The racist terrorist organization National Socialist Underground massacred nine migrants and one police officer between the years 2000 and 2007 in various cities across Germany. In addition to the murders of Enver Şimşek, Abdurrahim Özüdoğru, Süleyman Taşköprü, Habil Kılıç, Mehmet Turgut, İsmail Yaşar, Theodoros Boulgaridis, Mehmet Kubaşık, Halil Yozgat and Michèle Kiesewetter, bombings targeting migrants and a series of bank robberies were also carried out. The German government, who looked for the culprits amongst the migrants, who blamed the victims and subjects of the attacks, continued to protect the racist entities established by intelligence organizations and the official bodies that collaborate with these entities after the suspicious suicides of Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos in 2011, who were the core team of the NSU, and the third member of the organization, Beate Zschäpe, was captured. The NSU illegally destroyed thousands of pages of paperwork that could shed light on the murders. Fascist informants were taken into the custody of the state, who were paid by the secret services. Some of the informants whose identities were exposed either committed suicide in suspicious ways or they just died. The most comprehensive series of acts of racist serial murders and bombings after WWII were blamed on the migrants by not only the state, but also the racist social structure that included the media and the politicians. Since 2011, officials of the state, intelligence officers, politicians who have been testifying in the numerous commissions established by the Federal Parliament and in state parliaments have continued to lie, to censor and to destroy evidence under the rubric of confidentiality to protect the state.
Finally, the State of Hessen decided to keep the intelligence documents that could shed light on the NSU murders to be kept locked up for 120 years. The State of Munich High Court has been trying Beate Zschäpe and a few other scapegoats since 2013, defending that the NSU was a three-people organization, not paying heed to the opinions and testimonies of the various targets and the victims’ families; the demands of the families and the lawyers involved, which could expose the deep state in Germany and consequently, the structural racism, are categorically denied.
The Tribunal Unravelling the NSU Complex, which took place in Cologne on 17-21 May 2017, to expose the structural racism that is prevalent in the state and across most of society, to reveal the perspectives of the victims and migrant communities, to uncover the complex of NSU and to lay out the names of the responsible people, penned a bill of indictment that sues a hundred people, ranging from Prime Minister Angela Merkel to civil servants of the lowest levels, to politicians to members of the press and the media.
Unravelling the NSU Complex, which was established in 2015 across Germany with the participation of hundreds of people, plans for social actions targeting the NSU trial in Munich after the tribunal in May as the trial nearly concludes.
(translated by Merve Ünsal)
Migration is happening. It is irreversible. Acknowledging this means wagering on a future in a democratic, cosmopolitan society based on the right to have rights.
Migration is happening, regardless of what motivating factors sociologists and migration researchers claim drive it.
Migration is happening stubbornly, without heeding fantasies of controlling, regulating or stemming the surges, floods and flows of moving people.
Migration possesses a relative autonomy that cannot be assimilated into the concepts of those who stay put, into the imaginary homogeneous communities dreamt up by anxiety-ridden nationalists.
People flee the circumstances they find themselves in, they move around, they are curious, they fall in love, they seek out better opportunities for themselves, they escape, they explore, they transform themselves: nobody knows what would happen if an NGO worker, a refugee, a tourist and a local met in a bar on Lesbos.
Ideas of borders have adapted to circumstances. Borders exist not just along the barbed-wire fences between Hungary and Austria, but also in the Intercity train from Hamburg to Cologne. Borders run along the line dividing primary and secondary school, when the nice primary school teacher sends little Fabian to upper school A-level and little Fahruk to secondary general school. They run through the Moria refugee camp, where the good refugees are separated from the bad ones.
But Moria has burned down and black-market tickets for the ferry to Athens are available everywhere for €35.
What can be controlled is people’s suffering, the deprivation of their rights, the ease with which nationalists can get away with murder scot-free (like the National Socialist Underground group) or attempted murder (like the Rostock-Lichtenhagen rioters).
This shifting of borders is nothing new. The invisible borders don’t divide two areas into “Here” and “There”; rather, they define who has rights to which spaces. A logistics of rights transforms one and the same space into home turf for one group, no-go area for another.
And yet migration is unstoppable. People’s autonomy, solidarity and social networks undermine the restrictions imposed by those who seek to exploit them.
No wonder that the practices that have become second nature to the German Left were inspired by the practices of migrants: from new kinds of struggle against the factory and ultimately the flight from the factory to squatting, from community centres to collectives, from migrant ghettos to trendy districts as sites that shape people’s political outlooks.
The recognition that migration and the struggles inherent in it can shape and democratise societies is our stake in a wager on a future – a future whose past we are continuously realising today in thousands of little towns, niches and social relations.
The fantasy of society as a static community is doomed to fail, even if it can and will lead to untold suffering in the process of failing.
Almanya was “kanakised” long ago, no matter how many thousands of people bellow slogans to the contrary. Their faces contort all the more hideously, their bellowing grows all the louder, the more they realise that the world they wish to go back to is a phantasm that never actually existed. Their fanaticism is an expression of this realisation. They too have placed a wager on the future, but they have a terrible hand.
From racists to Gorki audiences, everyone is thinking about migration and migrants, how best to manage them, how to treat them – for they understand access to civil rights as a privilege that belongs to them and which they can grant or deny as they see fit. That is the lie of integration, which is perpetuated by Right and Left alike.
We oppose this lie with a different perspective, a different stance. For migration doesn’t just mean taking rights that don’t belong to anyone – it is a process without end, one that cannot be completed.
It’s not about individual rights, it’s not about equal rights; who, after all, would want to share the same fate as this country’s miserable citizens?
It’s about far more, namely the fundamental right to have and receive rights. It’s about a right to rights that goes far beyond the status quo. A right that is not reformist, but revolutionary.
And it’s in migration that the spirit of this revolution can be found.
(translated by Andrew Godfrey for Transfiction)
The text is an excerpt from the six presentations by AG-Attitude, a preparation group for Tribunal Unravelling the NSU Complex, at the Uniting Backgrounds Festival at Maxim Gorki Theater, 9 October 2016.