Cablegate: Neo-Nazi Influence in Elite Frankfurt Police Unit
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHFT #1315 0781423
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191423Z MAR 07
FM AMCONSUL FRANKFURT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0436
INFO RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
UNCLAS FRANKFURT 001315
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/AGS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV ASEC SCUL GM
SUBJECT: Neo-Nazi Influence In Elite Frankfurt Police Unit
Sensitive but unclassified; not for internet distribution.
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Media revealed this week that at least three
members of an elite Frankfurt-based police unit that provides close
personal protection to public figures (among them Jewish leaders and
CG Frankfurt) had neo-Nazi affiliations. ConGen Frankfurt was told
the allegations first emerged in the course of a fraud investigation
in late 2005, at which time all implicated persons were suspended or
reassigned. Opposition leaders and Jewish representatives
criticized the state for withholding its findings and not
prosecuting (or firing) all those implicated in the sensational
case. END SUMMARY.
2. (U) According to media reports confirmed by official sources,
Frankfurt prosecutors have investigated three "protective division"
(bodyguard) personnel (ages 26, 32, and 43) for neo-Nazi
affiliations. In the most sensational case -- a 26-year-old officer
who had distributed a photo of himself in an "pseudo-SS" uniform (a
jacket with SS insignia) and used other Nazi/neo-Nazi symbols --
prosecutors dropped charges on the grounds that questionable
materials were shown to a limited group of people (his colleagues)
and not distributed widely as propaganda (a criminal offense).
Investigators also found far-right music files on his private
computer. He remains on suspension. The 32-year-old acted as an
accomplice to the "SS" photo but investigators say they found little
other evidence. An investigation is also ongoing against a
43-year-old officer whose computer contained the banned "Horst
Wessel Song" (SS marching song). NOTE: Police representatives told
RSO they removed all officers involved from protective duty
regardless of charges and disposition. END NOTE.
3. (U) The case is sensational as well since the three policemen
implicated in neo-Nazi activities served as bodyguards to Michel
Friedman, former deputy head of Germany's Jewish community (and a
prominent public figure). Friedman expressed shock at the case,
reflecting that it shows far-right influence can pervade all walks
of German life and criticizing state authorities for not acting more
quickly and openly.
4. (SBU) Opposition representatives attacked Hessen Interior
Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU/Christian Democrats) for knowing about
the case for months and not informing the public -(nor apparently
those affected such as Mr. Friedman). SPD and Greens state
spokepersons called on Bouffier to resign or to identify those
responsible for the case, pointing to other scandals within the
ministry. National Greens party head Claudia Roth called on
Bouffier to take respnsibility for the affair and warned of a
"massiv problem of growing right-wing extremism and anti-emitism"
in Germany. Jewish community members aso voiced criticism over the
case. Critics particularly want to know any signs of broader
far-rigt influence in the Frankfurt police.
5. (SBU) A close ally of Hesse Minister-resident Roland Koch (CDU),
Bouffier has shown n signs of considering resignation and is likely
to argue that investigators were diligent in the cas. Nonetheless,
the case is highly embarrassing or authorities. A larger question
is how elite embers of the Frankfurt police felt comfortable
haring neo-Nazi sentiments with their colleagues.
6. (U) This cable was coordinated with Embassy Belin.