Back to Startpage  
Other languages

"Terrorist Hunt" In Berlin, Mehringhof

Police And GSG-9 Search For Weapons And Explosives In Project Center

Within a few minutes of 6:00am on Sunday morning, the Gneisenaustrasse in Berlin's Kreuzberg district was filled with police vehicles. Around a thousand cops, many masked, including members of the GSG-9 anti-terrorist police, staged a surprise raid on the Mehringhof complex on Sunday morning. The aim of the action was to search for a weapons depot.

According to the federal prosecutor's office (BAW) in Karlsruhe, the officers were searching the rooms of the alternative project to look for weapons and explosives belonging to the organization Rote Zora/Revolutionary Cells (RZ). The row of parked police vehicles stretched a kilometer and a half down the street Gneisenaustrasse. But by the time the raid ended in the afternoon, nothing had been found. A few dozen people who were still in the Mehringhof at the time of the raid, having attended a salsa party the previous night, were only allowed to leave following ID checks at 11:00am. Journalists and photographers were denied entry to the complex, and surrounding buildings were occupied by police as well.

While the raid was still underway, a spontaneous demonstration was held. About 150 people took part in the demo, which was roughly treated by the police.

The police action at 6:00am was preceded by the arrest of two men in Berlin aged 49 and 51. At the same time, a 53-year-old woman was arrested in Frankfurt on charges of membership in a terrorist organization. One man and the woman are alleged to have participated in a 1987 bombing on a government office in charge of asylum policy in West Berlin. The woman arrested in Frankfurt is a close friend of Rudolf Gunter Schindler, who was arrested in Frankfurt a few weeks ago. Also, the accused are said to have taken part in another attack in 1987 on the head judge of the federal court in Berlin, Gunter Korbmacher, who was shot in the lower legs. The woman is also alleged to have taken part in an attack the year before on the chief of the foreigners division of the police bureaucracy in West Berlin, Harald Hollenberg.

In addition to the rooms of the alternative cultural center Mehringhof in Berlin-Kreuzberg, the police raid also searched cable and electrical ducts, because investigators had received a tip that the Revolutionary Cells/Rote Zora had built a weapons and explosives depot there. Unidentified members of the organization are said to have stolen more than 100kg of explosives in 1987, which was used in various actions, including the 1991 bombing of the 'Siegessaeule' statue pillar. The majority of the explosives have never been recovered, however.

During the police raid, mention was made of the arrest orders against Rudolf Gunter Schindler, who has already been charged in Frankfurt with participating in the 1975 attack on the OPEC summit in Vienna. He was implicated by statements made to prosecutors by Hans-Joachim Klein - a former friend of Germany's green foreign minister Joseph Fischer. The police raid seems to have turned up nothing, other than a 1986 phone list which included the name of Otto Schily, now Germany's interior minister. Volunteers at the Mehringhof complex estimate the damage caused by the police raid to be over 100,000 DM. The BAW has said further arrests will follow.

(Source: junge Welt - December 20, 1999; Translated by Arm The Spirit)