On May 6, 2013, the largest criminal trial in Germany since reunification began in Munich. One woman and four men were accused of founding or supporting the National Socialist Underground (NSU) – a Nazi terrorist organization that murdered ten people and committed three bomb attacks, arson, and 15 robberies. After over five years, the judgments were delivered. The main defendant Beate Zschäpe received a life sentence.
Unique Contemporary Historical Document
Right at the beginning of the trial, the court decided not to document the hearing by means of a tape recording or a protocol. In order to preserve the proceedings for posterity, journalists from the Süddeutsche Zeitung prepared transcripts of the trial. Without them, an important document of contemporary history would not have been produced. These transcripts have been available as a book since October 2018. The book offers a unique insight into the history of right-wing terrorism in Germany and how it pervaded many areas of society. In addition, there is information about the failure to investigate the crimes and the role of the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (German domestic intelligence service) in the context of the NSU.
Discussion with Annette Ramelsberger about the Review of the NSU Murders
Annette Ramelsberger, coauthor of the book “Der NSU-Prozess. Das Protokoll.” (The NSU trial. The protocol.), will visit the University of Bremen on January 21, 2019. She will talk to history students about the knowledge that the trial offers about the right-wing extremist scene, right-wing terrorism, and also about the role of the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz. Which role of the victims of the NSU had in the trial and their place in the culture of remembrance in Germany will also be discussed. The seminar will be held in the large lecture hall (HS 2010) in building GW2 on the university boulevard. Anyone interested is very welcome; admission is free.
Part of a Practice-Oriented History Seminar
The public seminar is part of the “Gerichtsprozesse als Quellen der Zeitgeschichte. Der NSU Prozess.” (Court trials as sources of contemporary history. The NSU trial.) course at the Institute for History of the University of Bremen and is also recognized as part of the General Studies degree course. Historian Professor Birte Förster will lead the seminar, which is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the university-wide ForstAintegriert program (research-based studies from the outset). The focus is on a consistent didactic orientation towards a research-based approach of independent academic work.
Professor Birte Förster
Institute of History
Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Bremen
Tel.: +49 176 31329876
E-mail: bfoersterprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de