Eine Reise durch Deutschland. Die Mordserie des NSU / 2014-2017

The National Socialist Underground (NSU), a far-right German terrorist group uncovered in November 2011, committed a series of racially motivated murders of eight Turkish and one Greek immigrant, the murder of a policewoman, the 2001 and 2004 Cologne bombings and a string of 14 bank robberies. After 13 years of living in hiding, the group was discovered in fall 2011 when two of its members were found dead – presumedly having committed suicide – after a bank robbery in Eisenach, Germany. On July 11th 2018, Beate Zschäpe, the last surviving member of the terrorist group, was sentenced to lifelong imprisonment.

In a 2012 speech, Angela Merkel had promised that everything was being done to find all those who were involved in the NSU crimes. “They are a disgrace to our nation.” the chancellor proclaimed. Five years on, public interest in the NSU complex has cooled down. After 400 days of hearings, with nearly 650 witnesses and experts, the case awakens minimal interest within the nation’s media outlets. In light of the emergence of a new, political right, wing, something that should have been a trauma for the whole nation has become just an impotent shrug of the shoulders.

During the last three years I travelled across Germany to visit both places and people that are associated with the NSU case. It was a search for traces attempting to capture the consternation the NSU case had caused: I wanted to understand how a country looks like, in which a far-right terrorist group was able to murder ten people unhindered - everything under the eyes of German state authorities. Combined with with text fragments from three years of research on the case, including records of conversations with protagonists, authority documents and lawsuit protocols, the work reflects countless unanswered questions regarding the entanglement of the government authorities and the political and social dimensions of the case. What does the existence of the terrorist group and its longstanding, unhindered murdering say about our society and the structures of its executive institutions?


The work will be published a s a book in July 2019 by Hartmann Projects. For orders, click here