The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has apologised to the families of 10 victims, mostly Turks, murdered by ‘ National Socialist Underground ‘ neo-Nazi cell in a hate-driven killing frenzy.
Berlin / NationalTurk – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has asked for ‘forgiveness ‘ from the families of 10 people, eight of them German-Turks who have been murdered in a seven-year killing rampage by a neo-Nazi gang, as Germany marked a national day of commemoration.
Neo Nazi gang gives already sealed Germany a worse name
Angela Merkel said the murder rampage is an attack on Germany’s solidarity and a ‘disgrace ‘, at a tribute ceremony for the victims held in Berlin’s central concert hall.
The existence of a neo-Nazi cell calling itself the National Socialist Underground (NSU) was discovered 2011. The group is believed to be behind the murder of eight men of Turkish origin, one Greek national and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007.
‘Some relatives had been suspucted the culprits who committed the horror crimes of murder and killings for years. That is tormenting. For that I ask you for forgiveness,’ German Chancellor Angela Merkel, dressed in black, told around 1,200 guests, comprised mainly of the victim’s families.
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Turkish President Abdullah Gül showed appreciation for new German presidential candidate Joachim Gauck in a phone call, stating his participation in the memorial was a nice gesture. Abdullah Gül also wished Gauck luck in the coming presidential election.
Tragic moments at Berlin’s central concert hall
The memorial began with students carrying 12 candles to the front of the hall to music by Johann Sebastian Bach. The candles were for each of those killed, plus one for other victims of extremist violence and one for hope for the future.
“My son died in my arms, in 2006, in the Internet cafe where he was shot,” İsmail Yozgat said of his 21-year-old son, Halit. Addressing the gathering in Turkish, he asked that the street in Kassel where his son was born and murdered be named after him.
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Semiya Şimşek, whose father, Enver Şimşek, was shot at his flower stand in Nuremberg at the age of 38, said for years her family could not consider themselves victims because of suspicions that her father may have had criminal connections.
“Can you imagine how it felt to see my mother become a focus of investigation?” she told in a speech that left guest and politicians visibly moved. “Today I torture myself with the question ‘Am I at home in Germany?’ … How can I be sure of this when there are people who don’t want me here just because my parents are from another country?”
A minute’s silence took place at noon as part of a national day of commemoration for the victims. Germany was left reeling by the November 2011 discovery of the NSU, which only came to light when two members were found dead in an apparent suicide pact and left shocking evidence of the killings and gang propoganda behind.