Between 1998 and 2011, a German neo-Nazi terrorist group murdered ten people. They called themselves the National Socialist Underground or NSU, carried out robberies to finance their terrorist cell, and planted bombs to spread terror in Germany.
On November 4, 2011, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt were found dead in a burning camper van in Eisenach, a small town in Thuringia in central Germany. The two men had been familiar figures to the German secret service. Over a decade earlier, they had been placed under surveillance as suspected neo-Nazis, and a number of informants had mentioned the young men by name. But Mundlos and Böhnhardt had managed to disappear as if into thin air, helped by a network of friends.
They became alleged right-wing terrorists. They shot people, and planted bombs. But they never claimed their crimes. It wasn’t until after the two men had been found dead that a film surfaced. In it, a group calling themselves the National Socialist Underground (NSU), a reference to the Nazi party’s official name, boasted of a series of ten murders allegedly committed by Mundlos and Böhnhardt.
German authorities had been investigating the murders. All ten of the victims had been small-time businessmen with immigrant backgrounds. Both domestic intelligence agencies and a special commission had been trying to find who was behind the mysterious killing spree. The claims made in the video seemed to solve the question of who was responsible. But as the investigation proceeded, a number of new questions arose. Mundlos and Böhnhardt were able to carry out ten murders without being apprehended. Why had they not been stopped? Why had none of the murders been prevented?
This documentary by Stefan Aust and Dirk Laabs provides a comprehensive overview of the yearlong investigation of the National Socialist Underground, and the motives behind these acts of violence. It tells the story of a right-wing terrorist network that grew in recently reunified Germany, and ultimately shamed Germany authorities.
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