of the preventative custody and adds three weeks to it, then one lands on the 11th of September 2000, that is the day Mr. Şimşek died.  This is a not inconspicuous temporal relationship to the first death.  Was there an internal context, which we’ve not yet discussed?”  S. answered in the negative.  Next, Weingarten asks again about an inconsistency in the statement about the weapon purchase.  S. had initially said that he said nothing to the witness Andreas S., but when asked should say that the weapon was intended for the three.  He corrected this yesterday, and said that he was not sure if he mentioned the three.  Weingarten wants to know if S. was allowed to say that to Andreas S.  S.: “Preferably not.”  Weingarten: “Well then, beg your pardon, your previous statements make little sense, when you say that you’re pretty certain that you did not mention them.  And yesterday, you should have said that.”  Upon further questioning, S. says he is not sure if he said something to Andreas S. about the three, but he was probably not allowed to.  That would be ‘something similar to showing off by saying ‘the three are doing well’.”  Andreas S. did not belong, in any case, to the people with whom he could speak about the three.

Next attorney Narin asks about the phone information that was found with S.  Narin wants to know if the telephone numbers were always associated with the applicable names, or if he also occasionally used a fake name.  S. said he saved the PIN numbers under false names.  When asked, S. said he had a number for Tino Brandt in the phone.

Narin shows S. a note from the case files, according to which S. had saved a phone number as “Tino B.,” that has been registered to a florist from Nürnberg since 2000.  Narin wants to know if anything else occurs to him.  S. says nothing else occurs to him.  In response to a question from Narin, S. says he knows a Matthias L., who had also exited the scene, and he, S., had still had regular contact with L. after his exit.  Narin points out to S. that he found an article from 2006 on his computer about L.’s trial, for performing the Hitler greeting.  S.: “I can’t remember, possibly he just told me about it.”  S. says he assumes that L. was no longer active in 2006.  Regarding a money transfer to L., he explained that he only wanted to help L. out of a fix.  Narin asks: “Have you left the scene definitively?”  S.: “I have left the scene definitively.”

Attorney Sidiropoulos points S. to the testimony of a co-worker, in which there was a discussion in November 2011 in reference to the weapon hand-off.  The coworker reports that S. said he passed the weapon over at a “McDonald’s” or a “Burger King.”  S.: “That doesn’t remind me of anything.”

Attorney Narin asks, than, about the movement of money one of S.’s savings accounts.  In what follows, the conversation is mostly about if the account belongs to S. at all or perhaps his mother, and if Narin’s allegations are correct at all.  Ultimately, S. says he doesn’t know anything about it and must perhaps ask his mother about  it.  Attorney Kolloge asks if S. remembers that there was judicial inquiry or criminal proceeding against him in 1999 or 2000.  S. reports that in 1999 he was convicted because of a spontaneous demonstration and had to pay a fine of 300 marks.  Attorney Bogazkaya would like to know if S. was afraid of the three after he broke off contact.  S. answered in the affirmative.  He didn’t have a concrete fear, but there was a weird feeling.  Bogazkaya: “Did that have anything to do with the fact that you passed off to at least two of them a live weapon?”  S.: “Possibly, yea, but I didn’t really think about that.  For me, the whole period was over, and I focused on myself.”  The destruction of the [SIM] card was in agreed with Wohlleben.  Also when he left the scene, he gave the remaining money to Wohlleben.

Attorney Narin asks about the owner of the “Madley” store, about the Wednesday meeting with Christian K. in Heilsberg and if S.  knows Gerhard Ittner.  S. answers in the negative to the last.  Regarding the others, he does not share anything new.  In closing, attorney Kuhn would like to know if S’s comrades also understood themselves as “National Socialists.”  S. answers in the affirmative, but does not answer how they wanted to reach their goal and if they understood themselves as a “revolutionary movement.”

Judge Götzl announces that tomorrow experts will examine the witness, and communicates that the participating parties will have an opportunity provide explanations.

Court adjourned at 16:45.

Co-plaintiff representative attorney Alexander Hoffmann summarizes:

“He described, when asked, how he visited illegally organized concerts from Nazi bands, at which there were 1000 attendants.  At such parties, one sings the appropriate songs.  After S. had hitherto always stressed that he was no racist, he now admits to bellowing along to the lyrics that, for example, exalt the murder of Turkish people.  In the afternoon, S. tried to make his apologies to the victims of the NSU assassinations and their family members.  This apology seemed to be honest, but remains, as it was before, restricted exclusively to the purchase and hand off of the Ceska pistol.  His other supporting actions for the three in hiding, the everyday collaboration with Wohlleben or his political activities – all the same, he educated a 20 to 30 person youth group for the Young National Democrats –, he continues to block it out.  S. did not comprehend until today the actual extent of his responsibility in or the significance of his other supporting work for the NSU’s existence and the commission of crimes.  This strongly invalidates his apology.

Not only Wohlleben, but also S are seriously incriminated by the testimony that, according to the new statements, he learned that the group had “shot” someone and had continued his supporting work regardless.   Furthermore, when even Carsten S., who only acted as pure helper and exhibited a great distance in age and history from Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhard, was told about the “flashlight bomb,” then it can be assumed with the greatest probability, that the accused G. and E. also knew about it.”