Between 2000 and 2007 eight Turks were murdered in Germany, but the media and authorities preferred to present their cases along ethnic stereotypes, painting the victims as “kebab shop owners” caught up underworld crime and their likely killers as Turkish or Kurdish mafia. A chance police discovery of the actual killers in 2011 only came about through a bungled bank robbery, which identified the neo-Nazi cell believed to have committed the murders and other crimes.
Two of those responsible killed themselves before police could apprehend them. A third, Beate Zschaepe, is currently being tried in Munich, charged with being a “co-founder, member and accomplice” of the National Socialist Underground (NSU), a terrorist organisation which targeted immigrants and committed other violent crimes.
The developments and failings of the authorities, along with the rise of the far-right in Germany have led to major debates across the country and also inspired one of its most famous movie makers, Fatih Akin, to write and direct In the Fade. This compelling thriller is being screened as part of this year’s East End Film Festival.
Giving further insights into these gruesome racist murders is a docudrama called In the Middle of Germany, which is being screened at the Goethe-Institut in London over two nights. This three-part fictitious exploration of the murders carried out by neo-Nazi group NSU puts the spotlight on the victims, who were mostly small business owners of Kurdish, Turkish and Greek origin, and a policewomen.
The trilogy also looks at police incompetence and its poor investigation into the perpetrators, their unjust suspicions against the victims and their families, as well as the revelations about links between the German interior secret service and the neo-Nazi scene.
Admission for either evening of screening at the Goethe-Institut is just £3 (free for students and institute members), but prior booking is needed.
Title: In the Middle of Germany
Language: German, with English subtitles
Trilogy screening dates and times:
Part I, Monday 16 April, 18:45
In The Middle Of Germany: NSU – “The Perpetrators – Today Is Not The End”
Christian Schwochow | 95 mins | Germany
Part II, Monday 16 April, 20:30
In The Middle Of Germany: NSU “The Victims – Forget Me Not”
Züli Aladağ | 95 min | Germany
Part III, Tuesday 17 April, 18:45
In The Middle Of Germany: NSU “The Investigators – For Official Use Only”
Florian Cossen | 92 mins | Germany
Venue: Goethe-Institut London, 50 Princes Gate, Exhibition Road, Kensington, London SW7 2PH
Admission: £3 for each evening, including double-bill on Monday 16 April. Admission is free for language students and library members. Prior booking essential.
Tickets and additional information: Buy tickets online here. Or call +44 20 7596 4000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your place.