East German anti-fascist conspiracy trial to start this week

In Saxony, East Germany, a state governed by the hard right faction of the conservatives (CDU) since the state rejoined the federal republic again in 1990, for over a year the police have been investigating attacks on Nazis and their structures.

During this time the Chief Federal Prosecutor has taken over the case. The investigation is being conducted by Saxony’s left-wing extremist crime unit, known as “Soko Linx”. The unit is trying to link this case to many other attacks. In June 2019, the cops had enough material through all possible versions of surveillance they are allowed to use in Germany (telephone tapped, observation, etc) and kicked in several doors and brutally raided the homes of anti-fascists. In some cases with a SWAT team, seizing any electronic communication devices and other belongings. It should be noted these cops decided it was appropriate to take belongings of these people’s flat mates, who had nothing to do with anything and violently restrained them if they protested. What’s more, Amnesty International and other human rights groups have stated that the police in Germany have a very serious brutality problem that almost never results in prosecutions, let alone convictions. The student Lina has spent the past moth in prison on remand, accused of being a leader of this made up group.

The investigation took place in a year marked not just by the global coronavirus pandemic, which has badly affected Germany, but also a wave of anti-left repression from the state. In Frankfurt, another 129a case was opened, there were house raids all over the country against the marxist-leninst group Roter Aufbau who were accused of forming a criminal network. The BKA (Federal Crime Office) in Berlin organised an international investigation against people from the anarchist scene in Berlin and Athens. Raids were carried out in both countries and the Chief Federal Prosecutor stated that violence against neo-Nazis was a threat against German national security.

Through the accusation of criminal association the 129a law is constructed where membership is prosecutable. Intrusive investigative actions such as surveillance, phone tapping, bank account monitoring are legitimised by this accusation under the 129a law. Charges like the planning of a criminal offence, which are usually rarely relevant, now are very important for the state to able to convict people under the 129a law.

Anja Sommerfeld from Rote Hilfe (the Rote Hilfe is an activist legal support group that helps people with money for cases to helping them when they go to prison too), said: “Once again the whole repertoire of the repressive authorities is unleashed to take action against anti-fascists. For this, the notorious law paragraph 129a is used, in order to raise the bar of the investigations and allegations as high as possible. While right-wing coronavirus deniers can maraud through Leipzig, several people are criminalised here in order to intimidate the left movement and the hanau memorial demonstration to remember the racist terror attack were heavily restricted by the police. Obviously, a special example is to be made of Lina. The declaration by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office reads like a comprehensive prejudice. Rote Hilfe e.V. declares its solidarity with those affected and demands Lina be released from prison immediately.”

The accused group are suspected of attacking a group of neo-Nazis from the East German region of Thuringen. One of the neo-Nazis who were beaten up was Leon Ringl, the owner of the bar Bulls Eye. Ringl was behind the founding of the Atomwaffen Division in Germany, which the now banned British neo-Nazi terrorist group National Action (NA) had links with. He has himself been subject to house raids from the authorities. Ringl is an internationally connected neo-Nazi who was very active on the, now deleted, infamous neo-Nazi forum Iron March, where he followed the activities of his American comrades and learnt about bomb making. What was noticeable was his regular contact with NA who took part in the Plauen march and posed for a vile photograph in the gas chambers at Buchenwald concentration camp. Interestingly, Ringl regularly complained online about so-called “untermenschen” in the NPD and has been crucial to building the fascist fighting sport scene in East Germany.

Yet despite the danger that Ringl poses with his political activities, it is Lina who is being painted in the public as a terrorist. The case somehow has become a terrorism case not just because of the words of the Chief Federal Prosecutor but also a smear campaign against anti-fascists conducted by newspapers such as Die Welt and Bild (right-wing boulevard media). The press have used very unfavorable photos of Lina, like her being led out of a helicopter with masked police. It seems like they are trying make her look guilty before the trial has even started. The pictures used of her are similar to the Nazi murderer of Walter Lubcke when he was led away by anti-terror cops, which has been a gift for conservative and right wing press and commentators. Even the Liberal centrists from Focus online commented on Lina’s case mentioning that she was in the same prison as Beate Zschäpe in article saying the women’s prison in Chemnitz was one of the most dangerous in the country and partially because of the two extremists under one roof, The German press has repeatedly tried to say Lina’s alleged actions were equally as bad random Neo-nazis and even comparable to the murders of the nazi terrror cell the national socialist underground.

The solidarity group from Leipzig have released a press statement saying: “The diversity and necessity of anti-fascist work is fundamentally ignored. Instead extremism theory is applied to anti-fascists, so that an equation with right-wing terrorist cells is the supposedly logical conclusion and as a result created the breeding ground for a far-reaching shift to the right. Because the increase in right-wing violence and threats in the context of a global shift to the right is not only concealed, but actually relativised by equating it with anti-fascist activism.”

The first day the trial starts on the 8th of September in Dresden.

So far there has been everything from banner drops, to graffiti and riots to make the world know what the state in doing to Lina and her comrades and calling for the her freedom and the case to be dropped. You may be asking what can you do to help? Lina and her co-defendants need money for legal expenses and to support themselves in prison. Please donate any money you can, share this appeal and protest this railroading of anti-fascists in Germany anyway you can. Call a demo, an action or simply raise some money, send soli photos let her know she is not forgotten like all other political prisoners. Photos and other messages of support should be emailed to [email protected]

Donate to Rote Hilfe e.V. GLS-Bank Konto-Nr.: 4007 238 317 BLZ: 430 609 67 IBAN: DE55 4306 0967 4007 2383 17 BIC: GENODEM1GLS

Please mention in the bank transfer, unverzagt so it gets to the right people.