Archive/File: orgs/german/treptow-comrades/press/der-spiegel.971222 Last-Modified: 1997/12/29 Germany: Report Details 'Growing Militancy' Among Neo-Nazis Hamburg Der Spiegel in German 22 Dec 97 pp 37-38 Staff report: "An Explosive Climate" The raid was something of a routine affair, but the material that was seized was out of the ordinary. When police investigators came to search the homes of members of the Berlin "Treptow Comrades," in addition to knives and tear- gas guns, they found the materials needed to construct pipe bombs. Twenty-year-old Carsten M. and 17-year-old Patrick D. were remanded in custody. D. admitted that he and his buddy had been planning an attack on a young PDS [Party of Democratic Socialism] member. A bomb was to be detonated on the man's balcony. The two right-wing extremists are accused of having carried out open-air trial explosions in preparation for the attack. According to Eduard Vermander, head of the Berlin Office for the Protection of the Constitution, right-wing bomb-makers add a "new dimension" to the neo-Nazi scene in Germany, which the secret service considers to be "very critical." There is a growing danger that right-wing terrorists will launch a campaign of violence modeled on that of the Red Army faction (RAF). At the beginning of December, police officers found bomb- making materials at the Lechrain barracks in Landsberg, Bavaria, and concluded that right-wing extremist Bundeswehr soldiers were involved. Officers from Fuerstenfeldbruck police headquarters found weapons, ammunition, chemicals, fuses, a device for launching a "Milan" anti-tank missiles as well as bomb-making plans. The secret services were alarmed by the discovery at Landsberg am Lech, where Hitler once worked on "Mein Kampf" while serving a prison sentence. Franz Gruber, spokesman for the Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, says that the secret service assigns "great attention" to any attempts made by neo-Nazis to acquire weapons and explosives. The intelligence services are unable to check the trend toward greater militancy within the various right-wing groupings of young men. The "Treptow Comrades," formed in 1995, has about 30 members and is the largest of the 11 such neo-Nazi associations in Berlin. They group together about 120 fascist militants. Officials of the FAP [Liberal German Workers Party], which was banned by the federal interior minister in February 1995, have played a key role in establishing the Treptow group. Detlef Nolde, formerly a Berlin FAP "head of training," was leader of the Treptow group for years. The members of the fascist cell -- school students, apprentices, and skilled manual workers aged between 18 and just over 30 -- see Germany as being dominated by "foreign powers" whose goal is "the biological destruction of the German people." Thus, in their pamphlet "Who We Are and What We Want," in which they set out their views, the comrades call for the "punishment of all those who collaborate" with hostile powers. Nolde had the young right-wingers form a kind of leisure time Gestapo, tasked with drawing up a black list of political enemies, "extending from PDS mayors through left- wing journalists to 'anti-fascist' roughnecks." However, the gaunt fanatic ended up in jail for assaulting two of his comrades. On 17 April, Nolde and neo-Nazi Lutz Schillok attacked two comrades in Berlin. Schillok stabbed the two and was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment by the Berlin district court. Nolde was also convicted and has to spend two years behind bars for aggravated assault. The former FAP man was already convicted back in 1996 of "forming an armed band" and ordered to pay a fine. Since the stabbing of the two comrades, the Treptow group has become a cause of concern within the movement itself, even for dyed-in-the-wool right-wingers. Frank Schwerdt, the 54-year-old head of that wing of the Berlin right-wing extremist scene that seeks to operate within the law, read the riot act to the comrades at a crisis meeting last week and spoke of a "bunker mentality that has to be overcome urgently." Members of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution estimate that there are between 50 and 100 militant neo- Nazis across the country who have the mental and technical ability to engage in acts of terrorism. Security experts are particularly concerned about a dozen or so right-wing Rambos, who fought on the Croatian side in the Yugoslav civil war at the beginning of the 1990s. Some thoughtful members of the service, such as those in North-Rhine Westphalia, fear that the application of too much pressure on the neo-Nazis by the state will encourage rather than check any propensity for committing acts of violence: "We do not have a right-wing terrorist group yet, but we might have one soon," says a member of the secret service at the Interior Ministry in Duesseldorf. The politicians who determine security policy face a dilemma: lifting the ban on neo-Nazi organizations that wave flags in front of television cameras and then damage the country's reputation throughout the world is out of the question. On the other hand, fascist terrorism could pose more of a danger than the small right-wing parties ever did. A concept for action based on that of RAF is already circulating on the right-wing extremist scene. Federal prosecutors have already filed an indictment against neo- Nazis Christian Scholz, 31, and Henry Fiebig, 34, accusing them of attempting to form a terrorist organization. The Karlsruhe prosecutors, who worked together with the Federal Office of Criminal Investigations (BKA) on an investigation that lasted four years, also charge that the two produced and disseminated a four-part publication ("A Movement Under Arms") from 1989 through 1991. Since 1993, the publication has been sold by the NSDAP [Nationalist Socialist Workers Party of Germany] Overseas Organization through a mailbox number in Lincoln in the US state of Nebraska. The leader of that group is German-American Gary Lauck, who is currently in Hamburg serving a four-year prison term for breach of the peace and incitement to racial hatred offenses. The author of the pamphlets used the pen-name "Hans Westmar," which was the name of a 1933 propaganda film about Berlin SA [Storm Troopers] leader Horst Wessel, who was murdered by a pimp. "Hans Westmar" advocates the "formation of a suitable werewolf cadre" for the "organization of an armed struggle" aimed at "destroying the Jewish system." The fascist guerrilla handbook, which BKA investigators consider a "tightly drawn up concept," describes numerous operational goals for right-wing terrorists. Thus, "Westmar" calls for the targeted "destruction of the broadcasting facilities of establishment media," hostage- taking, arson attacks, and bank robberies "to provide operational groups with a degree of financial leeway." The neo-Nazi book of tips for the terrorist expresses respect for the Red Army Faction. "Westmar" acknowledges that they "recognized the principles for the urban guerrilla's waging of an armed underground campaign" and those are valid "irrespective of the political convictions held." However, "Westmar" advises that in contrast to the RAF, fascist activists should not completely submerge themselves in illegality. It is far more appropriate for the "werewolf of the future" to be a "weekend and leisure time terrorist." Scholz, whom investigators suspect of being the main author of the work, was an FAP official in Lower Saxony at the end of the 1980's and considered a fanatical slave driver. In 1990, he left the organization and, like Fiebig, joined the Nationalist Offensive, which was banned at the end of 1992. In June 1993, he and his buddy Fiebig gave a demonstration of what form a "movement under arms" could take. About 250 left-wing radicals tried to storm Fiebig's apartment, located close to the "Rote Flora" anarchist center in Hamburg's Schanzen district. Fiebig, who was in the apartment along with Scholz, at first fired flares at the attackers and then leaned out of the window with a sawn-off shotgun. Only later did it transpire that the weapon was just a decorative item. In the same year, Scholz went on to become "editor" of the "HNG News," published by the "Relief Organization for Nationalist Political Prisoners" (HNG), where he indulged in fantasies of violence remarkably similar to those of "Hans Westmar." In the best "Westmar" style, he wrote, for example, that the "establishment's organs of repression" have "created a political climate that is truly explosive." It may happen that "fires will rage somewhere" soon and that the "air will become thick with the sound of explosions."
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