An Editorial Comment
by Otto Diederichs
Right-wing extremist and/or racist motivated acts of violence have, unfortunately, long since ceased to be exceptional occurrences. In much the same manner as politicians and the courts, the police initially acted hesitatingly with regard to this new challenge. In the meantime, however, a number of initiatives have come into being of quite differing natures. CILIP has attempted to take a closer look at these activities and has also gone a step further in beginning to ask questions about right-wing attitudes and antagonistic sentiments toward aliens within the police themselves. Particularly the latter still appears to be taboo for the police.
As always at the beginning of a new year we also present our annual review of fatal police shootings from the previous year.
The Police Disaster in Rostock
by Otto Diederichs
What ensued in the Lichtenhagen district of Rostock on the night of August 22, 1992 has undoubtedly altered the development of domestic politics in the Federal Republic. A mob comprised of 150-200 – predominantly young – rowdies – had already beleaguered the local Central Collecting Point for Refugees (CCPR) for days – backed by applauding parents and neighbours without the local police feeling called upon to intervene in any serious manner. The reasons for this police mishap, which is already being subjected to widespread discussion in the press, are not the subject of this analysis. By contrast the individual actors are subjected to more individual scrutiny and a closer study of the local political situation and the situation within the Rostock police force are provided. The uncomfortable conclusion: Somewhere along the decision-making line between Rostock and the state capital Schwerin the growing hatred directed at aliens in Lichtenhagen and the ministerial month long neglect of and disinterest in dealing with the situation in and around the CCPR became institutional racism in which nobody say any cause whatsoever for doing a single thing more than was absolutely necessary in terms of standard operating procedure.
The Establishment Order of the Police Data System „Rostock“
Documentation with a commentary by Heiner Busch
The Disappearing State
by Wolfgang Wieland
During the Weimar era the German professor of statistics, Emil Julius Gumbel, calculated an average of one each life imprisonment amounting to 31 years and ten months for lethal crimes committed by a total of 314 right-wing individuals vs. eight death sentences, 176 years and ten months in prison for a total of 13 lethal crimes committed by left-wing individuals. In much the same manner as Wolfgang Gast, Wolfgang Wieland, domestic affairs spokesperson of the Greens/Alliance 90 faction in the Berlin state parliament takes a closer look at state activities in the fight against the new German right-wing radicalism/extremism. His article focuses particularly on the courts, from which he draws corresponding political conclusions.
Symbolic Politicking Against Right-Wing Radicalism
by Wolfgang Gast
After the firebombing in Mölln on November 23, 1992 which resulted in the deaths of a Turkish woman and two Turkish girls, politicians in Bonn stumbled over one another in an effort to be the first calling for tougher laws. Before the background of numerous right-wing radical attacks on aliens the federal cabinet called upon the Federal Constitutional Court to revoke the honorary civil rights of two leading Neo-Nazis. The Federal Minister of Justice wanted to prosecute Nazi rock groups for incitement to murder. And the armed forces expert for the SPD even suggested transferring 70,000 members of Germany’s army, the Bundeswehr, to the Federal Border Guard. Looking back, all the efforts of Bonn’s politicians have – not unsurprisingly – revealed themselves to be for the most part a lot of hot wind and more actionistic than realistic.
Racism: A Non-Subject for the German Police?
by Albrecht Funk
When leading police officers or ministerial officials within the ministries of the interior are called upon to cite the official position on antagonistic attitudes towards aliens within the ranks of the police then there standard response is to point out that all professions have their „rotten apples“. When questioned about such topics as racism, the best they can muster are responses such as Rodney King and Los Angeles. Incidents such as these – however – appear – at least officially – not to occur in Germany’s police stations. What does make Germany different from other Western European countries is not the existence of racism and antagonism toward aliens within the police. Even the frequency is not significantly greater than in other countries. But, in contrast to such countries as the Netherlands and Great Britain, the subject is simply taboo in Germany and is simply not perceived as an institutional problem to be dealt with.
The Berlin Police Force and Right-Wing Extremism
by Eckardt Lazai
The discussion of the police force’s role in the fight against right-wing extremism it has often been overlooked that members of the police force have often found themselves in the headlines due to their antagonistic behavior toward aliens. Even if a few street tabloids have – exaggeratedly – begun to characterize the Berlin police force as totally anti-alien and rightist, it can be fairly assumed that police personnel too have their reservations with regard to aliens. The author, criminal investigation chief and a member of the police training faculty as a teacher of „political education“ within the Berlin police force administration, presents a tentative curriculum of means for dealing with these questions in on-going training, some of which has already become a reality in Berlin.
The Registration of Right-Wing Extremist Crimes
by Kea Tielemann
Over the past several months the Constitutional Guard bureaus and the detective divisions of the federal government and the state agencies various studies and statistics have been published attempting to document the real increase in right-wing extremist acts of violence for the years 1991 and 1992. Comparing these statistics with one another, however, leads to the discovery of significant contradictions, despite the fact a clear definition of „crime of antagonism against an alien“ has been universally accepted. This is due predominantly to different counting methods. The author compares all the statistics provided by the Constitutional Guard bureaus and also provides an initial analysis.
Alien Citizens Commissioner for the Potsdam Police Force
by Frauke Postel
After the pogrom nights in Rostock a new concept was developed in Potsdam, one of the four main police departments in the state of Brandenburg: Inspections of the refugee housing facilities led to the shocking discovery that current security measures and procedures are far from being sufficient. Security advisers were needed for general counselling and for even counselling endangered refugees in the hope of that such activity would lead to greater confidence in the police. The concept was developed nearly a half a year ago in the offices of the chief of police in Potsdam and his deputy chief for „operations“. Seven officers from the general police force – sex males and one female – have been placed directly under the authority of the office of the police chief in Potsdam as aliens affairs officers. The author of this article, a social worker employed in the regional „working group on aliens affairs“ in the state of Brandenburg, provides a brief description of the idea and the experience gained to date with this new and exceptional concept.
The Special Commission on Right-Wing Extremism
by Otto Diederichs
In the meantime special working groups and/or special divisions for fighting right-wing extremism have been created in nearly all the states of the Federal Republic. In most cases, little more than unadulterated activity for activity’s sake is taking place. Only within the Saxonian special commission on right-wing extremism or Soko Rex as it is called in German has been able to come up with any measurable degree of success to date. Yet, by taking a closer look at the work of the special commission over the past one and a half years, a few blemishes in their approach are detectable. The articles describes the genesis, organization and modus operandi of the special commission, pointing also to some weaknesses.
The Conception of the „State Deployment Force Elbe“
by Otto Diederichs
After the attack of approximately 40-60 skinheads on a party being celebrated by a group of punkers in the „Elbterrassen“ restaurant in Magdeburg on May 10th, 1992 during which a 23 year old punker was killed, officials in the state of Saxony-Anhalt began devising plans aimed at making them capable of reacting more effectively and rapidly, particularly with sufficient numbers on the part of the police force during such situations. One of the results of these efforts has been the creation of the State Deployment Force Elbe: On closer scrutiny, however, little more than a plan for notifying and mobilizing off-duty personnel in case of an emergency similar to immediate reaction plans developed routinely by police forces throughout the world would appear to exist. Thus, in essence, the State Deployment Force Elbe appears to be a fancy name for an everyday phenomenon.
Policing and Racism in the United Kingdom
by Tony Bunyan
Policing and racism in the United Kingdom has a long history going back to the turn of the century. To understand the present, strained, relationship between the police and the ‚black community‘ it is necessary to look back to the 80’s to gain a better understanding of how we arrived at the present situation. Bunyan’s historical survey of these relations and their gradual deterioration proves evidence of a widening gap between the reform efforts of top leadership, investigating committees, government review and a growing loss of confidence in the police’s capacity to overcome its own institutionally biased racism in providing fair and equal treatment to all citizens.
Racist Cops in France?
by Hartmut Aden
Having white skin and being well-dressed makes one much less susceptible to police controls than Blacks or Arabs. Objectively speaking this would to earn the rating of racism. However, this does not also mean that direct racist convictions were the motivating force behind the behavior of individual police officers – structural patterns may be equally to blame. The author makes a clear distinction between racism as a structurally generated frustration syndrome and ideologically motivated manifest racism as manifested in the voting patterns of right-wing police unions.
Fatal Police Shootings, 1974-1992
by Falco Werkentin
Although the unification of Germany in 1990/91 not only led to a massive increase in the total population but also to the number of police carrying weapons, the number of fatal police shootings has failed to increase in the same manner. As in 1991, there were only a total of 9 fatalities last year. Thus, it would appear that a trend long observed and documented by CILIP is stabilizing itself. The article includes an analysis of the years 1974 to 1992 and a separate documentation of the fatalities of 1992.
The Police Readiness Force in the State of Brandenburg
by Otto Diederichs
Police readiness forces are an integral part of police personnel reserve forces at the state level since the beginning of the Fifties. By means of an „administrative accord concerning the establishment of police readiness forces at the state level“ the states had committed themselves to the task of creating and maintaining such units. Subsequent to the creation of a new organizational structure for the police within the state of Brandenburg by decree from the Ministry of the Interior in November of 1991, this state also joined the accord. Nevertheless Brandenburg took a different approach in establishing its ready reserve from that which had been considered normal procedure. This article describes the new „Brandenburg Line“ as the conception is referred to in Brandenburg.