They were crimes that had mystified the German police for over a decade; the “Döner Killings”, so called from doner kebab, a Turkish dish made of lamb meat).
The victims were mainly of Turkish origin; they ran small businesses, some of them fast-food kiosks. A female police officer was shot dead; and there was a series of bank robberies.
But two fires earlier this month appear to have revealed the perpetrators. And the revelation is a shocking one for Germans.
It seems that an underground neo-Nazi cell was responsible. The news magazine Der Spiegel is calling it “Brown Terror”. The country’s leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling it an “inconceivable crime” and a national disgrace.
On November 4, a bank was robbed in the city of Eisenach. The police tracked the suspects to a burning motor home parked in a residential area. Inside were the bodies of two men, who, it turned out, had shot themselves.
Three hours later fire broke out in an apartment in the city of Zwickau, 100 miles away. A woman who rented it was later arrested, and evidence was found in the charred ruins that indicated she and the two dead men were responsible for the ten killings.
“The evidence,” says Der Spiegel in a comprehensive cover feature, “points to a new kind of right-wing terrorism unlike anything Germany has seen.”