World Bulletin/News Desk
German politicians and intellectuals have called for solidarity against racist violence at the 10th anniversary of a bomb attack by Neo-Nazis that targeted a Turkish neighborhood in Cologne, injuring 22 people.
“The bomb that targeted you also targeted me,” said Germany’s Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and prominent public figures and intellectuals in a joint statement, calling for taking a strong stance against far-right violence and terror.
“We would like to have a future together, a society showing more solidarity,” the statement said. “We would like to have a society that stands against Neo-Nazis, racism and discrimination, a society in which there is justice and solidarity.”
On Monday, Germany’s northwestern city of Cologne will mark the 10th anniversary of the bomb attack in the Keup Street, a prominent street widely known as “Little Istanbul."
In late 2011 it was revealed that far-right terrorist group National Socialist Underground (NSU) perpetrated the attack.
“Soon after the attack in Cologne, the authorities in charge of the investigation and the Interior Ministry have excluded the possibility of a right-wing extremist violence,” the joint statement by the politicians and intellectuals said, acknowledging the failure of police and intelligence in uncovering the attacks and murders of NSU up until 2011.
“We did not think that there could be far-right murder gangs in our country, we bear the responsibility,” Vice Chancellor Gabriel and other supporters of the joint initiative said in their statement.
Armin Laschet, vice chairman of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), actresses Annette Frier and Andrea Sawatzki, journalist Hans-Ulrich Joerges and Chairman of Ford of Germany Berhand Mattes were among the supporters of the joint call for solidarity against far-right.
On Monday, Germany’s President Joachim Gauck and Justice Minister Heiko Maas will also visit Cologne and participate in the events in commemorating the anniversary.
The NSU is believed to have been founded by three far-right militants from the state of Thuringia in the early 2000s.
The name and activities of the group, and its role in the murder of eight Turks, one Greek immigrant and a German police officer between the years 2000 and 2007 were revealed in late 2011.
Two members of the terror-cell reportedly died in a murder-suicide following an unsuccessful bank robbery in November 2011. The third member of the group, Beate Zschape, is currently the main suspect under arrest.
So far, Zschape has refused to give evidence; her lawyers say she will continue to remain silent during the trial.
For years, police and intelligence organizations had ruled out any “far-right motive” behind these murders, as well as the bomb attack in Keup street, rather suspected of the family members of the victims or immigrant mafia groups, drug gangs or illegal political groups.
Last Mod: 08 Haziran 2014, 18:03