Neo-Nazis on trial over allegedMunich synagogue bomb plot

5th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

5 October 2004 , HAMBURG - Amid concern over rightwing extremists in Germany, a trial begins Wednesday against four neo-Nazis on terrorism charges in connection with a plot to blow up a Munich synagogue last year. Prosecutors say they will seek to prove the neo-Nazis, who had obtained 1.7 kilogrammes of bomb-making TNT for the attack, were also planning other bombings in the Bavarian capital. The four men going on trial belonged to a neo-Nazi group called the "Southern Comrades" and include its leader, Mar

5 October 2004 

HAMBURG - Amid concern over rightwing extremists in Germany, a trial begins Wednesday against four neo-Nazis on terrorism charges in connection with a plot to blow up a Munich synagogue last year.

Prosecutors say they will seek to prove the neo-Nazis, who had obtained 1.7 kilogrammes of bomb-making TNT for the attack, were also planning other bombings in the Bavarian capital.

The four men going on trial belonged to a neo-Nazi group called the "Southern Comrades" and include its leader, Martin Wiese, 28, and three of his followers, also in their 20s.

According to German Chief Federal Prosecutor General Kay Nehm, the evidence shows the group were preparing to set off a bomb on the synagogue site near Munich's Jakobsplatz square to disrupt the cornerstone-laying ceremonies last 9 November.

The group bought explosives in Poland and tested them in small blasts in remote areas, officials say. Police seized a total of 14 kilogrammes of explosives in September, including the 1.4 kilogrammes of TNT high explosive. The group had intended to hide their bomb in a sewer pipe under the site.

In mid-August last year, the plot was cancelled after several members of the group were questioned by police. Police arrested the men in September and discovered the explosives.

Nehm said the group had also contemplated setting off a bomb in the Marienplatz, Munich's main square and a magnet for tourists. It also considered attacking persons it considered leftist, including the state Social Democratic leader, Franz Maget.

The date of the synagogue foundation ceremony - 9 November  - is full of symbolism: It would have been 65 years after Kristallnacht on 9 November 1938, when Nazi thugs vandalized and burned synagogues all over Germany and their policy of persecution of Jews was turned into the naked violence of the Holocaust.

Today, most German Jewish community centres are under almost permanent police protection for fear of attacks by Islamists or neo-Nazis, with roads outside closed to traffic and the compounds walled off.

The Munich trial opens after far-right political parties made strong gains in two regional elections last month.

In eastern German Saxony state, the anti-immigrant National Democratic Party (NPD) won 9 per cent, while in Brandenburg state the German People's Union (DVU) garnered 6 per cent.

Under Germany's proportional representation system both parties will gain seats in the state parliaments for having crossed the 5 per cent hurdle.

Last weekend several hundred leftists clashed with neo-Nazis in the eastern German city Leipzig to prevent an estimated 150 neo-Nazis from taking part in a march. 

DPA

Subject: German news 

 

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