NSU Trial Begins in Munich
After a brief reign of terror in which 10 victims lost their lives and two of the alleged perpetrators committed suicide, a third stands trial as an accomplice to the murders and a bank robbery. The trial, which is expected to last up to a year, follows the worst series of racially motivated attacks since World War II. The Neo Nazi Hit squad targeted immigrants and sought to finance themselves through armed robbery, which fortunately provided the police with enough evidence to close in on the perpetrators of the murders of 8 Turks, one Greek and a young police officer.
After the police initially focused on organized crime as a possible cause behind the murders, they discovered a bizarre DVD claiming responsibility for the murders after the two other known members of the NSU (National Socialist Underground), Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt committed suicide as police were closing in on them following a botched robbery in 2011.
The DVD also implicated Beate Zschäpe as being one of the leading members of the extremist group. Now, she and four others, accused of being accomplices, stand trial in Munich, the first and biggest such trial since the Nuremburg trials, a parallel invoked by the lawyer representing the families of the victims, Mehmet Daimagüler.
The trial has drawn international attention and serves as a test of modern German multiculturalism. The trial follows a long serious of mishaps and possible inside betrayal, as the German Intelligence Agency may have shredded vital evidence, causing the domestic intelligence chief to step down as a result of the officials indiscriminate shredding. It has also been rumored that the German Intelligence Agency was sympathetic towards the political extremists, not acting on evidence that was previously gathered and turning a blind eye towards activities.
Now the group must stand trial for the 10 murders and, if the prosecution is correct, two bombings in Cologne, aimed at murdering "non-germans." Zschäpe has appeared defiant and announced through her lawyer that she would not be speaking to the court for the duration of the trial, while denying any and all involvement in the murders, bombing and robbery. With the DVD confession this may be a difficult line of argument to pursue and life in prison awaits her, should she be convicted.