The accused Holger G., who only read a statement before the court, continued refusing to answer any questions. Because of his refusal, Holger G.’s testimony was transacted to the court by interviewing one of the investigators – today, the BKA official Sch. – that interrogated him about G.’s statements in the interrogation. Through this testimony it becomes clear exactly how unwillingly G. revealed information and ultimately seriously incriminated himself, Zschäpe and Ralf Wohlleben. The information also provided further insight into the environment of the NSU.
Court convenes at 9:40. Attorney Dierbach announces that the co-plaintiff Yozgat would like to make a statement in the course of the day. The presiding judge, Götzl, decides to begin, however, with the witness Sch., a chief inspector at the BKA that conducted a total of five interviews with the accused Holger G. in the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012. Götzl’s questioning of the witness Sch. lead Sch. to through the events of the various interview appointments. Götzl asks the witness numerous questions based on the notes of Sch.’s interrogations, which Sch. mostly confirms. In each interview the same topics are frequently revisited. It also seems that Sch. reported information to the court that came from interrogations, about which Götzl had not directly asked.
[Editor’s note: in the following testimony, Sch. reports to the court what G. said during the interrogations about his actions and statements, and those of others related to the investigation]
Initially the court focuses on an interview that Sch. conducted with G. on 25 November 2011 in the JVA Köln-Ossendorf. According to Sch., G. wanted to make a comprehensive statement, but it became more complicated than expected. G., reportedly, struggled with himself to provide testimony. He provided information that he later had to correct. G. is also said to have cried. G. admitted to having, at the behest of Ralf Wohlleben, given 3,000 DM to the three in hiding. Then he changed his external appearance, cutting his hair and growing a mustache for a passport. G. stated that he remained in contact with the three, and admitted to giving them an AOK-card [health insurance card], an ADAC-card [an automotive club], and, in 2005, a drivers license. In 2011 he had an extra [second]passport issued. G. then admitted to transporting a weapon that he alledgedly received from Wohlleben. The weapon was handed off and loaded in the trio’s residence. According to Sch.: “he [G.] then said something to the effect that he would not want to participate in the same kind of bullshit again, and that one cannot presume to be able to save the world with five people.” G. then had to make a correction on one point. He had initially claimed to have never come in contact with Thorsten Heise regarding the possible flight of the three abroad, because Heise was out of his league. He then conceded, however, that he did contact Heise.
According to the testimony of Sch., G. initially claimed he was never repaid the 3,000 DM, but later admitted that he was indeed repaid, and also received an additional 10,000 DM from the three to put into safekeeping. He did not have provide any service in return. Götlz asks Sch. if G. had testified that in either 2000 or 2001 Wohlleben asked G. if he was ready to help again. Sch. confirmed that the solicited help was for a [first]Passport. At the time, Wohlleben was still the contact man, but G. received a cellphone number from Wohlleben, so he could have contact to the three. The interaction with Wohlleben was friendly, but their friendship was shattered after the weapon-transport incident. G. reportedly asked Wohlleben why “the buck was passed” to him to transport the weapon.
The [first]passport was issued in Hannover in 2001 and was handed over at the Zwickau trainstation. They stayed there only briefly, in order not to leave any long, unexplained window of time open. G. payed for the expenses. G. said that if he ever received, it always came from Zschäpe. G. testified that he did not give the three any personal ID cards, but had merely lost one. He repeated this in other interviews.
Sch. testified that G. claimed he first came back into contact with Böhnhardt, Mundlos and Zschäpe in 2005. He alleges to have removed himself from the [right-wing] scene. When they made a surprise visit in 2005, he was delighted to see them again. Reportedly, they had no problem with the fact that he didn’t have anything to do with the scene any more. G. was left with the impression that the three were also no longer active. Previously G. had had regular telephone contact [it unclear who with]. Sch. confirmed Götzls question, if G. claimed to want nothing to do with “the people around Ralf, Basti, and the whole environment.” G testified that Wohlleben and André K. had maintained contact with Böhnhardt, Mundlos und Zschäpe and had organized concerts to support them. G. celebrated his 30th birthday in the “Brown House” [in Jena]. G. claimed that was the last time he spoke to Wohlleben about the three. According to Sch. this birthday is a temporal anchor point in G.’s testimony. It was, according to G., also the moment of his withdrawal, amongst other reasons, because his girlfriend cheated on him with Sebastian W. In the period between the passport handoff and G.’s 30th birthday it is alleged that Wohlleben said “Ich habe die Schnauze voll” [approx. “I’ve had it up to here!”] about the three. G. claims that Wohlleben aspired to a career in the NPD and supporting the three in hiding stood in his way.
According to Sch., G. had not named any other supporters. G. is reported to have also denied knowing Persons that sell weapons. G., when directly asked, reportedly also testified that he was investigated by the office of public prosecution of Gera in either 1996 or 1997 for suspected involvement in the use of mail bombs. G. further testified that Böhnhardt, Mundlos, Zschäpe and André K. were charged for their involvement, but only knew that the charges against himself were dismissed. G. indicated that he found out after the fact that the three had something to do with the doll-body [Editor’s note: Uwe Böhnhardt hung a doll’s torso adorned with the Star of David from the side of a highway bridge near Jena on 13.04.1996. Two dummy bombs were attached. In 1997 he was sentenced to three years and six months in jail for public incitement and disturbing the peace. The sentence was never served] and the pipe and suitcase bombs in the Jena Theater when André K. visited him in Hannover. According to Sch., as G. transitioned away from this subject, it was important for him to make clear that by this time he no longer belonged to the right scene, but that he was also not a traitor. G. had testified that he handed off his drivers license in 2006, said Sch., but that G. also had trouble with year dates. A car was already leased with G.’s driver’s license in 2005. Regarding the 3,000 DM G. stood his ground, continuing to testify that he never got the money back and had written it off. He first amended this statement at the next interrogation. Also at that time the claim remained that between 2006 and 2010 no documents were passed off.
The new passport was issued in 2011, because the old one had expired and Böhnhard needed a replacement. The three, G. had claimed, visited him at the end of april or beginning of may, as always, on a Thursday afternoon because his partner was then at work. According to G.’s testimony, it was not easy for him, but the three persuaded him. According to his testimony, they immediately cut G.’s hair and then went together to Rodenberg. G. and Zschäpe went first to a photographer and subsequently to the passport bureau. The Uwes waited outside. They also had a provisional passport issued. According to Sch., it turned out they had the passport issued to help them get an official proof of residence. The two Uwes came six to eight weeks later to collect the passport, also on a thursday. The photos were always done with glasses. Zschäpe payed for all the fees, said Sch. about G.’s testimony. Sch. said that G. could not say whether he gave the remaining passport photos to the three as well.
G. also admitted to having handed off two AOK-cards and one ADAC-card. Regarding other supporting parties, G. testified that he only knew of André K. and Wohlleben, but that Zschäpe had also told him that they had a female friend as well. André K. allegedly raised money for the three in hiding, but there were inconsistencies on this point. G. stated that he would fear for his wife, if he continued to provide testimony, said Sch.. They were able, however, to calm him.
Regarding the transportation of the Weapon, G. testified that Wohlleben put a sack in G.’s travel bag. During the trip, G. claimed he had the feeling that it may be a weapon. He testified that he didi not know if it was a weapon, because it was not discussed. During the interrogation, Sch. confronted G., saying that G. already stated he didn’t want to know what was in the sack. Sch. said, “That was, for us, the evidence that he did know what was in the bag.” Sch. stated that they had interrogated G. on several occasions about this topic. Only after consulting with his lawyer did G. admit that the event in question was a weapon transport. G. is said to have described the weapon with the words “straight barrel and straight down.” That may have referred to the fact that the weapon had a clip, unlike what a Revolver would have had. Allegedly, Zschäpe picked G. up, and together they went to Polenzstraße, where Mundlos or Böhnhardt took the weapon from the sack and loaded it. The loading and chambering of a round also suggests that this was a normal Pistol. Sch. testified that G. claimed he took this moment to make clear to the three that he doesn’t want to have anything to do with weapons.
Initially, G. was adament that he was at Polenzstraße only once, but later admitted to being there a second time. In the course of a trip made with investigators from JVA to Zwickau to reconstruct the way from the train station to the apartment, G. is said to have walked directly to Polenzstraße 2. G. said during the first interrogation that Wohlleben didn’t say where he got the gun from. He corrected his statement in a later interrogation. G. relativized the statement that one cannot save the world with just five people, and claimed he had just thrown the idea into the room. G stated, according to Sch., that Wohlleben told him, that it would be better, if he does not know what the weapon will be used for. Sch. said, they discussed this point during several interrogations, saying that it was a sign that G. knew that what he was doing was not harmless. G. did not offer a reply. G. initially claimed that was his last conversation with Wohlleben about the three in hiding. In a later interrogation he changed this statement. He admitted to having approached Wohlleben one last time at the behest of the three, and that Wohlleben said “leave me out of that shit!” G. testified that the three exerted pressure on him, saying he is already so deeply involved that its too late to back out.
After a break Götzl wants to proceed with the second Interrogation from the first of december 2011 at 11:15. Zschäpe’s defense attorney Heer pointed out that other participants in the court proceeding were allowed to ask questions after each subject was dealt with. Götzl said Heer should save his questions for later, for the sake of the development of the testimony.
The witness described the scene of the second interrogation with G. It was, according to the witness, once again in Ossendorf. Seperation glass stood between the officers and G., and there was reportedly no lawyer present. Sch., needed to inform G. that the charges against him would be expanded to accessory to murder. G. telephoned with his lawyer, and then provided further testimony.
Amongst other things, the testimony was about the deposit of 2,700 EUR in G’s bank account. G. had testified that the money came from his mother to purchase a vehicle. G. admitted that he consulted Thorsten Heise about a chance for the three to flee abroad. The contact between the two, said G., was facilitated by Tino Brandt. Heise, according to G., had a South African telephone number. The three could have hid out with him, although this was not considered by the three a real option. Aside from that, G. admitted that he did indeed get the 3,000 DM back from the three. The visit to Wohlleben was, initially, merely a friendly visit. Wohlleben disappeared into his bedroom just before G.’s departure, and stuck something into G.’s travel bag.
At the handoff, Böhnhardt, Mundlos and Zschäpe were all present. Either Mundlos or Böhnhard was holding the gun, not Zschäpe. G. testified he was selected to be the one to move the weapon, because Wohlleben assumed he [Wohlleben] was being watched. G. assumed Wohlleben told Zschäpe the details of his arrival. He, at least, did not do it himself. According to Sch., G. dated the weapon handoff as “roundabout 2001.” G. alleged that he and Wohlleben became acquainted around 1989 in the right scene. Their friendship reportedly lasted till 2001. Götzl brought up G.’s testimony that Wohlleben, in may of 2003 or 2004, said he had “no more interest” in supporting the three. Sch. said G. suspected Wohlleben stopped his support because of the NPD. G. had testified that Wohlleben knew from 2003 on that the three would not face any more financial bottlenecks. G. testified, that Wohlleben told him André K. passed money on in Chemnitz. G. knew K. from school and they were in contact until 2004. After the three went underground, K. visited G in Hannover and informed him about the flight, because they were not suppose to speak about it over the phone. Sch. said he knew gifts were given to acquaintances of the three, and that it would have been illogical if G. didn’t receive any money. At that point G. admitted to having received 3,000 DM from Zschäpe. Götzl asked Sch. if confidentiality became a subject in the interview. Sch. affirmed this and added that G. asked about confidentiality when the conversation turned to Heise, because he was afraid of reprisals. Sch. was able to calm G. G. then testified that he was sent to Heise on Tino Brandts recommendation. The First meeting was at Heise’s wedding, probably in 1999. Nothing ever came of the flight abroad.
The conversation turned to debates about arming the group. G. had testified that there were two factions in the group. He and Wohlleben were against arming the group, and Böhnhardt, Zschäpe, and Mundlos were for it. Sch. said that he had evidence that the group was caught with knives and clubs in a traffic stop. With arming themselves, G. claims to have meant firearms. According to Sch., G. also testified that the name “National Resistance Jena” evolved, in order to “give the child a name.” It brought a core group into focus. Later the THS emerged. According to G., he was only a participant, others were the decision makers. Götzl would like to know if discussions of bomb attacks were mentioned. Sch. said that according to G., there was a kind of “feeling it out” before such actions. The question, how the others felt about it, was never posed. Böhnhardt, Mundlos and Zschäpe were, according to G., the ones that wanted to do more, where G. and Wohlleben would have hit the brakes.
Götzl wants to know, if G. read the transcript of the interrogation himself. Sch. said that G. read it thoroughly, always making explanatory notes, far above what is typical. G. brought in the term reprisals. Sch.: “Now, I am an investigator of the right-wing, and the normal [suspects]don’t know what reprisals are”
Götzl would like to transition into the interrogation on the 12 of January, 2012. Sturm, Zschäpe’s defense attorney, said that when the court addresses the direction in which the testimony developed, she would like to request that it be emphasized when the other proceeding participants may ask questions. Heer said that there are numerous questions about the conditions of the interrogations as well as the process by which G. gave his statements that are important for evaluation. Götzl reacted displeased. This is not, according to Götzl, Heer’s decision to make. In order to give the defense time to prepare arguments regarding to what extent there has been obstruction, Götzl allowed for a break. At 12:30 court resumes. Defense attorney Sturm outlined his motion to be immediately granted the right to pose questions to the participants in the court proceedings. In the immediate instance, about the development and origin of G.’s testimony and the conditions in which it was taken. The subjects in question would be the individual interrogations. After an objection from the BAW, the Senate withdrew and announced at 12:40 that the motion had been denied. The witness Sch. can still quickly explain the scene of the interrogation on the 12th of January. In attendance were the state’s attorney Dr. Moldenhauer and also G.’s lawyer. The interrogation followed the rules of the state’s evidence and witnessing provisions.
At 13:50 court resumed. Sch. said that G. had indicated he was prepared to provide extensive testimony and reported that he had received not only the 3,000 DM but also an additional 10,000 DM to deposit. He spent the money gradually. Zschäpe gave him the money and told him that Wohlleben had also received an equivalent sum. G. further testified that the explosive material used for the pipe bombs came from Thomas Starke. G. had stated Wohlleben told him the weapon came from on of the two owners of the scene-based store “Madley.” G. additionally gave an account of the so called “system checks,” that he would be asked while during vacations if one could use his ID without any risk. Once, Mundlos showed G. a pump-action gun and said that he could get other things from the owner of a games store. Additionally G. testified that for 300 EUR he had acquired an AOK-karte for Zschäpe from a Ms. R [later Ms. S]. Finally he said that Zschäpe had the finances under her control. Witt he 10,000 DM G. purchase a vehicle and paid off debt. The deposit of 2,700 EUR was the remaining balance from this money because he had changed the DM to euros gradually. The money handoff happened, according to G., in the Zwickau train station, where he also handed off the passport. The three told of Starke and the explosive materials on vacation, and that they had seen him, in order to go underground. The “system checks” occurred regularly, according to the testimony of G., amongst other things, in three to four day vacations at camping sites. Once they booked roundtrip tickets to Usedom. Another time [the system check occurred]near Flensburg – which G. can remember because of a Skat tournament. Once in Lübeck, they visited the Holstentor there. The others paid for everything, he only had to pay the costs of traveling there. G. further testified that he was not allowed to bring his phone with him to the meetings, and always had to call the three ‘Gerry,’ ‘Max’ and ‘Lisa.’ Zschäpe always paid for everything.
On the subject of Thomas Starke, G. testified that Mundlos stayed in mail contact with him through the HNG-Gefangenenliste [HNG = aid agency for national political prisoners. Today, they are a banned Neo-Nazi group]. Starke was imprisoned in Weinheim. G. had also met Starke five or six times. Starke is supposedly a member of the “Chemnitz 88” [the Chemnitz Concerts 88 is intended]and had organized concerts with Jan W.. Starke was also involved in a fight with Mundlos and went to jail for it, however he did not inform against Mundlos [This sentence is ambiguous, in the original german, it is unclear if they fought with each other or fought together against someone else]. Wohlleben knew about explosive material from Starke. Wohlleben had, according to G., said that the pipe and theater suitcase bombs should have only been an ultimate threat. In the beginning Wohlleben had helped the three a lot with money, identification, and cars. Starke was the second contact point. According to G., Wohlleben must have been afraid to go to court and was, for that reason happy that the three went into hiding. G. testified that when he spoke, with the three over the phone, he spoke with each of them. At the behest of the three he spoke to Wohlleben again and reminded him of the 10.000 DM. He reacted harshly to this.
After that the court turned to the subject of the games store. Sch. explained that G. had said that Mundlos had worked there and, in the acquisition of a copied, game it came out that the owner of the store could also procure other items. Through this connection Mundlos could procure more weapons, although the connection was not part of the right scene. Sch. can not figure out where in the timeline this conversation occurred. Götzl brought up that G. puts this conversation in 2002/2003.
After that the conversation turned to the AOK-card of Frau R.. Sch. said that the card was in the exhibit and they also discovered that Frau R. is married to Alexander S., a friend of G.. G. was very clear that R. was picked because of her age, when it came to getting an AOK-card for Zschäpe. G. talked R. into giving him the card for 300 EUR. G. must have also informed the three about R.’s address change. Next, G. was shown some photos. Sch. said that G. didn’t recognize anyone in them. In reference to questions about Baden-Württemberg, G. reportedly answered that Mundlos and Zschäpe were at one point in Ludwigsburg in the nineties. Götzle asked about Zschäpe’s friend. Sch. said, G. testified that Zschäpe spoke of two children.
The next interview was then an the 17th of january 2012, because they had investigated the owner of the store “Madley.” G. had identified Andreas S. as the person who delivered the weapon. Wohlleben had initially spoken to Frank L., who redirected him to Andreas S., and he had procured the weapon. Starke, according to G.’s testimony, became acquainted with Mundlos at a meeting, and was very impressed by the 88er-logo that was worn by some neo-Nazis in Chemnitz on their bomber jackets. Götzl brought up that G. testified the participants from Chemnits were rather skinheads than politically active. Starke had reportedly organized the “Blood & Honour” concert with Jan W. and he was a big deal in Chemnitz. Sch. affirmed this statement. The three had said, according to G., that Starke had procured the explosive material in the garage and that, during another camping vacation they explained that they were disappointed with Starke because they had hoped to get more support from him. While in flight the trio was passed along to others, members of “Blood & Honour” Sachsen. They were surprised by who all supported them, although they didn’t know them personally. In a photo that was shown to G., G. recognized Starke, if Sch. remembers correctly.
Next up were identification slides of Andreas S.. G. reportedly recognized S. and Frank L. He knew them from the scene-store “Madley.” G. never trusted that L. could have anything to do with weapons. Regarding the computer store, G. could not give any further information and the computer store was never investigated. Mundlos was proud of the pump-action gun and had shown it to G. Slides of pump-action guns were shown. Götzl brought up that G. had reportedly identified one of two weapons, because it was entirely black. G. couldn’t say more about it. G. stated that he participated in altogether three vacations with Böhnhardt, Mundlos and Zschäpe in 2000, 2002, and 2004. G. did not know which vehicle the three took to Usedom. The three had had bicycles and had rented one for him. Regarding Flensburg G. said that traveled from Hannover to Flensburg on the train, and then in a Taxi to the campsite. They stayed in a mobile home. On holiday in Lübeck he was picked up in a large vehicle and they slept at a campsite. After that the three spent there vacation in Fehmarn. Then a vacation picture of Zschäpe was shown. Sch. said G. recognized Zschäpe in this photo.
G. was asked about Nürnberg, because it was the site of several crimes, according to Sch. In this interrogation G. only briefly said that they traveled in a group to Nürnberg. Mundlos had the contact there, because he knew someone there from his time in Jena. Stefan A. was reportedly there. The “friendship meeting” was over after two or three hours. Götzl asked Sch. about a statement made by G. regarding Bönhardt’s parents. Sch. said, a tip came from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution that the accused, Carsten S., and G. had a discussion and that G. had told Böhnhardt’s parents he [Böhnhardt] would rather shoot himself then give himself up to the police. G. admitted that he had once telephoned with Böhnhardt’s parents, but he did not remember saying that. In that regard, the conversation was alledgedly about the fact that the car key had been thrown in the parent’s mailbox. G. could not say anything about it.
Then Zschäpe became the subject. G. had testified that Zschäpe was not the type of person that subordinated herself. She was, according to testimony, strong-willed, and was so before they went underground. G. reported that Zschäpe while on a bus once “punched a Punk, because she looked at her stupidly.” Decisions were made in Zschäpe’s presence and she had “a handle” on the finances. She had always paid for everything, and that was so natural, that G. assumed that it was also like that when he was not present. Zschäpe lived with both men as though they both were her boyfriend. In the beginning that was different; during one fight Mundlos even grabed a knife, and lived alone for a while. Because of their need to flee, they moved in together again. Then a photo of Zschäpe and another woman [Susann E., the wife of the accused André E] in black AC/DC-shirts was examined. Reportedly, this is Zschäpe’s friend [mentioned earlier]they searched for, but, according to Sch., G. did not identify Frau E.. Other pictures were shown in order to identify André E, but it became clear that G. could hardly identify anyone from this area. The two sections were strictly split. Götzl brought up that G. testified that Stefan A. could provide further information regarding Ludwigsburg. G. went to a party with the singer from the band Odem with Sebastian W. from Hannover.
Next was a break. Attorney Dierbach claimed to be able to give a clarification. Götzl would, however, first like to know what its about and why it can’t be deferred. Dierbach does not want to explain that beforehand. Götzl proceeded with the interrogation of Sch. The interrogation turned to G.’s conduct. According to Sch., G. had proved to be cooperative. His testimony brought investigators much farther in their work. Andreas S. had admitted, that Wohlleben had delivered a weapon through the accused Carsten S. Next the court proceeded with the interrogation from the 13th of march 2012. Regarding the 2,700 Euros, G. reported that it was the remainder from the 10,000 DM he received. It also came from the “Pogromly” game. G. knew that. It was developed primarily by Mundlos during his time at the technical institute in Ilmenau. G., reportedly, is ashamed, that he found the game funny at the time. Regarding the whereabouts of the old passport, G. said that he handed it off at the pick-up [the original german is unclear which pick up is meant]. The office in Rodenberg could not confirm that, and it has remained unclarified. G. received a collection only check from a law office. He had nothing to do with that process. A “Shell” card [it is unclear what a shell card is – perhaps a gas card?]under the name Sylvia S. was never activated, but is only interesting in so far as the used woman’s name is new, and an AOK-Card originated from her. “But since it doesn’t say R., that means that G. must have reported the name change.”
Regarding the pump-action gun, G reported that if he would have asked Mundlos, he would have been allowed to shoot with it, but Mundlos had not made a direct offer. Sch. said that he had always had the opinion that G. was frequently in the residence on Polenzstraße 2. G. reportedly said that the residence was perfectly tidy “every time” he was there. G. was reportedly able to draw objects [from the residence]in sketches. G. stuck with his statement that he was only there twice. G. could, according to testimony, place the picture of Jürgen H., but could not remember the name. G. could not remember H.’s support action, where it was likely that the game “Pogromly” was sold. Only André K. is said to have sold the game, for a lot of money, to David Irving [famous British holocaust denier]; the money never reached the three. The thrust of the testimony was that the K. reportedly kept the money for himself, but that was left out of the court record. According to testimony, G. stated he never owned such a game himself. When examining other slides presented to the court, Sch. said that they were for the identification of the owner/operator of Madley. Regarding Andreas S., Götzl mentioned that G. testified S. must have recognized the three in hiding by sight, because they would have all shopped in the store. S., reportedly, knew Frank L. better [than the three]. He [Frank] is reported to have also been at Wohllebens birthday. Götzl says that the interrogation has to end here, and will be continued tomorrow.
Attorney Dierbach wishes once again to give her aforementioned statement. Götzl raised his voice at Dierbach. When she also raised her voice, Götzl complains about her attitude. Götzl says that one of his colleagues had an accident and her foot hurts, and he had promised her that they would finish earlier today. Dierbach says that Götzl could have mentioned a little bit earlier that it was beceause of a medical problem. Götzl raised his voice anew. Dierbach added that her statement is not unpostponable.
At 16:30 the day’s court proceedings ended.
Attourney Scharmer, regarding the interrogation of Holger G by the BKA-official Sch., explained:
“The information from Holger G. is marked by the fact that in each given situation, he admitted only piecemeal and partially to various criminal actions, and then, only after confrontation with evidential findings that contradicted his testimony. He attempts to play down his own criminal participation; to act as if he was Wohlleben’s and the trio’s unwitting tool. Despite all his caution, which is to be seen in the evaluation of this testimony, Holger G. incriminated, for one, Himself and, for another, Zschäpe and Wohlleben considerably.”