Neo-Nazi Terror and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Germany

Despite the fact that at least 140 people (AIB 89) were killed by Neo-Nazis in Germany since re-unification in 1990, officially there was no such thing as Nazi terrorism in the Federal Republic. Indeed, if one looks at the book “Extremismus in Deutschland” (Extremism in Germany), published by the Ministry of the Interior in 2004, one could conclude that there is no such thing as violence from the extreme right, let alone murder and terrorism.
The yearly report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz) for 2010 categorically states that “in Germany no right wing terrorist structures can be detected” (Verfassungsschutzbericht 2010, p.57). The report describes far right violence as “predominantly spontaneous”, and claims it occurs mainly between right and left wing “extremists”.

This view in mainstream politics and media forcibly changed on November 4, 2011, when the dead bodies of Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos were found in a burning trailer in Eisenach, Thuringia. After a initially successful bank robbery by the suspects, police found their trailer and approached it, and then to avoid arrest, Böhnhardt apparently shot Mundlos, set the trailer on fire and then shot himself in the head. Meanwhile in Zwickau, the third of the terror trio, Beate Zschäpe (who had earlier taken part of the bank heist), was busy burning down their safehouse to destroy evidence. A few days later she gave herself up, and has since refused to make any statements.
The murder weapons used in a series of killings between 2000 and 2007 were found in the burned house along with other weapons.

The three right wing militants formed a cell called National Socialist Underground (NSU), and murdered nine men, who were small business owners (eight of Turkish and one of Greek origin), and one police woman in the course of those years. They were also responsible for a bombing in 2001 that severly wounded one woman, a nailbomb attack that wounded 22 people in Cologne in 2004, and for 14 bank robberies between 1999 and 2011.

The “Döner-killings” as they were called derogatorily in the press were heavily investigated by the police, but they did not follow any leads that suggested that the motives could have been racist and from a far right background. Instead the police assumed that the killers were from the migrant community, which often went along with the racist insinuation that the murdered men were somehow involved with criminal networks. This of course added insult to injury to the families and friends. Similarly in the case of the murdered policewoman, the suspicion was directed onto a “clan” of Roma that had parked near-by. The Bavarian police even opened a döner kebab shop in Nuremberg in the course of their “investigation”, while other police units went to consult two different fortune tellers who “contacted” victims and told the investigators completely bogus stories. So not only were the killings racist, the police operations to solve them were as well! [Read more →]

From Subculture to Hegemony: Transversal Strategies of the New Right in Neofolk and Martial Industrial

Neo-Folk and Martial Industrial are two sub-categories of Industrial Music, which developed in the 1980’s. Industrial as such was a direction that – parallel to Punk Rock – worked with the latest electronics in order to create an aesthetic of futuristic noise machines of the late 20th century and research extreme zones of contemporary society and history. Throbbing Gristle already thematized concentration camps, serial killers, Aleister Crowley etc by using cut-up techniques of William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin and thus with strategies of liberation from brain washing. Similarly, Cabaret Voltaire were said to wage a “propaganda war against the propaganda war” (Industrial Culture Handbook). With SPK this was combined with a critique of Psychiatry and a presentation of extremes of the body and death. In the 80’s there were agitational and critical bands such as Test Dept., Nocturnal Emissions and Bourbonese Qualk which were often associated with the ever broadening spectrum of “Industrial”. However, with Laibach the critique of totalitarianism became more ambivalent. This ambivalence was at first seemingly shared by Death In June, the band that in many ways was at the origin of what is now considered Neo-Folk and Martial Industrial. [Read more →]

Hedonism and Revolution: The Barricade and the Dancefloor

Will true pleasure only exist after the revolution, or will it be indispensable to lead to the revolution?

1.
Ever since the project of universal emancipation through communist revolution existed there has been a tension between two approaches – a dichotomy of views of people who ostensibly want to reach the same goal. On the one hand we find a view that could be summarized as: Only the revolution will bring about real pleasure and fulfillment, and we have to be ascetic cadres to reach it. The other side seems to declare that: Only by developing pleasures and following our desires will the revolution even become a possibility. If we look back at the two main phases of revolutionary struggles in the last century (ca. 1917-1923 and ca. 1967-77, depending in which country), we can easily see that for many revolutionaries the idea that hedonism and revolution should go together was present and central to the whole project. [Read more →]

Sähkö Recordings Interview (1994)

Interview with Tommi Grönlund from Sähkö Recordings published in Alien Underground 0.0 in 1994.

In the short time of their existence Sähkö Recordings from Helsinki have made their name in the international underground, and are standing for a sound of electronic minimalism and purity, proving once more that some of the most interesting techno comes from places that are far removed from the hype and scenes of the various ‘techno capitals’.
Also this year they are running a project called Ambient City on local radio featuring material from all over the world, about half being exclusively recorded, the other half being DJ mixes of ‘ambient music’ in the broadest sense of the word, supported by a local radio station and the Finnish Museum of Contemporary Art. Walkmen locked to the frequency are available!
We spoke to Tommi, who runs the label, works as an architect and also designs the wonderfully minimalistic covers for the records, when he visited London for a few days recently. After going through the London record shops for those hard to find tunes and after some food at Wong Key we wanted to find out about the artistic background and intentions of Sähkö…

Sähkö: There are 3 guys involved with these records, most important Mika Vainio, he has made numbers 1 and 2, and also the CD, number 6, and he also played the other half of number 3, quite a different record. Then there’s Sami Salo who made number 4.
Mika Vainio is a bit older than I, he’s been into industrial, noisy stuff since the beginning of the eighties. The other guys are much younger, they’ve got a totally different background. Mika is the most important for the label however, his music and philosophy has very much affected myself. [Read more →]

Digital Hardcore Recordings – Alien Underground Questionnaire (1994)

We sent a questionnaire with the same five questions to a few labels. The answers by Digital Hardcore and by Force Inc. were published in Alien Underground in issue 0.0 (1994) and 0.1 (1995) respectively. Here are the answers by DHR, plus reviews of their first three releases by CF [Read more →]

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