Germany: NSU murderers may have been linked to KKK
German media are reporting that two police officers in southwestern Germany have been members of the local branch of the American racist organization the Ku-Klux-Klan (KKK). The officers were the colleagues of a young police officer who was murdered in April 2007 by members of the neo-Nazi group National Socialist Underground (NSU), which murdered at least 10 people throughout Germany from 2000 - 2007. The press is speculating that the German KKK may be linked to the neo-Nazi murderers.
The Baden-Württemberg state interior ministry has confirmed that both police officers were members of the German branch of the militant underground organization, whose roots date back to the 19th century. Both men are still on active duty.
Five years ago, the men were colleagues of 22-year-old Michele Kiesewetter, the police officer who was shot in the head while in a police vehicle in Heilbronn. Her service weapon was found last year in the recreational vehicle in which two NSU members, Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos took their lives in order to evade arrest.
The German daily Bild has pointed to a possible link between the murder of the young policewoman and the German KKK, noting that one of the officers identified as a KKK member was Kiesewetter's direct superior and could have given the neo-Nazis information as to where she was. The perpetrators new exactly where she was taking her noontime break and that she had returned early from vacation and gone back to work.
"I have absolutely nothing to do with this," Kiesewetter's former superior, now 42, said today. He told the local German daily Heilbronner Stimme that investigators were mistaken but gave no further details.
It has already been proven that the young woman's murder was not accidental. She came from the Thuringian community of Oberweissbach, where Uwe Böhnhardt had lived on and off. NSU supporters ran a pub there and a member of Kiesewetter's family had unsuccessfully attempted to lease it.
The Baden-Württemberg state interior ministry has not commented on the potential ties between the German KKK and the NSU. The state prosecutor in Karlsruhe has responded to the news by issuing a statement saying that it is not following any new clues in the case that might lead to the racist organization, whose members wear white hoods. The prosecutor is said to still be ascribing the police officer's murder exclusively to the NSU.
The neo-Nazi group, which is also referred to as the Zwickau cell after the place they hid out, was comprised of Böhnhardt, Mundlos, and Beatte Zschäpe. In addition to murdering Kiesewetter, they murdered at least nine small businesspeople of immigrant origin and were also responsible for two bomb attacks on Turkish neighborhoods in Cologne in 2001 and 2004, which resulted in more than 20 injuries. They are also responsible for a minimum of 14 bank robberies. They confessed to their crimes in video recording which detectives discovered last fall after the group was smoked out. Zschäpe is the only member of the neo-Nazi trio left alive. She is in custody awaiting trial.