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Extremism: Wüst apologizes to NSU victims in Cologne

Extremism: Wüst apologizes to NSU victims in Cologne

20 years after the NSU attack in Cologne’s Keupstrasse, the Prime Minister addresses the victims who were turned into perpetrators. Wüst admits mistakes.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) has apologized to those affected by the NSU attack in Cologne 20 years ago. In a guest article for the “Kölner Stadtanzeiger” and the Turkish newspaper “Hürriyet”, he addressed everyone who experienced the attack in 2004 and to those who were wrongly suspected themselves, although they were among the victims.

“The state, whose primary task is to protect people, must admit that it failed to meet this requirement in the Keupstrasse incident. It did not protect people. It did not protect them from physical and psychological harm, nor from false suspicions,” wrote Wüst. He apologized “to everyone who was not believed for so long and who were wrongly targeted by the investigations themselves, even though they were victims.”

22 people were injured, some critically

On June 9, 2004, the NSU terrorists Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt detonated a nail bomb in Keupstrasse. The explosion injured 22 people, some critically. For a long time, the police suspected that the perpetrators were close to the victims in the Turkish community. No investigations were made into right-wing extremism. Only after Mundlos and Böhnhardt were found dead in 2011 did it become clear that the terrorist group “National Socialist Underground” (NSU) was responsible for this crime and other murders.

Wüst wrote that the residents of Keupstrasse had to “experience not only the shock of the attack and the fear for their own lives, but also premature judgment and defamation.” In the course of the investigation, victims were temporarily turned into suspects. NRW has learned from its mistakes. The police and justice system “today reflect the social diversity of our state more strongly.”

This Sunday, in the presence of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the assassination attempt 20 years ago will be remembered.

Source: Stern

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