It has been known for some time that the ten murders carried out by the National Socialist Underground (NSU) took place under the noses of the German intelligence agencies, and that undercover agents financed this neo-Nazi scene. New facts have now come to light, showing that the undercover agents and the intelligence agencies not only supervised individuals in the milieu of the NSU, but also the NSU itself.
The documentary film “The NSU Network” by Stefan Aust and Dirk Laabs, which aired on ARD last week, and a long article in the newspaper Die Welt, show that Ralf Marschner, an undercover agent of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), employed Uwe Mundlos in his construction company after the latter disappeared. It is also possible that both of the other members of the NSU involved in the murders, Uwe Böhnhardt and Beate Zschäpe, worked for Marschner, whose alias is “Primus.”
In addition, there are indications that the company owned by Marschner may have provided logistical support for some of the murders. According to the research of Aust and Laabs, Mundlos was employed at construction sites in the region of Nuremburg and Munich, where the NSU murdered four people of Turkish origin during the same period. The company hired rental cars several times, which may have been used for the murders.
Aust and Laabs were unable to determine whether Marschner had informed his contacts at the intelligence agency that he was employing Mundlos or whether he acted on his own initiative or with the knowledge or even the support of his supervisors at the intelligence agency.
Ralf Marschner was known to be a leading neo-Nazi, who worked from 1992 to at least 2002 as a paid spy for the domestic intelligence agency. He was charged for arson attacks on refugee lodgings. In 2007, Marschner, like many other undercover agents in the NSU milieu, disappeared. He travelled through Ireland and Austria before reaching Switzerland, where he lives today. He runs an antique shop in neighbouring Liechtenstein.
Between 2000 and 2002, his Marschner Construction Service in Zwickau employed Saxon neo-Nazis in demolition work. Uwe Mundlos worked there during this time as a foreman under the alias “Max-Florian Burkhardt.” The real Burkhardt, a former neo-Nazi, has admitted to allowing the three murderers to occupy his flat for half a year in 1998, and then giving his identity to Mundlos, who lived under his name for 13 years.
Arne-Andreas Ernst, the construction site manager at various building projects, gave a sworn affidavit to the television team that confirmed that the “Burkhardt” employed by Marschner was indeed Mundlos. He acted as contact person when Marschner was not there.
Marschner’s construction company frequently hired rental cars from the same company in Zwickau from which the NSU trio rented cars for bank robberies. On June 13, 2001, the day on which the second NSU victim, the tailor Abdurrahim Özüdogru, was shot in Nuremburg, Marschner rented a Mercedes Sprinter. The rental car was returned the next day with 980 kilometers on it. On August 29, 2001, the day on which the fourth NSU victim, Munich greengrocer Habil Kilic, was shot, Marschner Construction Service rented an Audi A2 and a VW Golf.
Marschner was listed as the driver of the first car and he and his Nazi crony Jens G. were listed as drivers of the second car. Jens G. still lives on Polenstraße in Zickau, in sight of the house where Mundlos, Böhnhardt and Zschäpe lived for seven years and which Zschäpe is presumed to have set on fire on November 4, 2011. The car rental company did not check who actually drove the cars, according to Die Welt. This means it is possible that Mundlos and Böhnhardt used them to carry out their crimes.
Aust and Laabs based their documentary partly on the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) record of interrogation from between October 2012 and February 2013 in Switzerland. Although these records provide numerous clues that the journalists were able to follow with relative ease, the BKA never made an effort to do so themselves. Marschner was not called as a witness by any of the numerous committees investigating the NSU or during the NSU trial in Munich.
However, the BfV did show an interest in Marschner. Although it had supposedly already rejected Marschner as a witness in 2002, according to statements made by his undercover superior, whose alias is “Richard Kaldrack,” before the NSU parliamentary investigation committee in May 2013, it made contact with him again in 2002 “for reasons of care.” Since November 2011, Kaldrack contacted Marschner seven times by telephone and once in person.
Did the intelligence agency have something to hide? In this case as well, one encounters the suspicious connections and circumstances that continually arise in connection with the NSU and for which there is no innocent explanation.
Kaldrack was obviously a key intermediary between the BfV and the NSU. In addition to Marschner, he controlled at least two other important spies—Mirko Hesse, alias “Strontium,” and Thomas Richter, alias “Corelli.” The latter had worked as an undercover agent for 18 years in the right-wing extremist scene and lived in disguise in a witness protection program in 2012. In April 2014, a day before he was supposed to be interrogated about the NSU by the chief federal prosecutor, the 39-year-old was found dead in his flat.
Kaldrack’s superior at the BfV was an official whose alias was “Lindner,” responsible for monitoring radical right-wingers and for watching scientologists. The main client of Marschner’s construction service was, however, a high-ranking scientologist and real estate businessman. Lindner was also the one who supervised the destruction of the documents of undercover agents from the right-wing radical scene after Beate Zschäpe gave herself up to police in November 2011 and the crimes of the NSU were subsequently revealed.
There are indications that, in addition to Mundlos, the two other known NSU members, Uwe Böhnhardt and Beate Zschäpe, were also employed by Marschner. However, that is not so clearly documented as in the case of Mundlos.
Marschner told the BKA interrogators that, in addition to “Max Burkhardt” (Mundlos), he also employed his brother. This could have been Böhnhardt. The two of them were repeatedly described as “twins” or “brothers” by witnesses and profilers.
After the NSU documentary was aired, the German Press Agency (DPA) reported that several years later, Zschäpe had worked for a company financed by Marschner, the neo-Nazi shop “Heaven and Hell.” The DPA based this report on the statements of a former business partner of Marschner’s.
According to the 2012 interrogation records of another Zwickau neo-Nazi, the authorities knew about Zschäpe’s employment in the shop. Officials confronted the neo-Nazi in the interrogation: “There is information according to which Beate Zschäpe was employed or at least helped out at the shop ‘Heaven and Hell.’”
The documentary film by Aust and Laabs also confirms many known facts about the close connection between the neo-Nazi scene, the NSU and the state. For example, it contains a detailed interview with Tino Brandt, a leading figure in the neo-Nazi scene in the state of Thuringia, who worked as an undercover agent for the BfV between 1994 and 2004, and received 200,000 DM in compensation. “Political work costs money,” emphasized Brandt, who confirmed that the BfV helped out when there was a shortage of money.
Mario Melzer, who was a member of the Thuringia State Office of Criminal Investigation (LKA) special commission “Rex” (right-wing extremism), reported in the film that the neo-Nazi scene was aware that Brandt was an undercover agent. This was the only reason he was included. They did not consider the danger of being found guilty of offences to be very great. “The deeper I penetrated, the more bewildered I became,” commented Melzer on the role of the intelligence agencies.
Uwe Kranz, president of the Thuringia LKA between 1991 and 1997, confirmed this. His officials repeatedly complained about the “high-spirited mood” of the neo-Nazis during house searches and raids. There was never anything to be found. Obviously, they had been forewarned.
The new revelations once again pose the question to what extent the state was not only aware but also complicit in the NSU murders.
In reaction to the ARD documentary, the Munich attorney Yavuz Narin said that it was hard for his clients to stand the fact that “spies paid by the state possibly participated in the NSU killings.” Narin represents the family of Theodoros Boulgarides, who was shot in June 2005. He demanded that the government explain its role.
However, Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Mazière (Christian Democratic Union/CDU) has refused “in the interests of the state” to answer a request from the Left Party parliamentary representative Martina Renner for reports on Marschner, alias “Primus.” This would have “negative consequences for the future ability to work and fulfillment of responsibilities of the intelligence agencies as well and result in damage to the security of the Federal Republic,” he claimed. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), on the other hand, has said that the documents would be released.
The documentary “The NSU Network” has shown that nothing cannot be ruled out with regard to the NSU murders.