According to a report in the Tagesspiegel daily newspaper, an organisation called the “European White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan–Realm of Germany” was established by a white supremacist government spy in October 2000. A short time later, the man was appointed by a KKK group in the US to the position of national leader, a “Grand Dragon”. The German branch existed until early 2003.
But that was not all. The agent was not only working for the secret service of a German state; it appears he was also operating with the official protection of one of his colleagues. An employee of the intelligence agency is suspected of having passed on to him “anonymous confidential information” in 2002. In particular, this person allegedly warned him that his phone was being tapped.
The Ku Klux Klan is one of a long line of suspicious organisations set up by German secret service agents with the help of state funds.
Investigations into the National Democratic Party (NDP) associations in the states of Thuringia and North Rhine-Westphalia had already revealed they could not have developed as they did without funding provided by the secret service. Several neo-Nazis openly boasted they had drawn funds from the intelligence service for a number of years.
As is now customary in such episodes, authorities asserted that the case was an “isolated” one. According to Die Welt, the daily newspaper, there is “no reason to doubt that agency employees fulfil their statutory duties correctly and irreproachably, and there is no reason to believe that they lack awareness of democratic procedures”.
The close links between the state and the Ku Klux Klan raises new questions about possible links between government agencies and terrorists of the National Socialist Underground (NSU). Plenty of overlap has been discovered between the KKK and the NSU.
Two of the three members of the NSU, Uwe Böhnhardt and Beate Zschäpe, were spotted near Jena at a cross burning attended by 20 neo-Nazis in the mid-1990s. Tschäpe even had photos of the scene and personally informed the public prosecutor about their attendance. That was before Tschäpe, Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos went into hiding and began their killing spree.
The identity of another undercover agent, operating in the KKK’s ranks under the code name “Corelli”, was discovered by police in 1998 on an address list Mundlos had hidden in a garage. But the main cause of suspicion is the fact that two members of the relatively small KKK group in Baden-Württemberg were close colleagues of the NSU’s last murder victim, policewoman Michèle Kiesewetter. Kiesewetter was shot in April 2007 and the series of NSU killings then abruptly ceased.
The murder of a German policewoman is not commensurate with the criminal operations of the NSU. All the other murders had immigrants as their victims and were obviously racially motivated. To date, there is no plausible explanation why Kiesewetter became a target of the NSU. The question arises as to whether the former KKK memberships of her squad leader and another police colleague played a role.
A parliamentary committee of inquiry into the NSU is now dealing with the case. But no clarification can be expected from that quarter because the investigation is systematically blocked by the authorities and the committee itself has little interest in bringing the facts to light.
Only occasionally, when it is all too obvious they are being led around by the nose, do the committee members allow some measure of the truth to surface. Responding to the new revelations about the KKK, Free Democratic Party deputy Hartfrid Wolff groaned: “Were there then any members [of the KKK] who were not in the police or secret service?” A legitimate question!
The authorities are continuing their attempt to prevent any further unravelling of the events. They have stopped referring to undeniable revelations as “mishaps”, “slips” and “isolated cases”; they append the official designation of “secret” to files that could lead to further clarification, or they destroy huge numbers of them. It is now known that far more records relating to the NSU affair have been destroyed than was initially announced.
Heinz Fromm resigned in July from his post as president of the Federal Office of the Secret Service, following the official revelation that numerous files relevant to the case had been shredded immediately after the breaking up of the NSU cell last November.
A secret interior ministry report in possession of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper has now revealed that, between the discovery of the NSU gang and Fromm’s resignation, folders detailing 26 wiretappings of neo-nazi extremists were destroyed. The obliteration of evidence also extended to 94 personnel files, eight evaluation case files, 137 research and public relations records and 45 files on so-called “warranted persons” of the secret service.