54-year-old Alexander Horst M. accused of sending dozens of threatening messages to public figures went on trial in Frankfurt on Wednesday.
Alleged far-right extremist Alexander Horst M.* went on trial in Frankfurt on Wednesday accused of sending dozens of threatening emails and messages to public figures under the deceptive yet implicative name „NSU 2.0,” reports the Deutsche Welle. The original NSU (National Socialist Underground) carried out several attacks and murdered at least 10 people between 2000 and 2007, before being uncovered in 2011. Its only known surviving member, Beate Zschäpe, was sentenced to life in prison in 2018.
During the hearing, the prosecution read out every one of the threatening emails and messages Alexander Horst M. had allegedly sent between August 2018 and March 2021 to prominent politicians, lawyers, journalists, and entertainers. The letters frequently contained a litany of „death sentences,” racist insults and general hate speech, as well as references to racist conspiracy theories about the supposed „genocide” and „replacement” of the German population, and predictions of a „Day X” (a term referring to a „day of reckoning”, when violent conflict will supposedly break out in Germany). The letters were often signed „Heil Hitler,” and the sender referred to himself repeatedly either as an SS officer or the „leader of the NSU 2.0.”
There were several messages containing bomb threats directed at the Frankfurt High Court as well as a high school, however, no explosives were ever found.
Left Party politicians who received such letters were represented by Hesse state parliament member Hermann Schaus, who said that threats are increasing, but this case stands out from the incoherent babble. „his is a different case. These were written by someone who knows his way around the bureaucracy, who can do concrete research, who can express himself well, and who can spread a very different quality of fear and terror than I am used to as a politician. I saw what an effect it had on some of the recipients.”
There is a suspicion that police officers were involved in the case, passing on private details. The letter campaign coincided with the discovery of a far-right chat group among members of the Hesse police’s special commando unit (SEK). Several officers were suspended, and the unit was dissolved in 2021.
The letters contain apparent references to this police unit. „Those connections remain unexplained,” Schaus told the Deutsche Welle, accusing the state prosecutors of failing to follow up on those suspicions, who insisted that despite thorough investigations, no evidence against police officers has been found.
In a joint statement posted on Twitter on Monday, Basay-Yildiz, Left Party politicians Janine Wissler, Anne Helm, and Martina Renner, and cabaret entertainer Idil Baydar and writer Hengameh Yaghoobifarah declared: „For us, it’s a scandal that the investigation is being carried out against a supposed single perpetrator.”
The court has set 14 trial dates so far, stretching until the end of April.
Photo credit: Deutsche Welle