NSU terrorist cell: Zwickau after the day X.

The remains of the house in Zwickau, where the three members of the terror cell lived

© Black / Reuters

The stuffy and the paranoid already show at the front door. The name tag is made of brass, "Dienelt" is engraved on it in flourishes. Under this name lived Beate Zschäpe, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt as a sibling plus a friend in the Zwickau Spring Road 26. Only a few centimeters from the sign: The hole of the peephole. Behind it was not a simple lens, but a surveillance camera attached. The cables are still clearly visible on the photos that will be shown on this 15th day of the proceedings in the Munich courtroom.

The witness L., Kriminalhauptwachtmeister, reports almost appreciatively and in great detail about the Trutzburg, which the three NSU terrorists had created on the second floor. "Here you can see the crossbars, right, left, two bolts that can be pushed out," explains the policeman the triple-secured steel door and holds his right index finger in the air: "The lock moves in vertically." Also, the cable management of the second surveillance camera at the window had been laid "properly" in the rubbing strip, the camera stuck in a flower box with green plastic plants.

Escape with Bekennervideo and the cats Heidi and Lilly

There are about 380 color photos, various sketches and drawings with which the witness explains the condition of the house after day X. The day, then, on which the plan would seize, which the right-wing terrorists had probably figured out. A plan in case they ever would fly up. It was intended that the two men would kill themselves. And that Beate Zschäpe would make known the legacy of the NSU. It is still not clear how Beate Zschäpe heard about the deaths of her comrades in the motorhome in Eisenach. However, it is certain that sometime before 15:08 on November 4, 2011, she distributed ten liters of gasoline in the common apartment and kindled a fire. Before she had stuffed 15 DVDs with the NSU-Bekennervideo in the black purse and the two cats Heidi and Lilly have clamped under his arm. Then she ran out, just in time before the "fuel-air mixture" exploded. She called her neighbor: "Call the fire department!".

She was long gone when the house burned out. After the fire brigade arrived at Spring Street at 3:15 pm, they first tried to find out who else could be in the house, says L. The police tried to get the registration register. "But of course that did not agree with the statements of the neighbors"? Of course Mundlos, Böhnhardt and Zschäpe had not registered in the Bürgeramt. Until about 22 o'clock they had searched for the two men, whether at the time of the explosion were still in the house, the neighbors could not say. Nobody could know that the two were long dead? they were lying in their burning motor home in Eisenach, only 180 kilometers away.

Only days later, only when the eleven weapons were recovered from the house and the handcuffs of Michele Kiesewetter, only then the fire in the spring street was the crime scene.

The investigators have minutely reconstructed the cause of the fire, which will be clear on this day in Munich. In each small corner they have photographed in, the detection dogs showed a "typical display behavior" at the places where Beate Zschäpe had distributed petrol. Beate Zschäpe was thorough. And yet, the investigators found thousands of evidence - many of them relevant to the prosecution of Zschäpe as an accomplice - who initially packed them in plastic bags and transported them to a police garage. There they laid them neatly on white cloths. The police officer L. also describes this to the court.

The reconstruction, the testimonies, the traces of gasoline on her socks, as she posed four days later: At least the arson Beate Zschäpe can probably be detected. The heaviness on top of that, because in the adjacent apartment sat her old, handicapped neighbor. Thick cracks have formed in the wall of her living room, flue gases have entered the apartment. Witness L. painted this with red strokes on the photos. The neighbor could have died, as well as two construction workers who just happened to take a break.

Beate Zschäpe probably also sees the extent of destruction in this form for the first time. She sits between her two lawyers, has put her left hand to her neck and sometimes looks almost agitated on the pictures of her burning nest.

Almost 20 months ago she left the house in panic. Now she sees the shoes of her dead comrades in the photos and one would like to know, what this triggers with her. Almost like a tour guide now leads the police squad Zschäpe through her old life - or what was left of it. "We are now moving from the 'fire area kitchen' to the rear 'fire area E', ie the living room," he says. And that the hallway is in a "dreamed-up state", walls are "affected by the soot". Objectively, technically, underground life was recorded here. Sports room, cat room, two "sleeping places", one of them a loft bed. Who has slept where and with whom knows only Zschäpe. She should not have known about the deeds, that is the strategy of her defense. The safe, however, as the policeman L. emphasizes several times, was "demonstrably open".

Like a pension for terrorists

The everyday life of the trio can imagine who looks at the pictures in court: Three electric toothbrushes in the bathroom, where all the tiles have fallen off the wall during the explosion. A look in the shoe cabinet: Hello Kitty sandals and Tigerpuschen in it. In the living room mirrors are wavy on the wall, small cat flaps in the door. The fitted kitchen is conserved except for the microwave, you see a charred spice rack, on the kitchen table a blue striped tablecloth, the corner seat is verschmort. On the shelf is still a liter of H-milk in the expensive refrigerator a cucumber glass and two bottles of Prosecco.

It was a cozy home that Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt had created here. Almost as a pension for terrorists: since April 2008, they lived in the 125 square meter apartment in civil Zwickau-Weißenborn. From here, they did not go on a murder tour, their last victim was Michele Kiesewetter in 2007. From here, there was only leave and bank robbery for her.

The old, yellow settler home, built in 1930, which the three lived in, was the pride of the neighborhood. Neighborhood barbecues were held here, and Beate Zschäpe also gave out beer here. Already in October 2007, they came to visit the renovated apartment as "Geschwisterpaar Dienelt". The Siedlerheim is now demolished. The city did not want a place of pilgrimage for neo-Nazis.

The pictures show a burned-out roof truss, rubble and excavator. The leaves on the trees in the small park were partially green, colored in other places yellow and red. Day X was a nice, mild autumn day.

Neo-Nazism | Wikipedia audio article (July 2020).

Beate Zschäpe, hiding place, NSU, NSU trial, Zwickau, negotiating day, Eisenach, fire department, camera