Lucien Favre is usually a very level-headed man in all the wild waters of life. This desolate and mysteriously defenseless appearance on Tuesday evening also made the Borussia Dortmund coach run out of skin. “We weren’t there at all,” Favre complained after BVB’s 3-1 (0-2) at the start of the Champions League at Lazio Rome, before the police escort went to the airport at midnight: “You have to defend, run absent. That was bad. Many weren’t good. “
The mood in Leipzig was completely different, namely much better. RB trainer Julian Nagelsmann lovingly stroked little Angelino’s bald head with both hands and grinned a little mischievously. After the 2-0 (2-0) win against Istanbul Basaksehir, he thanked the double goal scorer in a special way. The Spaniard had Leipzig not only secured the important victory at the start in the hammer group H, in which Manchester United won the parallel match 2-1 (1-0) at Paris Saint-Germain, he also showed unexpected striker qualities.
They were also relieved in Munich. After a positive test for the corona virus in offensive player Serge Gnabry was made public on Tuesday, Uefa allowed the kick-off for Bayern’s duel with Atlético Madrid in the evening on Wednesday after enough new negative test results from the team. According to the Uefa corona protocol, at least 13 players including a goalkeeper must be available for this. “The game is going as planned,” said a spokesman for the European Football Association in the afternoon.
On the other hand, BVB is sobered after the first international endurance test – and that in the week before the Revier derby against Schalke 04 next Saturday. “If we do this, it won’t work. It’s going to be a completely different fight, ”said licensed player boss Sebastian Kehl. Players out of shape, no impact in the duels, hesitant, much too tame demeanor: The highly talented were boiled off by Lazio and the former Dortmund transfer flop Ciro Immobile, who took sweet revenge after five years. “You shouldn’t present yourself like that,” said Kehl, “that was really desolate.” As after the 2-0 defeat at FC Augsburg, the Dortmund officials had no real explanation for such a drop in performance for the second time in the young season. It is this kind of title-preventing defeat that has plagued BVB for years – against physically strong teams that play with determination. “We missed everything,” said Marco Reus, frustrated before the flight home. The mentality debate that flares up every year is already peeking around the corner.
There can be no question of that in Leipzig. Especially the 1.71 meter small whirlwind Angelino played big and delighted fans and coaches alike. “He embodies a player I love because he is able to play several positions,” said Nagelsmann. The loan player from Manchester City was recently noticed in the Bundesliga with two headed goals. He has a special mentality, said Nagelsmann: “This is a player who always wants to win, like such a playful child.” Angelino benefited from the fact that he played further ahead. “We worked a lot on that,” said the left foot. At 1-0 he put the ball in front of himself with the heel and completed the turn. “It’s going to be world class,” enthused Nagelsmann.
For team-mate Yussuf Poulsen, Angelino is not yet considered a center forward, “but he is a winger,” said the Dane. Allegedly, a purchase obligation for the flexible footballer should take effect after twelve missions. “There is a possibility that he will stay with us longer,” suggested Leipzig’s sports director Markus Krösche. For the next appearance at Manchester United, Nagelsmann then asked for a further increase. This is essential for Dortmund against Schalke and then Zenit St. Petersburg. SID / nd
In terms of area, it is the largest diocese in Germany and has been headed by Stefan Heße since 2015: Hamburg is part of his administrative area, as is Schleswig-Holstein and, from the northeast, the state of Mecklenburg. Previously, the native of Cologne was Vicar General of the Archdiocese on the Rhine in his hometown and head of personnel for around 65,000 full-time church people. During this activity, the now 54-year-old is said to have insufficiently informed about cases of sexual abuse. In a brochure for which he was responsible and which was distributed in all Cologne Catholic churches in 2012 with the title “On Incidents of Sexual Abuse”, only five priests were mentioned as accused of such acts in the Archdiocese of Cologne. However, the study published by the German Bishops’ Conference in 2018 speaks against this, which states: From 1946 to 2014, 87 clergy were accused of abuse in this area.
Until days ago, the brochure with the far lower number of accused could be found on the archbishopric’s website, according to the Catholic online magazine “Church and Life”. “From today’s perspective, the brochure is a first, but unsuccessful, attempt to deal with the subject of abuse,” quoted Heße magazine. He admits that it was “certainly an oversight” that not all cases identified at the time were listed.
On the day the brochure disappeared from the Internet, the “Bild” newspaper reported on the charges brought by the Cologne public prosecutor at the end of July against a priest now 69 years old. He is said to have sexually abused his three nieces, who were then between six and 13 years old, several times a week from 1993 to 1999. He had made a confession to the church authorities in Cologne. With Heße’s consent, only a handwritten note was written about it. Both this matter and the cover-up allegation against Heße had recently become public through media reports on a discussion evening organized by the Archdiocese of Hamburg on October 15 in Rostock on the subject of “Power and the separation of powers in the Church”. On that occasion, the archbishop clearly denied the claim that he had given his consent to the handwritten confession note.
Regarding his behavior in relation to abuse cases, he stated that he had not covered up anything. “I would claim that I acted to the best of my knowledge and belief to clear up these issues and, above all, to help those affected.” From the ranks of those affected, the demand can be heard that Heße should resign from his position Hamburg resign. Matthias Katsch from the “Eckiger Tisch” association for the victims of sexual abuse emphasizes: “If Heße does not resign, then that would be proof for me that the Catholic Church in Germany has not learned anything and that one cannot trust that it has now been initiated Work-up efforts lead to some positive result «.
Everything should get better at Thyssen-Krupp. At the beginning of the year, the group from the Ruhr area sold its profitable elevator division for 17 billion euros. The money was intended to reorganize the company divisions that remained in the group. Steel production should also become “green”. A few weeks ago at the Duisburg site, state and federal politicians found out about a new process in which steel is to be produced with hydrogen. Thyssen-Krupp wants to become a pioneer for emission-free industrial production of the future.
This change is now in danger, because the whereabouts of the steel division, which once started everything at Thyssen and Krupp, seems highly questionable. So far this year there has been a loss of 700 million euros in the steel sector. The German auto industry is no longer buying that much steel, also due to the corona. The Thyssen-Krupp executive board, led by the former Bosch manager Martina Merz, now wants to act. Investors like the Swedish investment company Cevian continue to urge them to ditch the losing deals. The steel division is likely to be sold.
IG Metall is advocating another option: State involvement such as Lufthansa. “If you look at the landscape of steel companies in Germany, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia has a stake in Thyssen-Krupp Steel,” explains Jürgen Kerner – the IG Metall executive board member is also on the Thyssen-Krupp supervisory board. The state is asked here, because it is about climate protection, securing value chains and jobs. There are 27,000 jobs in the steel division, and another 15,000 are added indirectly. If the state let the steel industry »die«, the steel would in future come from China, Russia or Turkey, where it is definitely not produced in a climate-neutral manner. That is why Germany must now support its industry. Steel production is also “systemically relevant” because it supports the closed value chain from the “basic industry to the finished high-end product”.
Tekin Nasikkol, Chairman of the Works Council at Thyssen-Krupp Steel, refers to another aspect: “When VW designs a new Golf, they come to us to plan the outer shell. So we know two or three years before a new model rolls off the assembly line what it looks like. You need trust and reliable cooperation. «If there were no more steel production in Germany, the car manufacturers would have to do it with Chinese companies, for example. “I don’t think that’s what they want,” Nasikkol continues.
In any case, a state entry in the steel industry is nothing special, argues the union. Lower Saxony has a stake in Salzgitter AG and Saarland has transferred its stake in Saarstahl to a foundation.
This is not a new proposal in NRW either. In the state election campaign in 2017, the Left called for a steel foundation based on the Saarland model, but this idea received little attention at the time. State spokesman Christian Leye is now renewing this demand: “We have to dare to break new ground in the ownership structure of key industries.” This makes it possible to do something for climate protection and through the participation of employees, trade unions, and state and local politics. ” to democratically determine the course «.
So far there has been no support for state participation in Thyssen-Krupp from the black and yellow state government in North Rhine-Westphalia. This is one of the reasons why 3,000 employees demonstrated on the Düsseldorf Rhine meadows on Friday – in compliance with the distance rules. The DGB boss in North Rhine-Westphalia, Anja Weber, called on the state government at the rally to end “ideological games of unleashing” and to clear the way for state participation. Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU), who also spoke at the rally, gave no signals in this direction. All he said was that steel was “systemically relevant” and that Thyssen-Krupp was “part of the DNA” of North Rhine-Westphalia. The country is also financially ready to support the transition to “green” steel production.
At the weekend it became known that the British company Liberty Steel had already submitted an offer for the steel division of Thyssen-Krupp. This causes displeasure in the Ruhr area, because the group is considered a low-cost provider. Another interested party is said to be the British-Indian company Tata, according to information from “Spiegel”. A merger of the steel businesses of Tata and Thyssen-Krupp, which was planned three years ago, failed due to cartel conditions that could not be met.
At the rally, Laschet sent the message to Liberty Steel that Thyssen-Krupp was not available on “cheap terms”. The preservation of jobs and the social partnership were part of steel production in the Ruhr area. At least on this point, the state government and the trade union agree.
A young woman was in the prison of Münster for three hours on Friday morning in the hands of a prisoner – then the police intervened and shot the hostage-taker. The officers were alerted around 6:20 a.m. They were deployed with a large number, and a special task force (SEK) was also on site. At 9.49 a.m. the police finally reported the all-clear: The prison employee was uninjured, but the perpetrator was killed in the liberation operation.
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The man is said to have brought the 29-year-old trainee under his control when the cells were opened in the morning. According to the police, he is said to have threatened his victim with “a dangerous object made from a razor blade.” He asked to be brought out of the prison by helicopter.
Despite several attempts to get into conversation with the hostage taker, he repeatedly put his self-made weapon to the young woman’s neck and announced that he would kill her. The perpetrator made “a psychologically unpredictable impression”. Special police units intervened and fired at around 9:20 a.m. The man succumbed to his injuries in the prison, the hostage suffered minor injuries to the neck.
The woman is now being looked after intensively, said a spokesman for the ministry. At the same time, he expressed his condolences for the prisoner who was shot by the police: “Our thoughts are with the relatives.” The hostage-taker was a 40-year-old prisoner. According to the police, the man would have been released on November 10th. The hostage-taking is all the more incomprehensible, said the ministry spokesman. Investigators said on Friday that the man may have had psychological problems.
The Münster public prosecutor’s office confirmed to the SZ that the hostage-taker had been sentenced to imprisonment for “resisting law enforcement officers”. The alleged perpetrator loudly rioted on September 4, 2019 on the grounds of a psychiatric clinic. When the police wanted to expel the man from the clinic, he is said to have resisted and tried to trample the officers during the subsequent arrest. It was initially unclear whether the man was ever a patient in the clinic – at the time of the incident, the apparently alcohol-dependent 40-year-old was registered in an accommodation for the homeless.
The hostage-taking triggered a political echo in the state capital Düsseldorf on Friday. The opposition SPD member of the state parliament, Sonja Bongers, accused NRW Minister of Justice Peter Biesenbach (CDU) for being “completely submerged” and not informing either parliament or the public about the incident. Bongers asked for information as to whether the man was mentally ill. If so, the MP continued, the question arises, however, “why was he given razor blades”.
The Münster correctional facility is located in the middle of the city. Because of the operation, the road traffic in the area was also disrupted on Friday. The prison in Münster is only partially occupied by prisoners. A new building in the east of the city has been planned for years. The building should be occupied in 2025. A police spokesman called it “pure speculation” that the condition of the outdated building may have facilitated the hostage situation.
Dhe North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet, who is running for the CDU chairmanship, is calling for tax cuts for companies and has called an alliance with the FDP a preferred coalition. “We need a reduction in corporate taxes and, if possible, a harmonized European corporate tax rate,” he told Wirtschaftswoche. Germany and France should lead the way together.
The background to this is concerns in the business world that German companies could fall behind due to the lowering of corporate taxes in the United States, Great Britain, France and the Netherlands. However, earlier attempts by Germany and France for a joint approach have always stalled.
Laschet wants to become CDU chief at the CDU summit in December and is therefore also being traded as a possible candidate for the Union’s chancellor. In North Rhine-Westphalia he rules together with the FDP. He described the Greens as the main political opponent. “Black-green is also not my preferred coalition. I’d rather have one with the FDP, ”he said. The economic ideas of the Greens are “far from the Union”.
At the same time, however, Laschet refused to help the Liberals to move into the Bundestag again in 2021. “That is not the job of the CDU, but the liberals have to do it themselves.” Should the FDP fail at the five percent hurdle, there will be a coalition of the Greens, the SPD and the Left.
In view of the record debt as a result of the Corona crisis, Laschet again pleaded for strict spending discipline. “The perspective must be clear: back to a restrictive budget policy, also in terms of future room for maneuver for young people,” said Laschet: “We have to repay the debt and set a specific date for it.” the goal cannot be simply to shift with new bonds. “
The repayment should not be made through higher taxes. “We have to do everything we can to prevent tax increases. Further loads delay the go-around from the crisis. “
When Angela Merkel (CDU) – as it is said, at her express request – meets again face-to-face with the Prime Minister on Wednesday to discuss how to deal with the Covid 19 pandemic, everything else is up to the Chancellor as simple conversations ahead. After the fierce discussions of the last few days about the bans on accommodation issued by many federal states, this topic should also be decisive in the federal-state consultations – and to find a uniform line in the diverging interests that have emerged so far will probably not be easy.
Even if this was vehemently demanded in advance. For example, the chairman of the Union parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU), demanded a “clear signal against small states” on Tuesday. CSU boss and Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder is even expecting a “big hit”. On Tuesday he emphasized that the federal and state governments would have to adopt a common set of rules in order to motivate the population for the coming weeks. “We have to face the truth, we are in a very serious position. We are on the verge of losing control, «says Söder. In order to stop this development, uniformity is also required in the regions where the number of cases is currently still low.
Also read: “New corona test, but no strategy” and our corona ticker
One of these regions is, for example, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. On Tuesday, however, Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) signaled no concession on the question of the ban on accommodation and refused to relax the strict restrictions on the hospitality industry in her state: “We did well with our strict rules from the start,” she said in the ARD. Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) also wants to adhere to the ban on accommodation, but is in favor of the most uniform travel regulations possible in the 16 countries. But he also said: “It will be a difficult case tomorrow.”
On the other side of the spectrum of opinion stands, for example, Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller (SPD): “The ban on accommodation makes no sense and only creates confusion and misunderstanding,” the politician told the portal “ThePioneer”. The state government in North Rhine-Westphalia is just as hostile to the ban on accommodation, which will not be implemented, as NRW Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) announced on Tuesday in Düsseldorf. As far as he knew, such bans made “no sense because they do not help to slow down the chain of infection.”
Pressure to overturn the bans on accommodation is also building up, above all, representatives of the tourism industry and economic politicians. The Federal Government’s Tourism Commissioner, Thomas Bareiß (CDU), for example, demanded that the ban on accommodation should be re-examined. Hotels in particular had implemented the hygiene measures and ensured security in a great effort, Bareiß explained via the short message service Twitter. CDU middle-class politician Carsten Linnemann described the bans on accommodation as a »mistake«. “This measure must go. It is anything but targeted, it is unlikely to be effective, ”he told the“ Passauer Neue Presse ”.
The left in the Bundestag also turned against the bans on accommodation on Tuesday – and the conduct of those politically responsible. Jan Korte, first parliamentary managing director of the left-wing parliamentary group, said that debates and attempts to raise a profile in the run-up to the federal-state conference would “unfortunately always be shrillier and not exactly more productive.” The top priority is the protection of people from risk groups and the solidarity of all. “In order to achieve this, the rules and measures that can be proven to counter the spread of the pandemic must be applied and consistently enforced,” Korte demands. That requires transparency and clarity. “Nonsensical bans on accommodation, which are perceived more as a punishment than as a sensible measure, are not part of it and have created chaos that must be ended quickly,” says Korte. With agencies
The bizarre confusion in the stands of the German sports arenas reached an absurd climax on Tuesday in Cologne: While 999 people were allowed to make a pilgrimage to the Cologne Lanxess Arena for the tennis tournament at lunchtime, fans of the German national soccer team stayed on the other side of the Rhine for the international match in the evening – less than eight kilometers away – locked out. Official reason: the high number of infections in the cathedral city.
The confusion due to such decisions is growing day by day, demands for more traceability are growing louder. “What we need is a nationwide uniform solution based on certain parameters that apply to everyone,” demanded Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge recently. In Munich, for example, no football matches may be played in front of spectators until October 25th. While Schalke 04 or 1. FC Köln will have to hold ghost games next weekend, 10,800 fans are allowed in nearby Mönchengladbach.
In view of the current patchwork quilt, German sport looks spellbound to Berlin on Wednesday, where Chancellor Angela Merkel is discussing new restrictions of possibly very large dimensions with the Prime Minister at a crisis conference. Even if bans on accommodation and the protection of schools dominate the debate at the moment: Sport in general and football in particular are threatened with renewed full closure and thus a return to unpopular ghost games.
One thing is clear: While the Corona traffic light is turning red in more and more German cities, fan approval in the stadiums is inevitably moving back into focus. Small steps towards normality have hardly been taken – at Borussia Dortmund, 11,500 fans streamed into the arena – there could now be the role backwards. “You can think about letting fewer people in or none at all at football games,” said Merkel last after meeting the mayors of eleven major cities. Your words should sound like a threat to clubs and fans alike. Chancellor Helge Braun expects a debate on Wednesday that could take on a “historical dimension”.
Demand for uniform solutions
Admittedly, given the number of infections that are skyrocketing everywhere, sport will not be high on the priority list of top politicians. Nevertheless, the voices are getting louder and louder calling for a uniform catalog of measures in the increasingly opaque regulation chaos to allow or reject viewers. Michael Ströll, managing director of FC Augsburg, asked after the exclusion of viewers for the game against RB Leipzig to conduct the discussion about the admission of viewers “more objectively”.
Football is still in a relatively comfortable situation – in handball, basketball or ice hockey, the fear of a lockdown is mixed with the fear of existence. If the spectators are completely excluded, the survival of many clubs is acutely threatened. “Professional sport as we know it in Germany would then no longer be feasible,” says Frank Bohmann, Managing Director of the Handball Bundesliga. Indoor sports are absolutely dependent on audience income, football on television images. The news in the Bundesliga on Tuesday that a TV blackout seems to have been averted next weekend caused a sigh of relief. The German Football League wants to react to the increasing number of infections with practical solutions for journalists and technicians in order to enable work on site and thus television reporting. SID/nd
Almost a quarter of RWE is in government hands. Almost 130 municipalities, special-purpose associations or municipal companies hold shares in the energy company. Most of them come from North Rhine-Westphalia, where RWE is also based. For a long time, the Group’s shares were an important source of income for the local authorities, as RWE paid out generous dividends. In some cities, income was an integral part of the budget. Problems at RWE in recent years, which were accompanied by losses and falling prices, also led to problems for the municipalities. In the meantime, things are looking up again at RWE. The coal phase-out brings the group billions, and the conversion to a pure energy producer is going well. The RWE share is worth something again. That and the debate about climate protection that has reached the center of society are creating new debates about the sale of RWE shares.
There was a major sale in early October. The Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe (LWL), an association of municipalities that operates clinics and museums, among other things, sold a quarter of its RWE shares. The proceeds from the sale of almost 1.7 million shares amounted to over 53 million euros. Money that is now to be put into cultural funding and social projects. As the “Westfälische Nachrichten” reported, LWL director Matthias Löb originally wanted to sell three quarters of the RWE shares held. However, the CDU and SPD spoke out against this. Löb is critical of the ownership of the share certificates: “We have learned from WestLB that we, as a municipal association, cannot judge how the markets in Canada, Australia and the USA are developing.” In addition, RWE is the largest CO2 emitter in Europe. The sale of the RWE shares goes back to a resolution of the Westphalia-Lippe Regional Assembly from a year ago and only took place after the deadline set at the time.
Activists of the group “Fossil Free Münster” criticize the late sale – in 2019 they protested for the sale with a tree house in front of the LWL state house. »The fact that the LWL only manages to sell its shares the day after the deadline has expired is really an indictment. That gives a deep insight into the importance of climate protection in the landscape association, «criticized Gustav von Blanckenburg. The sale now is only a “first step in the right direction,” explains Fossil Free activist Deborah Großerwagen. But it shows that the public pressure of the climate movement is having an effect. In order to position itself clearly for climate protection, however, the association had to “sell off all of its shares in the climate killer RWE,” said Großwagen. It is also time to adopt investment guidelines that exclude investments in coal, oil and gas in the future.
Otherwise there is not much going on at the moment when it comes to the sale of RWE shares in North Rhine-Westphalia. The cities of Bochum and Düsseldorf sold their shares almost a year ago. In Düsseldorf with the dedicated goal of using the proceeds to strengthen local transport. On the other hand, Dortmund, the largest municipal RWE shareholder, is endeavoring to acquire an even greater stake in RWE. At the beginning of the year, the outgoing Mayor Ullrich Sierau commented positively on an increase. RWE is promoting the conversion to a green electricity provider and has become a reliable dividend payer again in recent years, according to his argument. This speaks in favor of increasing the stake in the city. The city of Dortmund currently holds almost four percent of RWE. How it goes there with the participation will have to be decided politically. Together with the CDU, the SPD would have a majority to hold on to RWE.
Before the local elections, which took place in mid-September, the Greens voted in favor of selling the shares. The attitude of the party, which won massively in the elections, to the sale of RWE shares is likely to be a decisive factor for the existence of the holdings in numerous cities. In Mülheim an der Ruhr, for example, there is a black-green majority and exploratory talks are ongoing. The Greens would like to sell the city’s large RWE package, but the CDU would not. In response to an nd request, a spokeswoman for the NRW Greens announced that the state association would support local parliamentary groups if they »want to promote the sale of local RWE shares«. The exchange between political groups is also promoted.
How it is also possible outside of parliament to influence the municipal energy supply is meanwhile shown by the group “Klimawende Köln”, which has been collecting signatures for a referendum since the beginning of September. Their goal: The municipal utility Rheinenergie should only produce green electricity from 2030.
People around the world are still infected with the coronavirus; there are now more than 38 million. The number of cases is also increasing in Germany.
The corona pandemic is getting worse. Until Tuesday (October 15, 6:20 a.m.) were worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University 38,066,000 million Infections registered. 1,085,396 people have died.
There are 337,314 confirmed infections in Germany, as the figures from Johns Hopkins University show. 9,672 people died. 280,533 people are now considered to have recovered.
The following map shows the absolute number of cases in Germany. Go to a district to get more information.
Since this is a dynamic situation, the figures may differ from those in other places.
The next map shows which counties are currently struggling with an outbreak. To do this, the number of new infections in the past seven days is compared to the number of inhabitants. This so-called 7 day incidence better reflects the current infection process and helps with risk assessment.
In this case, the data come from the Robert Koch Institute.
The federal and state governments have agreed an “upper limit” of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week. If this value is exceeded, countermeasures must be initiated. This also includes a “regional lockdown”. More information can be found here.
About the method: t-online.de gets the worldwide and German case numbers from the Johns Hopkins University. Because the university does not publish any figures on counties and federal states, these come from the Risklayer company. This in turn compiles the data using the so-called crowdsourcing process. This means that volunteers request the information from the regional authorities and enter it in a joint document, where it is checked and verified several times by others. The respective websites of the districts and other official bodies serve as the main source. The local authorities often report new cases faster than the state or federal institutions and update their information at irregular intervals. In the total number at the state and federal level, there may be deviations in the data presented here from the figures of the Robert Koch Institute or the Johns Hopkins University come.
In order to be able to reflect new developments at the district level in real time, we update our infographic every hour. That means, as soon as Risklayer adds its data, you will see this with us too. (Tip: To see the independent cities, you may need to zoom in on the map.) Nevertheless, this data cannot reflect the actual occurrence of the outbreak. This is due, among other things, to factors such as the incubation time, the number of tests carried out and the respective diagnostic and reporting procedures in the regions. Experts assume a high number of unreported cases among those infected and those who have already recovered.
To understand what kind of guy Lukas Bals was, you have to look back five or six years. 2014 and 2015 were among the years in which the Dortmund neo-Nazi scene received more attention than seldom. Another reason for this: Bals’ activities. Lousy sayings about the Nazi victim Anne Frank, making fun of Mehmet Kubaşık, who was murdered by the NSU in Dortmund, or the mockery of the neo-Nazi victim Thomas Schulz, who was stabbed to death by a Nazi skinhead at the Dortmund subway station in Kampstrasse in 2005 has been. Bals happily shouted hateful slogans with his comrades at the time.
A photo of the former neo-Nazi even went around the world. It shows him on the evening of the 2014 local elections, when the party Dierechte moved into Dortmund’s city council, with a bottle of champagne in his hand in front of the town hall. Shortly after the picture was taken, an argument with supporters of democratic parties ensued. More than a year later, Lukas Bals was sentenced to a fine of 800 euros for punching a politician from the Pirate Party. It is one of many criminal cases against him at this time.
If you talk to Lukas Bals about events from back then, it quickly becomes clear that he is ashamed of what he did. Sentences like: “I was so crazy.” Or “That was bad!” Lukas Bals has been out of the extreme right-wing scene for three and a half years and is now being looked after by a dropout program. Now he’s going public. He wants to tell his “hate stories” on YouTube and Twitter. However, Bals does not want to be the next in the dropout business. He doesn’t want to write a book to market it, just wipe it clean, he explains. Educate about his past. Whenever he got to know people in recent years, sooner or later they would have found out what he was up to, says Bals, either because he told it or they stumbled upon it on the net. Some would have believed him that he had nothing more to do with Nazis. Others turned away. That’s one of the reasons why he’s going public. Lukas Bals is now positioning himself against extremism and “without exception against violence”. But how did this change come about?
Lukas Bals’ political biography is quite interesting. It all started in 2010 with the left, autonomous May 1st in Wuppertal. Friends he knew from football – he was a fan of FC Remscheid – took him there because there was “action” there. Running a little, nudging the police, he liked that. He says he didn’t take much of the content of the left with him. During this time he drove from demo to demo because he was looking for adventure there. But he was never in a left group. In retrospect, he says that he was not “politically correct” enough for the radical left. He was a “complete bugger”. At the same time, the conflicts with a growing, young Nazi scene in Wuppertal came to a head. Bals claims that leftists invented an assault. It was enough for him. He knew one of the Nazi activists, went to her and told her about it. Then he switched sides.
The right-wing extremists are friendly to him. “I quickly felt at home there,” he says. After getting to know some of them, he no longer believed that Nazis were “shit”. In Wuppertal he worked his way up in the Nazi scene. Known for standing in the front row of demos and engaging in brawls. He then has to go to prison for nine months because of a brawl, albeit a non-political one. There he is strengthened by the Nazi scene. There is a lot of visitors and because he is on an international “prisoner list” there is mail from all over the world for Christmas. The Nazis are doing this consciously to keep people engaged, says Bals.
After his release from prison he dives back into the brown scene, first in Wuppertal, then in 2014 he moved to Dortmund. To the city with the largest and most noticeable Nazi scene in the Ruhr area. In the beginning it was a “high feeling”. He moves into one of the Nazi houses in the Dorstfeld district. All around him were “comrades”. It becomes an asset. Participates in actions and accompanies them with the camera and is one of the creative people in the scene. The Nazis presented a local journalist with a »Golden Pinocchio«, an idea by Bals. When a neo-Nazi rally took place at the same time as the CSD, he suggested calling for Paragraph 175 to be reintroduced. These are provocations that sit well. At the same time, he breaks off old contacts: “In my private life I tore everything down during that time,” he says. His family didn’t like the extreme right-wing commitment at all. Because of this, there were always arguments.
For Bals, the crash will soon follow. House searches, job losses, a breakup and debt. He crawls into his apartment. He received no support from the “comrades”. The question “How are you?” Would only be asked superficially by Nazis. It’s always about showing strength. Bals has suicidal thoughts. He fled Dortmund for a job at a freight forwarding company in Munich. In Bavaria he moves between the Identitarian Movement, Pegida, the Danubia fraternity and the AfD. Even if he comes from the party The Right, which more or less openly professes National Socialism, he is openly accepted by these moderate groups. Now he says there were hardly any ideological differences. He also takes part in numerous campaigns in Munich. When an anti-fascist demonstration turned up at an AfD election party in September 2016, arguments broke out. Bals is involved as well as right-wing rapper Chris Ares. He will experience his last right-wing event in spring 2017, a lecture by Alexander Gauland. Looking back, he says, “that was too much hatred”. What was said there would have fit into any Nazi demonstration.
Lukas Bals flees again. He goes to Mallorca, works in the restaurant business and distances himself from the right-wing scene. But his past accompanies him and criminal proceedings continue. State pressure was the main driver for turning away from the right-wing scene, he says today. His old “comrades” disapprove of his departure from the scene. Dortmund Nazis photograph him on the Spanish island; He is attacked so badly by a former member of the Kameradschaft Aachener Land that he has to be hospitalized. Bals seeks help and contacts a dropout program. It is there that he begins to deal with the right-wing ideology that he represented. He always “knew a lot” about National Socialism, as a Nazi he only had to “turn this knowledge around” and evaluate it differently. Today he is ashamed of the racist agitation against refugees he represented, he says. In his neo-Nazi time he did not allow any facts to touch him.
And now? From the perspective of the former Nazi, what helps against right-wing danger? “Repression,” he says quickly. And the Nazi instincts “don’t talk bigger than they are”. In Dortmund there was often a lot of excitement for little things. Pepper spray that was distributed at information stands, tours as “city protection” were only done to attract attention. “A couple of photos and that’s it,” he says. The police must intervene where criminal offenses are taking place. It is wrong, however, to give the right-wing propaganda successes through legally untenable actions.
In an interview today, Bals repeatedly says that he is “against all extremism”. He doesn’t want to run to the next Antifa café and unpack either. That would perhaps also be implausible. But what he wants to do is tell how he experienced events. How recognition works in the Nazi scene and how the state and civil society can offer fewer points of attack for Nazis. But mainly it should “be about my guilt,” he says. He “never wants to be politically active again”. A normal job, a normal life. Lukas Bals wishes that for the future.