Clueless in Germany: On a “Mysterious” Series of Murders

Posted by John Rosenthal

The following from a report published Monday (10 April) on the website of the German newsweekly Focus.

A ninth victim has been shot to death in a mysterious series of murders. The victim was the owner of an Internet café in Kassel. The 21-year-old Turk was killed last Thursday by two shots to the head. According to the police and the district attorney’s office, the analysis of the bullets shows that his violent death belongs to the same series as eight other cases. The same gun was used in all the cases. Investigators are puzzling over what other possible connections there could be.

The article continues:

Apart from one exception, the victims have all been Turkish small business owners…. As with the other eight cases, investigators have no clues either about the identity of the perpetrator or about the motive.

As can be gathered from other German press reports, the ninth victim was “Greek”. It is very common, indeed customary, in Germany to identify persons as “foreigners” – “Turkish”, “Greek”, and so on – according to their “origins” and regardless of whether or not they have German citizenship. The latest “Turkish” victim in the series of murders was indeed, according to the reports, a German citizen.

Discussing anti-Semitic crimes in my 2003 essay “Anti-Semitism and Ethnicity in Europe”, I noted that “German authorities seem often to prefer not to classify particularly brutal attacks as anti-Semitic in nature even when the prima facie evidence clearly suggests anti-Semitic motives were involved.” As the “mysterious” series of murders demonstrates, the same observation applies too for other sorts of violent racist crimes – which latter, incidentally, given the relatively small number of Jews in contemporary Germany, are far more common. The German media is largely complicit in this behavior. The Focus report, gathered from wire services, is typical for numerous others: always a “mystery” and no mention of “racism” or “xenophobia”, not even as a hypothesis.

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