On Monday morning, police searched the dwellings and business premises of two men in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (MWP). According to the prosecutor general they are suspected of planning the murder of left-wing politicians.
The prosecutor’s web site alleges that the two accused had exchanged opinions with other persons in a chat group about the political situation in Germany, in particular “what they regarded as a mistaken refugee and immigration policy.” They feared “the emptying of private and state budgets,” as well as an increase in attacks and other crimes that could lead “to the breakdown of public order.”
The prosecutor further alleges that the suspects had made deliberate preparations for such an eventuality. In addition to food, they had acquired ammunition “for their legally procured weapons.” The suspects regarded the crisis as an opportunity “to apprehend and kill representatives on the politically left spectrum.” The accused had correspondingly drawn up a list of names.
Based on research carried out by the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the NDR and WDR television channels, lists of names and particulars of state and federal politicians belonging to the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the Greens and the Left Party were found during the police searches. Names of refugee organisations, a workers' welfare charity and trade unions were also on the list.
The Interior Ministry in Schwerin has reported that one of the accused is a police officer stationed at Ludwigslust. He faces disciplinary measures and has been suspended from duty.
The second accused, Jan-Hendrik Hammer, is a lawyer from Rostock. The 45-year-old is a member of the city parliament and vice-chairman of the organisation “Independent citizens for Rostock” (UFR). Malte Philipp, the president of the UFR group, expressed his surprise and shock at the searches on the UFR website. He stated that Hammer was not a member of the UFR, but had only affiliated to the organisation as a former activist for the FDP. Philipp maintained that he had not noticed “any form of extremism on the part of Hammer.”
According to media reports, police have also searched the private and business premises of several other persons who are not currently facing charges. These persons include a high-ranking officer in the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania state police.
Despite the serious nature of the allegations, the prosecutor's office has failed to issue a warrant for the arrest of the two accused.
In initial reactions to the searches the Left Party in particular expressed its disquiet. “Death lists have been drawn up against left-wing politicians,” the party noted on Twitter Thursday, and continued: “The key factor for the growing violence by the right is the AfD.”
In fact, responsibility for far right violence lies not just with the nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD), but with all of Germany’s parliamentary parties, including the Left Party, which have whipped up sentiments against refugees and immigrants in recent months and years.
In this respect the Left Party has played a particularly insidious role. While occasionally mouthing social-reformist phrases, leading party members have made clear that the Left Party, like all the other parties, is quite prepared to carry out the mass deportation of refugees. Left Party leader Sahra Wagenknecht notoriously declared, “whoever abuses the law of the host country, has also forfeited the law of the host,” and the state administration in Thuringia, headed by Left Party state premier Bodo Ramelow, has been carrying out Wagenknecht’s threat in practice. Thuringia currently has one of the highest rates of deportation in the entire country.
The latest events in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania also show the hypocrisy of the campaign by the German government, supported by opposition parties, notably the social democrats, against the alleged threat of “left-wing extremism.” The police searches of the right-wingers took place only three days after interior minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU) banned the anti-fascist website linksunten.indymedia.org.
In order to enforce its unpopular policy of military rearmament and social attacks against the population, the ruling class in Germany is cracking down on all forms of political opposition. The police provocations at the recent G20 summit have been exploited to shift politics to the right.
The result has been to boost the far right. The latest incident in MWP is the second within a few months in which forces inside the security apparatus were involved in planning far right terrorist attacks. In April it emerged that a right-wing extremist network led by the officer Franco A was active inside the German army. The group planned to commit terror attacks in Germany and then place the blame on refugees.
The flood of reports on allegedly unprecedented violence during protests against the G20 summit in Hamburg drowned out further media coverage of the terror cell at the heart of the German army. It has since been revealed that contrary to the promises of the German defence minister, most of the Bundeswehr barracks that still carry the names of military officers associated with the Nazis will not be renamed.
This week’s searches in MWP reveal the extent to which far-right networks have penetrated the state apparatus. Only officials of the federal criminal police office and federal police were deployed during the searches. The state’s interior ministry reported that local police were not involved in the raids. Evidently the authorities were concerned that the suspects could be informed in advance of the searches.