There is huge international media attention focused on the trial of the alleged neo-Nazi terrorist Beate Zschäpe and her four co-accused in Germany. Over the course of 10 years Germany’s security services, politicians and media failed to link a series of murders to the rightwing extremist group, the NSU. Not only families of the victims are asking what lessons can be learned from the case.
The last remaining member of the neo-Nazi NSU gang, Beate Zschäpe, is charged with involvement in 10 murders, bank robberies, arson and membership of a terrorist organization.
A series of blunders on behalf of Germany’s investigating authorities has raised a number of questions. Why did it take Germany’s security services and police 10 years to uncover the NSU? Why did Germany’s media accept without question the theory that the murders were committed by organized criminals? What must German politicians do to change the way rightwing extremism is investigated?
The trial in Munich may turn into a kind of public inquiry into the events surrounding the 10 murders. It offers the chance to shed light on what happened and to spark a debate about the lessons Germany should learn from the case.
Tell us what you think: Neo-Nazi Terror Trial - Lessons for Germany
Mehmet Gürcan Daimagüler- is a lawyer representing families of two of the NSU's victims. He was born in 1968 in West Germany and is the son of Turkish immigrants. Daimagüler studied law, economics and philosophy at German and American universities. He was selected as one of Yale University's World Fellows and as a Litauer Fellow at Harvard. Daimagüler is also the author of a book where he criticised the debate in Germany on integration of immigrants.
John Goetz– is an award winning investigative journalist who works for Germany's public broadcaster, the ARD. Goetz was born in New York and moved to Germany in 1989. He has written for the Sunday Times, the Los Angeles Times, the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel magazine. He has produced reports for 60 Minutes, CBS Evening News and Germany's ARD channel. Goetz reported on the participation of German agents in the Iraq war and the CIA's kidnapping of the German citizen Khaled Al-Masri. He is co-author of the book "Die Zelle" (The Cell) and a television documentary about the National Socialist Underground terror group.
Melissa Eddy- is the Berlin Correspondent for The International Herald Tribune, the global edition of The New York Times. Prior to joining the IHT, she had been covering Germany since 2000, first as a General Correspondent for The Associated Press in Frankfurt, then as a Berlin Correspondent for AP. During that time she tracked the rise of Angela Merkel to the chancellery, followed the euphoria in the streets during the 2006 World Cup and the crisis in the euro zone since its earliest days.