German authorities looked the other way as a right-wing terrorist cell went on a seven-year killing spree. Now they won’t look in the mirror.
BY JACOB KUSHNER
ILLUSTRATION BY JESSE LENZ
The question on everyone’s mind remains unacknowledged and unaddressed by the court: How did German authorities fail to notice that a group of neo-Nazis was killing ethnic minorities, practically under their noses? The answer — according a growing body of evidence deemed inadmissible to the trial — is that they should have noticed. Or even, that they did — but looked away.
There are plenty of explanations for what went wrong, ranging from bureaucratic rivalries between government agencies, to intelligence agents going too far to protect their informants, to outright institutionalized racism in German law enforcement.