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Germans, Turks use trial of neo-Nazi Zschäpe to get their messages across

Germany, 20.5.2013 7:04, (ROMEA)
The building in Zwickau, Germany that was used as a final hideout by the trio of neo-Nazis from the so-called
The building in Zwickau, Germany that was used as a final hideout by the trio of neo-Nazis from the so-called "National Socialist Underground" who murdered 10 people. Local officials did not want the place to become a pilgrimage site for right-wing extremists and demolished it in 2012. Uwe Böhnhardt, Uwe Mundlos and Beate Zschäpe hid out there from 2008 to 2011. Böhnhardt and Mundlos committed suicide in the apartment in order to avoid arrest in November 2011. Zschäpe then set it on fire. She is now serving a life sentence. (PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons, André Karwath)

Czech Radio reports that the first two days of the trial of neo-Nazi Beate Zschäpe, which started last week, have been accompanied by displays of emotion. Various people have been using the event to get their own messages across to the public.

In Munich, where the trial is being held, an older woman has been standing next to the town hall holding a sign with various slogans on it. Some ignore her, while others engage her in discussion.

“The murders of Turks in Germany are constantly spoken of. I want to show that Christians are being murdered the same way in Turkey. It’s just as bad there. No verdicts have been handed down in those cases yet,” says Maria Frank, referring to the murder of three men in a small Christian publishing house in Malatyi, southeastern Turkey, in 2007. One of the victims was German.

“I don’t want to plead on Zschäpe’s behalf in any way. Clearly what she did is horrible, but I want to draw attention to the persecution of Christians in Turkey,” Frank says.

Frank is a member of a new political party, Freiheit (Svoboda), which says it considers the Koran to be just as criminal a book as Mein Kampf. One passer-by commented that it is unbelievable what some people are daring to say today in the center of Munich. No one else joins Frank during the officially announced time of her rally.

A few hundred meters away, in front of the High Court where the trial of the neo-Nazi movement members is taking place, another woman is also holding a sign. Her simple slogan is “Stop Racism”.

This woman, Turkish immigrant Beratin Koc, lives not far from the place where Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos murdered a Greek businessman, one of their 10 victims. She has been living in Germany for 30 years and says she has never encountered racism herself. Reportedly the situation in Bavaria is different than elsewhere in Germany.

“I like it here, I have German friends, good neighbors, no problems with work, I have simply integrated,” Koc says. She and her friends from the Atatürk Society of Munich have come to demonstrate in front of the courthouse.

“Germany is a democratic country and I want her to remain one. I believe this trial will be conducted completely democratically. As far as that woman is concerned, such people are everywhere, racists are everywhere, even in your country,” Koc told the Czech Radio reporter.

The German public has been closely following the trial. Zschäpe is accused of participating in the murder of a German policewoman, a Greek immigrant, and eight Turkish immigrants. So far her attorneys have reportedly been introducing ever-newer motions to obstruct the proceedings.

František Kostlán, Czech Radio, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Neo-Nazism, Racism, Terorismus, Vražda, Xenofobie, zprávy, Aktivismus, cizinci, menšiny, Mnichov, Nacionalismus, neonacista, Občanská společnost, proces, protest, Zschäpeová , ženy, EU, Extremism, Facism, Germany, Immigration, integration, news, religion, úmrtí, world, Turkey



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