Two men and one woman “can rely on like-minded people, friends, and relatives on their journeys across the Federal Republic of Germany. Sometimes someone provides them with an apartment or lends them money. Then sometimes a local ‘comrade’ walks with them through a town at night in order to scout out an asylum shelter in front of which they can deposit a bomb.”
What sounds like the beginning of a narrative about the so-called NSU had already happened in 1980.
For the first time Adrian went without me, but he was with a few others from the fan club on the away trip. He didn’t make it to the stadium, and he never came home either. On the way between the subway station and stadium, he was hit on the head by a thrown cobblestone and died of the consequences of this injury the next day.
My Name is Foreigner
I work here / I know how I work / The Germans know as well / My work is tough. / My work is dirty. / This I don’t like I say / ‘If you don’t like the work / go back home,’ they say. / My work is tough. / My work is dirty. / I pay taxes too,I say / I will say it again and again / when I have to hear again and again / ‘Find yourself another job’ / But it is not the Germans’ fault / not the Turkish’s / Turkey needs foreign currency / German workforce / Turkey has sent us to Europe / Like stepchildren / Like useless people / But nevertheless it needs foreign currency / it needs peace / My country has sent me abroad / My name is foreigner.
“He’d survived 36 months of war. Not the construction site,” says Noémia Lourenço bitterly. Her husband, Nuno, came back alive from Angola, where he had to complete his military service in the Portuguese Colonial War in the early 1970s. But from the construction site in Leipzig, where he worked as a craftsman for half a year, he returned home so badly injured after a racist raid that he died of the effects in the same year.
“I wish people could see the Earth from outer space once. Then maybe they could understand how crappy and wrong the ideologies were, that people were dying, that people were killing each other.”
From the point of view of a son who lost his father 30 years ago, when he was two years old, “that says it all. More than enough is said with it.”
The commemorations? Another indiscretion. How shall one take part if the invitation, written in German, which nobody in the village understands, only arrives after the event? He describes his mother’s first trip to Germany as a weeklong ordeal: “What a strain — the countless bureaucratic hurdles alone until she even received a visa for Germany. They send an invitation [in German]. With the invitation from Mölln, my mother traveled 400 kilometers to the German consulate in Ankara. The invitation was rejected by its officers. They demanded an invitation from a relative from Germany—the yellow invitation, it absolutely had to be the yellow, the yellow! We called my sister Hava in Germany. She struggled, running here and there. She received a yellow invitation with a specific date by which the entry had to take place. If she had put it in the mail, it would not have arrived in time. And the date of the commemoration was approaching. My sister rushed to the airport with my uncle. There they looked for a fellow countryman who was flying to Samsun and asked him to hand over the invitation to my father at the airport. With this invitation, they traveled to Ankara again. The officials in the German consulate received all the documents and said we should come back at about half past one, or two or three. When we returned, they closed the door in front of us. ... You [i.e. Germany] say, don’t come! You invite, you send an invitation, and still you say: don’t come! It’s a real farce, a mockery. How would you call it? Deterrence, this is a policy of deterrence.
Đô Anh Lân was brought to Hamburg from his place of refuge on an island in the South China Sea by a relief operation of the “Zeit-Stiftung”
When Đô’s mother was brought to Hamburg, her son was already dead.
Vaska last called her cousin Kaloyan on February 19, 2020 at 9:47 p.m. They had talked about going to a bar with live music together at the weekend. At 9:57 p.m., Kaloyan was dead.
I don’t blame the police for checking up on me and my family. However, I accuse them of investigating in only this direction. They checked us for connections to organized crime, protection rackets, and the PKK. Why? In all the years in which I ran the business, that is, since 1998, there has never been a protection racket. My sisters, who worked in the shop from time to time, had never told me about threats either. The investigators also ignored statements that ultimately pointed in the right direction.
On 5 January 1980, Celalettin and other leftists distribut- ed leaflets at Kottbusser Tor that contained a warning of that coup and expressed solidarity with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. “An argument arose with a group of people from the nearby Mevlana Mosque. Eventually, the leftist group was attacked with knives and clubs. This mosque is part of the Islamist Milli-Görüş movement. In Turkey at that time, civil war-like conditions prevailed. Every day, followers of the fascist Grey Wolves (MHP) and Islamists, on the one hand, and leftists, on the other hand, were engaged in shootings, and sometimes competing left-wing groups also were among themselves.”
"Soon it became known that the police, contrary to the official statement, had been informed of the threatening situation in time. The intercepted police radio calls prove that civil servants were watching the battle of words. But the headquarters did not order the police to the crime scene until it was all over and the perpetrators had fled to the mosque.” “With a knife Kesim is injured at the femoral artery. His friends can drag him to the Landwehr Canal, where he’s bleeding to death. ‘The ambulance came much too late; the Germans didn't care what the Turks were doing among each other,’ they still say years later.”
There was no standard response like in accidents or attacks, as they were unknown in Germany until then. The injured were not allowed to leave the crime scene. Paramedics were not allowed to take injured persons with them. Passers-by provided Atilla with handkerchiefs and water. The attack was around 3 p.m., and the interrogations lasted until 10 p.m. Only then did proper medical care take place!
It is hard to put into words, but what goes through my mind when I think of your death are words like grief, injustice, anger, senselessness, and above all racism. Therefore, dear Carlos, I will take this opportunity to talk about you and your story. The way it really happened. Above all, to commemorate you. Because memory means life.
Someone shouted: “Throw the black in the water!” Two of the youths then grabbed Carlos in such a way that he could not defend himself. With the help of a third, they first let him hang upside down over the Bode bridge, which is right next to the youth center, and then let him fall upside down into the riverbed. Carlos died immediately of a broken neck. Up until today the perpetrators have not been punished justly.
Seven family members of Remziye, Rukiye, Aynur, and Eylem Satır did not survive the arson. On the night of August 26 to 27, their mother, Ferdane; their siblings, Zeliha, Çiğdem, Ümit, and Songül Satır; their brother-in-law, Tarık; and their nephew Rasim Turhan would die. These are the names of the victims of the arson, people who were not named in the press reports and public discourse in 1984, but instead were portrayed as people who were not full members of society, in accordance with the 1980s policy of ending immigration and returning migrants.
Bernd Köhler was abused with kicks and punches until he died of massive skull injuries.
The Neuruppin public prosecutor’s office accused the two perpetrators of having acted “out of an inhuman and right- wing conviction.” According to the judge, Köhler became a victim out of the “contempt of the perpetrators for his social status.” In contrast to many other cases, this time the court came to the conclusion that these were right-wing-motivat- ed acts, although they had been inspired more by social Darwinism than by racism, and thus acknowledged the range of right-wing-motivated actions. Hate crimes against homeless people are otherwise often depoliticized and played down.
There was nobody there to help us cope. We weren’t cared for. We were abandoned after leaving hospital. There was no one there. Our parents had suffered bodily injuries themselves, and two of their children were dead and another three injured. And there was no one there to help. We would have needed social workers qualified for the job and psychological counseling. Survivors, people like my parents and us children, should have been taken by the hand and led back to life. Now, slowly the realization is begining to set in that survivors, who have to shoulder all this suffering as they carry on with their lives, have to be treated differently. The perpetrator is cared for: he is psychologically cared for, he is reintegrated into society. And what about the survivors, for heaven’s sake? Why don’t you reintegrate the survivors?
Particularly disappointing from our point of view are the investigations concerning right-wing motives. Here the homicide Commission of the LKA 1 is of course dependent on the cooperation of those who are supposed to be familiar with the right-wing scene, the State Protection Office of the LKA. ... What if racism is always omnipresent and makes itself felt in this agency? What is happening when civil servants themselves write threatening letters against leftists, and lists of names of leftists who are being investigated by the police are published on right-wing radical blogs. For all this, the State Protection Office in Berlin is unfortunately well known. Criminological science describes this constel- lation as the problem of the so-called “confirmation bias,” the problem of prejudiced investigations based on one hypothesis to the exclusion of all others. Unfortunately, this problem seems to be very common in the south of Neukölln and especially in the murder case of Burak Bektaş.
Our pain has no end, our pain is too great. And we can’t bring back the ones we’ve lost. All we hope is that no more Buraks will die. Either we say “That was destiny” and have done with it, or we persist in our educational work: we are here to raise our voices. We want justice for all Buraks.
Right at the beginning, we had a second autopsy done. The result was that Oury’s nasal bone was broken and that he had other fractures. In 2013, we had an independent fire survey carried out by an expert in Ireland, because the ju- diciary had rejected complete fire tests that would recon- struct the fire. The result was that the fire pattern in Cell 5 could only be achieved with fire accelerants.
The prosecution fed lies to family, friends, and the public from beginning to end. Important evidence has disappeared and what was probably the most important piece of evi- dence, a lighter remnant, which was presented three days later by the police, could not possibly have been at the scene of the crime in Cell 5, according to the evidence. Neverthe- less, the state authorities claim to this day that Oury Jalloh “must” have “set fire to himself ” with this lighter.
In 2015, we commissioned further expert reports from an international team of experts. These have confirmed that the investigation in Oury Jalloh’s case did not conform to required standards and that he had most likely been set on fire by third parties.
I cannot prove what happened. But it hurts me very much that this death is not cleared up. Now there are people who make me out to be a liar because I say my memories of the conversation at the embassy out loud. Why do people not believe me? They killed Amadeu Antonio. They killed Jorge Gomondai. They killed Carlos Conceição. They also killed Manuel Diogo.
"The survivors are the main witnesses to the events." This is how one could possibly summarize the demands of the relatives of the victims of the NSU for a say. With this, his statement, Ibrahim Arslan made himself the ideal partner to complement my - privileged, white - view of the relatives of victims of right-wing and racist violence in Germany. As a survivor of a racist attack (Mölln 1992), he played a key role in shaping this portrait project. In this way, the group of people that is of interest to us expands not only to the (more or less) known murder victims, but also to suspected cases, to those who died as a result of the long-term effects and to those who everyday racism had driven to suicide. And we also looked at the time before 1990 - the year in which, according to all the statistics, the beginning of right-wing violence seems to lie. In order not only to take the relatives seriously as witnesses, but also to appreciate them as protagonists, we let them choose the locations for the portraits (as those that were particularly important to the deceased or the bereaved). And we invited them to write the accompanying texts for the book "The Relatives" in order to focus on the perspective of those affected. We hereby became assistants of the relatives, who are taking control of their narrative.
All quotes from the book "The Relatives".