In an article published last Wednesday, The Local warned its readers that a “radical left plot to assassinate opponents” in Berlin is “no longer unthinkable”. Wait, really? Has a new generation of the Red Army Faction surfaced? The article seems to give lots of space to speculation. In reality, right-wing violence is and always has been far more common.
Once you get past the click-baity headline, the only real evidence provided for the claim is a passage from the annual report of the Berlin section of Germany’s internal secret service, the Verfassungsschutz. It states:
“The inhibition threshold regarding physical attacks is sinking, and we are now at the stage where targeted assassination of political opponents no longer appears completely unrealistic.” The evidence to back up this claim? A “sharpened tone” as well as “graffiti calling for the murder of police officers and members of the city government”. Nothing else. (You can check for yourself on page 156 of the report.)
Am I the only person who thinks it is quite a jump from a spray-painted “187” to the actual murder of police?
Let’s look at the source for this claim, the spooks from the Verfassungsschutz. The secret services of (then) West Germany were established in the 1950s by Nazi officials under the tutelage of the CIA. The VS and the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), i.e. the internal and external intelligence agencies, were always virulently anti-communist. As they say in German, “blind in the right eye”, meaning they generally ignored the activities of neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists in order to focus on harassing lefties.
And they stayed true to these tactics to this day. Agents of the VS were offering different forms of protection to the Nazi terrorists of the NSU as the group murdered at least 10 immigrants over 10 years – at least that’s how the lawyers of the victims families see it. The only reason we don’t have more evidence of this collaboration is because the secret service shredded all its files on the case.
Since 1990, neo-Nazis have committed at least 155 political murders across Germany. Is there anything even remotely comparable associated with the left?
The Local does mention mention Rigaer Straße. The crime committed by those lefties? As Exberliner reported at the time, a police officer on patrol might have been shoved to the ground by several people wearing masks. The Local turns this shove into an unspecified “attack”.
After the shove in Rigaer Straße, the police response was to raid a totally unrelated house with 500 officers and a SWAT team. This example illustrates where the real violence is coming from.
At the G20 protests in Hamburg, the police unleashed not just an orgy of violence against demonstrators, but also journalists and random people. At the very least, 189 demonstrators were admitted to hospital. The police claimed for their part that up to 500 officers had been injured. But as it turns out, this number included cops who had gotten a cold two weeks before the protests. The real number of police who were injured in the normal sense of the word, i.e. injured seriously enough to be kept at a hospital overnight, was just two. And it’s not at all clear what caused these injuries. At least 130 of these supposed “injuries” were caused when police inhaled their own tear gas.
So this report, even if it’s published by Berlin’s Interior Ministry, should be taken with a grain of salt. I think The Local can be more critical with its sources, and focus on where political violence is really coming from. Last week, 6,000 neo-Nazis gathered at a concert in Thuringia to give Hitler salutes. The police stood by serenely and even helped them find additional parking spots. This seems like something to write about. Unspecified murder plots by unspecified lefties? Not so much.