The "Ask the State" platform and Jan Böhmermann's "ZDF Magazin Royale" have published Hesse NSU files classified as secret.
"We believe the public has the right to know what exactly is in those documents that were originally supposed to remain secret for more than a century," the website said. In order to protect the sources, the files were completely typed up and a new document created so as not to leave any digital traces, Böhmermann wrote on Twitter
According to the cover sheet, the document, which has been available since Friday, is a final report on the review of files in the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Hesse in 2012. The report is dated November 20, 2014.
At first there was no official confirmation of the authenticity of the documents from the Hessian Ministry of the Interior or the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. According to the assessment of the Hessian left, they obviously correspond to the original. "They seem to have been transcribed completely and with the same content," said Torsten Felstehausen, the Left Party's domestic policy spokesman in the Hessian state parliament. The texts were placed next to each other and compared. The MEPs had access to the original files in the committee of inquiry.
Hessian intelligence officers examine documents
The Hessian State Office for the Protection of the Constitution (LfV) announced in a seven-line statement that it was examining the published documents. In the case of the resulting necessary measures, especially “with regard to the personal data contained and the interests of the state concerned”, one is “in exchange with the police and constitutional protection authorities”. A spokesman declined to give any further details.
According to the left, the report "throws a devastating picture of the work of the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution." Felstehausen said the intelligence agencies did not follow up on hundreds of tips that neo-Nazis owned weapons and explosives. The protection of the constitution should be abolished.
The left-wing faction in the Thuringian state parliament demanded that the secret services be deprived of the files on the right-wing extremist terrorist group NSU. MP Katharina König-Preuss explained that it was necessary to hand over the files that could help clarify the NSU complex to an archive in order to advance the processing. The Hessian documents also contained a lot of information about Thuringian neo-Nazis, she said.
The parliamentary manager of the CDU parliamentary group in the Hessian state parliament, Holger Bellino, accused Böhmermann of having violated the freedom of the press. "It cannot be ruled out that by linking this information from other documents, extremists can draw conclusions about the working methods and informants of the security authorities." This could "endanger human life and make the work of the security authorities more difficult in the long term". Hesse's Interior Minister Peter Beuth (also CDU) argued similarly in May 2021 when he defended the decision not to publish the files.
The "National Socialist Underground" had been able to murder through Germany for years without being recognized. The victims of the right-wing terrorists were nine traders of Turkish and Greek origin and a German policewoman.
Files should remain secret for 30 years
The so-called NSU files of the Hessian Office for the Protection of the Constitution are the result of an examination in which the authority had checked its own files and documents on right-wing extremism for possible references to the NSU. There has been a dispute about her for years. The files were initially classified as secret for 120 years, but the time was later reduced to 30 years. More than 130,000 people had petitioned for publication.
With a view to the publication, the first parliamentary director of the Greens parliamentary group, Irene Mihalic, called for "an unreserved clarification" of the NSU complex. She told the editorial network Germany (RND).