Pro-Köln is a prominent anti-Islamization organization in Germany, part of the larger Pro-movement. Last September it scheduled an Anti-Islamization Congress in Cologne, which was canceled by the authorities before it even got started, thanks to violent attacks by “anti-fascists” with the collusion of the city government.
Pro-Köln rescheduled the event for tomorrow, May 9th, and has experienced renewed resistance from the authorities as well as negative publicity in the media as the day grows closer.
In recent weeks the organization’s leaders — Markus Beisicht, Markus Wiener, and Manfred Rouhs — were the subject of repeated attacks in the blogosphere, both in Europe and here in the USA. Manfred Rouhs in particular was singled out for special attention, due to some of his past associations.
When I posted about this a couple of weeks ago, I referred to the “dubious connections” of Pro-Köln.
I hate that word: “dubious”. It tells the reader to be nervous and uneasy, but fails to specify what the disturbing facts are.
So, rather than continue to be vague — and thus allow the smear-merchants to control the overall tone of the information flow on Pro-Köln — I asked our Flemish correspondent VH to research and prepare a comprehensive report on the allegations against Pro-Köln, and what (if any) facts were available to back them up. I requested that he be thorough, sparing none of the details, even if they were not flattering to Pro-Köln.
His full report is below. As you work your way through it, you’ll notice that there are very few “smoking guns” against the Pro-movement, and all of those are much smaller than derringers.
What emerges from all the information compiled by VH is the fact that the political deck is stacked against all conservative parties in Germany. The domestic intelligence services massively infiltrate the conservative, right-wing, and neo-Nazi groups. The infiltrators provide some of their leaders, push them further towards the extreme, and engineer some of the incidents which are later used to discredit them. These tactics are disturbingly Stasi-like.
But read the information and decide for yourself. Nothing has been left out, and thanks to the diligence of VH, every item that will be used to discredit Pro-Köln may be found here.
So, as the weekend unfolds and the smear-campaigns begin, anyone who is interested can check back in and look at this post to find the background on each new “neo-Nazi” as he or she appears.
First, an introductory note from VH:
The Pro-Köln matter is tough indeed. Germany appears not to be DDR-Light, but DDR-Medium. While crawling though the smears and attacks etc., I observed that the Pro-Köln people seem to be very civilized and more law-abiding than many people of the SPD or CDU.
Rouhs, for instance, has been beaten down by “Antifa” with baseball bats and in a response was not even angry and certainly not using the language Antifa uses, but very civilized, and quite worried about the state of democracy in his country. It is clear to me who the real Nazis are there.
The problem is with many accusations is that not only the Left attacks any right-wing political activity, but also the Secret Service. I came across a few facts on that (see the CV on Rouhs) and that the Secret Service committed — or was heavily involved in — an attack on a memorial of a concentration camp, so as to be able to accuse the right of having planned and committed the act.
The forces against a conservative movement or rightist party really are enormous.
And now for his report:
The Background on Pro-Köln
I’ll begin with Manfred Rouhs’ statement as reported by Politically Incorrect.
First the original German version:
Dhimmy-Propaganda gegen Pro-Köln
Unmittelbar nach Veröffentlichung der Namen von Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Paul Beliën und Lars Hergaard als Gäste des neuen Antiislamisierungskongresses in Köln, begannen die Lobbyisten der deutschen Dhimmi-Parteien gemeinsam mit linksextremen Gruppen einen Psycho-Krieg: Pro-Köln, heißt es in der linken Propaganda, seien Neonazis und hätten Verbindungen zu Neonazis. Die Wahrheit könnte nicht weiter entfernt sein. Die deutsche Neonazi-Szene greift Pro-Köln im Gegenteil dafür an, “zionistisch” zu und behauptet, die Mitglieder würden “zum System gehören”. Die bekannte deutsche Neonazi-Partei NPD griff Pro-Köln ebenfalls an und erklärte die Partei zum “Hauptfeind”.
“Unser wachsendes Ansehen in der Mitte der Gesellschaft ließ auch den Hass der Dhimmi-Parteien und linken Gruppierungen gegen Pro-Köln anwachsen”, erklärte das Pro-Köln-Mitglied und Stadtrat Manfred Rhous.
Wir sind demokratische Patrioten. Wir verteidigen ausdrücklich unsere Verfassung (unser Grundgesetz) sowie die Meinungsäußerungsfreiheit. Wir setzen uns außerdem ein gegen die Gefahren der Islamisierung, was den Kampf für unser jüdisch-christliches Erbe miteinschleißt. Wir verteidigen unsere jüdische Bevölkerung gegen den wachsenden Antisemitismus Muslimischer Einwanderer in Deutschland. Wir wissen auch, dass im Nahostkonflikt der Staat Israel einem noch weitaus stärkeren Hass und Antisemitismus von Seiten der arabischen Staaten ausgesetzt ist. In dieser Situation müssen alle Demokraten das Existenzrecht und das Recht auf Selbstverteidigung des Staates Israel unterstützen, der einen Außenposten in der Auseinandersetzung mit der islamischen Bedrohung darstellt. Unsere Sympathien als deutsche Bürgerrechtsbewegung sind in diesem Fall ganz klar, obwohl wir als regionale Antiislamisierungspartei natürlich keine aktive Außenpolitik betreiben können. Unser Hauptanliegen ist die politische Opposition gegen die Islamisierung Kölns und die Masseneinwanderung von Muslimen nach Deutschland und unserem Heimatbundesland Nordrhein-Westfalen. Um dieses Ziel zu erreichen verbinden wir unsere Kräfte mit unseren Freunden aus ganz Deutschland, Europa und den USA.
And the English translation:
Dhimmi Propaganda Against Pro-Köln
Immediately after publishing the names of Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Paul Belien, and Lars Hedegaard as guests of the new Anti-Islamization Congress in Cologne, the lobbyists of German dhimmi parties and extreme left-wing groups started a psychological warfare attack: Pro-Köln — so goes the leftwing propaganda — are neo-Nazis, have contacts with neo-Nazis! The truth couldn’t be farther away: the German neo-Nazi scene attacks Pro-Köln as “Zionists”, as “men of the system”. The prominent German neo-Nazi-Party NPD attacked Pro-Köln, too, and declared Pro-Köln to be the “main enemy”.
“Our growing reputation in the midst of society has also caused the growth of hatred of the dhimmi parties and left wing groups against Pro-Köln,” declares Manfred Rouhs, Pro-Köln member of the city council.
We are democratic patriots, strictly defending our constitution and the freedom of speech and meaning. We are also against the danger of Islamization, which include the political fight for our Jewish-Christian heritage. We defend our Jewish people against the growing anti-Semitism of Muslim immigrants in Germany. We also know, that in the Middle East conflict the state of Israel is confronted with much more powerful hate and anti-Semitism from the Arab states. In this situation all democrats have to support the right to exist and the right to self-defense for the state of Israel, which is an outpost in the fight against with Islamist threat. Our sympathies as a German civil rights group in this case are clear — although as a regional anti-Islamization group we naturally do not make an active external policy. Our main object is political opposition against the Islamization of Cologne and the mass immigration of Muslims to Germany and our home-state of North Rhine-Westphalia. For this we are campaigning with our friends from the whole of Germany, Europe, and the USA.
While doing this research, I stumbled upon a proposal by Pro-Köln in March 2008, signed by Rouhs, for consideration in the meeting of the Municipality. A neo-Nazi would not even want be caught dead with such a proposal in his pocket (for that see Note ):
– – – – – – – – –
Dear Mayor Schramma,
The group Pro-Köln requests you kindly to include the following proposition in the agenda of the meeting of the Council of the City of Cologne on March 4, 2008:
The Council decides on the accession of the city of Cologne to the Alliance “Cities against Islamization” consisting initially of the cities of Cologne, Vienna and Antwerp.
The cities will commit themselves to the following Charter:
“Cities against Islamization” establishes that in the Western world in general, and Europe in particular since the Renaissance, has shaken off religious dogma and replaced the standards that emerged from it with a number of standards and dictates of justice that are established on a variety of streams. Examples are: the classic antiquity, Judeo-Christian values, humanism, the ideas of the Enlightenment, nationalism, liberalism, etc.
Following this evolution our civilization is now characterized by respect for fundamental rights and freedoms and this civilization is founded on values such as the separation of church and state, democracy, freedom of expression, equality between men and women, etc.
Other hand, the Western European cities at the beginning of the 21st Century, due to the lax immigration policies of different authorities, have confronted their own population with significant Muslim minorities. These minorities are not integrated and concentrate themselves in growing ghetto neighborhoods.
“Cities against Islamization” is of the opinion that the individual and free exercise of religion must be guaranteed, even for Islam. Freedom of religion, however, cannot and should not ever be a free passage for the introduction of discriminatory practices and anti-democratic actions.
signed Manfred Rouhs
On a “revolutionary nationalist” website commenters attack Pro-Köln for the flag of Israel:
“What a bunch of idiots… What do they think they want to achieve dragging around that Jewish flag with them all the time?”
…. and one of those refuses even to write the word Jewish:
[…] einen neuen Trend gibt: “Das christlich-j******* Abendland…”, “die christlich-j******** Wurzeln Europas…”. […] Man suggeriert dem leichtgläubigen (naiven!) Bundesbürger ominöse, j******* Wurzeln im Bereich der Kultur.
I will check this site later because they detest Pro-Köln.
The “revolutionary nationalists” find themselves in good company:
The former left-wing icon Horst Mahler of the extreme left-wing terror gang “Baader Meinhoff Group” has been sentenced to a six-year jail term for incitement. He had made anti-Semitic statements and distributed a book by the Holocaust denier German Rudolf. Mahler meanwhile had joined the “extreme-right”.
I’ll begin my examination of Manfred Rouhs with the Europa Vorn online shop which was used against him several weeks ago:
In the “Europa Vorn” online shop that Manfred Rouhs is involved with, the books on offer are not particularly extremist and range form interesting to average. There is even a book on Jewish Humor that might be a good buy, but I can’t look into the books first:
Hans Werner Wüst: Massel braucht der Mensch [Everyone needs a bit of luck] — Der klassische jüdische Witz [The classic Jewish “Witz” (humor)]
The music section has a variety of music dedicated to German (historic) roots. Also patriotic music and heavy metal. There might be music that gives the average leftist an object for smears.
Warnings though for: “Balladen des nationalen Widerstandes, Teil 2” and “Kameraden”, that both have old soldier-songs.
Personally, I think one should not deny people’s personal memories in history and expect them to erase a period from their private past experiences and sentimental emotions, just because the big picture was wrong and disastrous. Even my uncle, who hid for two years between the floors of a house to keep from being arrested and executed, could sing a few German soldiers’ songs.
I have to look into the Dresden affair. During the Allied bombings in 1945 (when there also were many refugees from other parts of Germany), 150,000-250,000 people died. The surviving relatives and their children feel their drama is denied. They may well “envy” the Holocaust memorials, and try to call attention to their own drama. This does not mean they fail to mourn the six million murdered Jews, but they may be understood wrongly.
The same problem occurs with soldiers’ cemeteries in other parts of Europe that also have a section for German soldiers. It’s a difficult matter.
Leftists state that particularly during the period 1991-1994, Manfred Rouhs was noted for his “agitation” against Sinti and Roma, and also refugees, beggars and drugs-addicts, and further against the writer Ralph Giordano. I have the impression that Giordano does not really oppose Pro-Köln anymore, but still, as an old Communist he might keep his distance. I will have to check this further.
Rouhs was thrown out of the youth section of the NPD ( National Democratic Party of Germany, Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands) because he demanded that the party distance itself from any connections with neo-Nazis. Others have different views (that he handed the members list to another party) but this might be an issue. There’s a bit more on that in part of the CV on Rouhs below.
Important to know here: According to the German federal court, a large percentage of the NPD’s inner circle were in fact undercover agents or informants for the German secret services, and the author of a author of an anti-Semitic tract that formed a central part of the government’s case against the NPD was written by one of them. “The presence of the state at the leadership level makes influence on its aims and activities unavoidable,” it concluded.
Wikipedia has a Picture of Voigt and David Duke (The KKK has socialist [Democrat] roots and also targeted Republicans and the Republican Civil Rights Bill; think of the Klanbake in the twenties and the father of Al Gore). I have to look into this. But still it is not as bad as a picture with the Nazi admirer François Mitterrand, Joop den Uyl, and Salvador Allende. The former Dutch GreenLeft Chairman Paul Rosenmöller, for instance, still does not want to view his supporting and promoting of Pol Pot as a mistake.
The German court has in a few cases thoroughly investigated the Nation.24 magazine and Pro-Deutschland, including all the proof of extremism that has been put forward by LGF-Strømmen (some in the form of prints of internet pages), and also the material as provided by the German Intelligence service. Considering the high sensitivity of German judges to anything right-wing, here are two interesting verdicts. First, from 2006:
“Nation24.de” is not rightist-extremism
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
The magazine “Nation24.de” is no longer mentioned in the North Rhine-Westphalian “Intelligence service report”. The Interior Minister of one of the most populous states, Ingo Wolf (FDP [Liberal Democrats]), today presented the “Intelligence Service Report” on the year 2005 in Dusseldorf. This is the first time since 1988 that the magazine on politics, “nation24.de”, that ever started under the title “Europe Ahead”, is no longer mentioned.
The “Independent magazine for Germany” (subtitle) has, since the 90s been rated in the Intelligence Service reports of the Federal Government and the province Nordrhein-Westfalia as “rightwing”.
After some legal wrangling with the Ministry of the Interior of Nordrhein-Westfalia, the Ministry has been brought before the Federal Constitutional Court by the Berlin weekly “Junge Freiheit” [Young Freedom], and the “nation24.de” is since 2004 no longer mentioned as being an “extreme right” publication, but still is classified as such in the Düsseldorf “State Report”.
The publisher of “nation24.de”, the Cologne municipal Council member Manfred Rouhs (Citizens movement Pro-Köln) subsequently filed a case against the Interior Ministry of Nordrhein-Westfalia. Up to now, the procedure has not been provided a date in the schedule of the court by the competent administration in Dusseldorf.
“The removal of nation24.de from the Intelligence report is obviously a response to my lawsuit against the Interior Ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is regrettable that Dusseldorf only responds to a possible lawsuit and not on their own initiative to the request by democratic patriots, but saddles them with a democratic and constitutional hostile drench of platitudes.
“A constructive dedication to one’s own country, of course is not “unconstitutional”. And as long as it is necessary to encourage the courts to strive to convince the authorities in Germany of any such self-evidence, there still is something rotten in our country.
“In the U.S., Britain, France or Italy such an approach of the Secret services towards law-abiding citizens would be unimaginable. Germany needs to correct this democratic deficit.”
Also from 2006:
Jan. 5 2006
The magazine published by Manfred Rouhs, “nation24.de” is no longer on the secret service list and no longer seen as right-extremist.
The Court: “Who seeks an end to the Multicultural Society, and is of the opinion that a society does need a cultural identity and common core values, to which all citizens are committed, and that no parallel societies in which different rules apply should emerge, is operating within the framework of liberal democratic basic order.”
And from 2008:
Pro-Deutschland is not a right-wing extremist party
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Hamburger Intelligence Service report ordered to be corrected
The citizens’ movement Pro-Deutschland has achieved an important juridical result against the municipal office of the interior in Hamburg. The Administrative Court of Hamburg ruled on February 5, 2008 under number 8 K 3483/06 in their verdict against the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg:
“The defendant [Hamburg] is ordered to refrain from distributing the Hamburg Intelligence Service report for the year 2005, as long as the passages about the citizens’ movement Pro-Deutschland have not been removed or made unreadable.
“The defendant [Hamburg] is further ordered to announce in the next Intelligence Service report correctly that the classification of the citizens’ movement Pro-Deutschland in the Intelligence report of 2005 as being “extreme right” has been illegitimate.”
The verdict was preceded by prolonged litigation beginning in the year 2006, at the end of which the Administrative Court came to the conclusion that the substantive political orientation of the citizen’s movement Pro-Deutschland does not justify rating it as right-extremist.
The defendant cited quotations from publications of the citizens’ movement that “do not contain explicit confessions, that are addressed against the free democratic basic order,” and “a further relieving aspect is found in the statutes of the applicant, who in Section 4, paragraph 2 expressly allows the inclusion of foreigners.
The internal order of the applicant in accordance with the Statute offers satisfied democratic demands. The program of the applicant contains a clear commitment to the democratic rule of law, personal freedom, the separation of powers, and democracy as the principal rule, and contains a sharp rejection “of any form of political extremism”. Further it is considered, that the statements on issues of policy with respect to foreigners, the applicant has submitted to large parts of the current German immigration law. This applies to the termination of the stay of delinquents as well as for speeding up the asylum process.
The court further rejects the efforts of the defendant [Hamburg] to put Pro-Deutschland into propinquity with the NPD in the way of conclusion by analogy in its criticism of Multiculturalism. Among the relevant publications of the citizens’ movement Pro-Deutschland the court continues: “thematically related publications of the NPD — which the defendant has shown by submitted Internet printouts — differ both in diction as well as content. A similar emphasis on ethnic and nationalistic ideas has not been found with the applicant.”
In a response to the verdict by the Court the chairman of the Citizens’ Movement Pro-Deutschland, the Cologne Council member Manfred Rouhs declares:
“The success against the Hamburg Interior Authority is of strategic importance to us. Pro-Deutschland has committed itself clearly to the values of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany. The mainstream parties fear nothing as much as a future-oriented, democratically legitimate patriotic opposition. That is why they try to push any serious non-conformist approach into the twilight as being right-wing extremism. Against that we will continue to defend ourselves in all reasonable ways.”
At the age of 12 he became a member of the CDU [Christian Democrats], in the youth organization [in Germany, like some other European countries, it is still a tradition that a party has youth organizations] “Junge Union “(JU) and “Schüler Union” (SU).
In 1982 (then 17) he became a member of the NPD youth organization “Junge National Demokraten” (JN).
In 1985 he began studying the Science of Law and Sozialwissenschaften in Cologne and was voted General Secretary of the Rings Freiheitlicher Studenten (RFS [organization of Liberal Students, Liberal in the classical sense, thus not Socialist]) in the German Republic [West Germany]
Leftists accused this organization of being melting pot of German national-nationalistic “Liberals” in the circles of the FPÖ and militant Nazis.
In January 1987 Manfred Rouhs was elected national Chairman of the Nordrhein-Westfalia JN Nordrhein-westfälischer Landesvorsitzender der “Junge National Demokraten” [Young National Democrats]. In 1986 he was their candidate for the national Parliament.
According to the “Informationsdienst gegen Rechtsextremismus” (IDGR [Information Service Against Right-Wing Extremism])*, the reason for his expulsion from the party was the accusation that Manfred Rouhs would have passed on the names of the North Rhine-Westphalian members of the JN to the Republikaner (REP). Manfred Rouhs, however, denied this and stated that his expulsion was caused by his demand to distance the NPD from any connections with Neo Nazis.
[*Critics have accused the IDGR (basically a one-woman mission by Margaret Chatwin)of engaging in unduly exposing and defaming individuals on the political right, and of being associated with far-left extremism. Here is a link to excellent article from 2003 — Margaret Chatwin herself is quite controversial and accused of plain lies.]
In March 1987 (then 22) he left the REP and built the Cologne district of the Party jointly with the RFS-colleague Markus Beisicht.
In the municipal elections of January 1989, Rouhs was for the first time elected to the City Council of Cologne [for the Republicans]. Because of an internal “coup attempt” by his administrative body he left the executive board of the party in October 1989 and was finally excluded form the party in November 1989, together with Beisicht.
Note: some accusations against the NPD that are connected to Manfred Rouhs and others happened after his JD (NPD) years.
In 1991 he was one of the founders of the [some say extreme] right-wing party “Deutsche Liga für Volk und Heimat” [“German League for People and Homeland”] for which he had a mandate to the Cologne city council until 1994.
Leftists state that in this period he particularly was noted for his “agitation” against Sinti and Roma and also refugees, beggars, and drugs-addicts, and against the writer Ralph Giordano [Giordano’s (1923) father was from Sicily and his mother was German-Jewish. He and his family survived WWII by hiding at a friend’s place. Giordano became a Communist, but left the party in 1957. Later he became a journalist for West German TV. An new York Times interview on his opposition to mosques is here. The NYT states that VB and Pro-Köln “both advocate the deportation of immigrants”, which is absolutely not true. Giordano, who does have common ground with Markus Beisicht, in those days called Pro-Köln the “local chapter of the contemporary National Socialists.” Henryk M. Broder, a Jewish journalist who is a friend of Mr. Giordano’s, said Giordano should have avoided the phrase “human penguins.” The German architect of the mega-mosque basically accuses even Giordano of being a Nazi: “This is like thinking from the Middle Ages, and it is sending the racists to the barricades.”]
In 1987 Rouhs became a publisher (under his own name) and a year later started “Signal” and in 2004 “Europe Ahead” (later renamed “nation24”). As a publisher he soon became one of the most important printed media the “extreme right” has developed. From the beginning of 1997 in Cologne, Rouhs published the quarterly rightist rock fanzine “Neue Doitsche Welle” (NDW), that was merged the end of 1998 with the magazine “Signal”. The editor-in-chief was the neo-Nazi skinhead Sascha Wagner, who now is a member of Federal Executive board of the Young National Democrats (JN), and is active as an assistant to members of the NPD Group in the Saxon state parliament. In issue 6/1998, under the title “Model of a successful local cultural revolution” the emergence of a citizen and youth center in the Saxon town Wurzen was described as a model for so-called “national free-zones”.
In March 1991, Rouhs together with the Cologne rightist rockers Torsten Lemmer and Christian Eitel founded the company “LER & Partner GmbH”, which he left after only a month. In the middle of the nineties he was an editor of the student newspaper “Hoppla”, with the so-called pre-political youth camp for the right that was distributed primarily by JN-members in front of school buildings and youth facilities. Since 1996 he has run a record label for several rightist rock bands and the rightist “songwriters” Hans Becher and Holger Stürenburg.
In the mid and late 90s Rouhs and Pro-Köln were accused by the left of maintaining contacts with a range of militant neo-Nazi (NN) “free comradeships.” [no proof]
Cadres of these NN organizations have supposedly been called to participate in several Pro-Köln-organized rallies and demonstrations, supported the calls as cosignatories, and joined in the demonstrations. At a celebration of the fifth anniversary of the “National Information Telephone Rhineland” (NIT [an Indymedia-like information service for the right wing, but over the telephone with an answering machine. This is replaced with the internet now]) from André Goertz in 1998, according to leftist extremist sources, Rouhs is alleged to have called out the welcome greetings. Rouhs, however, has disputed this.
Note: this answering machine news service was seen by the left as a means to expand neo-Nazi activities.
In the same year (1998) Rouhs, together with Franz Schönhuber, Gerd Sudholt, and Christian Rogler, is said to have signed an “anti-imperialist solidarity declaration” with Iraq. To provide donations for Iraqi children, the “Action Kids Help Iraq” was launched by the French extreme right-winger Jean-Marie Le Pen and his organization “SOS — Enfants d’Iraque!”.
On an Internet website Rouhs maintained, it was said that V-leute [Secret Service infiltrators] of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution [Intelligence service] would have attacked the memorial in the concentration camp Kemna. The NPD members Thorsten Craemer and Nico Wedding were involved as ringleaders with the raid on July 9, 2000. According to a report of the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” they were both mentioned as “V leute” by the deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary fraction, Wolfgang Bosbach.
In response to this, Rouhs demanded the abolition of the federal office and called for demonstrations under the slogan “No liberty for the enemies of freedom”. Then in February 2002, the Cologne-based office filed a criminal complaint against Rouhs for grave slander, libel, and insult. The criminal complaint did not lead to criminal proceedings [maybe because that might have unveiled the controversial role of the secret service in its attempt to discredit rightist organizations].
The district court of Wuppertal was able, due to testimony by Rouhs under number 23 (24) Cs 733 Js — 1655/01, to apply for mitigation for those involved in the raid with the consideration that the assault had taken place with the knowledge and cooperation of the Secret service.
In the neo-Nazi rag “Die Bauernschaft” [The Peasantry], published by Thies Christophersen, a reader’s letter was printed with the name of Manfred Rouhs, stating that “in the Third Reich 6 million Jews were not gassed nor otherwise murdered,” and the Germans were not to blame for the Second World War. Rouhs denied the authorship of that letter and tried to take legal action against the publisher, but neither the Cologne district court nor the higher regional court accepted the “substance-poor” affirmations.
Apart from the proof that rightist parties in the nineties were infiltrated to a large extend by the German Secret Service, and that those agents even produced controversial party publications and “proof” of extremism, possibly with the purpose of later accusing that party, all “proof” on paper against rightist parties is basically unreliable.
“The Administrative Court in Düsseldorf had to do the utmost contortions to provide the Intelligence Service with the right — that was obviously very much welcomed — to spy on us and tap out telephones. There also were activities deployed that are normally perceived not be very democratic. This is reminiscent of times that we believed to have overcome in 1989 in a part of our country.”
(Statement given by Manfred Rouhs at the meeting of the City Council of Cologne, April 4, 2006)
Quotes on last September’s Anti-Islamization Congress:
Pro-Köln, a local group which won 5 per cent of votes at the last city council elections, said Saturday it was outraged by the decision to cancel the congress. Its secretary, Markus Wiener, said, “It’s typical of the Cologne police leadership that they can’t enforce freedom of assembly and that they cave in to street terrorism.” A city councilor for the group said he would challenge the ban in court. “We’ll repeat the event later,” Manfred Rouhs told WDR television.
Police had banned Pro-Köln from marching on Friday evening to multi-ethnic neighborhoods, saying that riot police would not be able to keep order.
Cologne Mayor Schramma (CDU), who has personally backed the mosque project, welcomed the rally ban “It’s a victory for the city of Cologne and a victory by the democratic forces in this city,” he told Dpa news agency.
Armin Laschet, minister for minorities in North Rhine-Westphalia state, went further, telling the Tagesspiegel newspaper it was the first time an entire German city “stood up to protect its Muslims.”
The German Interior Ministry spoke out Friday against the rally, saying the planned gathering of “populists and extremists harms the co-existence that the city and Muslim citizens have striven for.”
Notes on other potentially troublesome material on Pro-Köln
Pro-Köln Guest of Honor: Brigadier General Reinhard Günzel
Commander of Special Forces Command
Held a New Year’s Reception speech 2009
CDU PM Homann once gave a speech that was alleged to contain anti-Semitic expressions (have to read it first) Günzel sent him a solidarity letter: “An excellent speech” and “Stay on course”
Günzel is also named as a Göring fan
Biggest trouble: Alex Reitz
Sort of neo-Nazi, and a petty criminal
Complains that Rouhs wants nothing to do with him
Has once been defended in court by Beisicht
East German parents, unemployed
The Dusseldorf court didn’t want to scrap Pro-Köln from the list of rightist extreme organizations (like another court did)
Pro-Deutschland though is off the list (already before this)
Also here (have to read the arguments, however).
But my first impression is that the judge thinks they do not have a positive stance towards foreigners.
This might be used against the other favorable verdicts.
These are additional issues:
The DHVL [see Rouhs CV1] is mentioned often as not OK (extreme rightist)
04.09.1999: Manfred Rouhs organizes election rally. Nazis show up (like Axel Reitz) and the later CDU-councilor Thomas Hartenfels (also a Nazi)
23.06.2001: Regina Wilden is seen in a demo by the NPD.
26.06.2004: Pro-Köln-elections: Erwine Lehming is spotted at anti-Semitic NPD-Demo in Bochum.
2007: The builder Günther Kissel (from Solingen) joins Pro-NRW. Since 1997 the authorities have considered him to have a pivotal role in right-extremism.
25.09.2007: Pro-Köln-Markus Beisicht and Markus Wiener sign an agreement for cooperation with rightist extreme Europa (ITS, Identity Sovereignty Tradition). Jean-Marie Le Pen (Front National), Gerhard Frey (DVU), Holger Apfel (NPD) and Udo Pastörs (NPD) are there.
Schöppe, Bernd Michael
1993 he was involved in a campaign to offer a reward for the reporting of any illegal Roma in Cologne with the authorities (read about it somewhere else, have to check details).
She also sent the CDU Homann her support when he had to leave the CDU due to expressions in a speech that were taken as anti-Semitic (have to check on this).
BNP connections [nothing wrong with that, but you never know]. By the way: he lived in the USA for quite a while.
Täubner, Heinz Kurt
Briefly a member of the Zwartze Front (c.1984) [a long while ago, but this Zwartze Front is the limit]. Is now assistant to Jörg Uckermann who changed to the CDU from Pro-Köln
More detailed research on Pro-Köln
I came across a few allegations that appear on a number of websites. Of one it is unlikely that it is from Pro-Köln or Judith Wolter, the other two allegations are understandable from reading the machine translations, but prove to be otherwise when reading the German article. I have translated sections of the articles that prove otherwise.
A webpage with a “pro-Palestine” statement is mentioned. The page is not a part of a website, but a single page (with three sub-pages). There is no link to Pro-Köln in this mini-website. The “home” link underneath is linked to itself and the colophon mentions Judith Wolter. The “Manifest”, one of the subpages, is titled “Cologne Manifest 2002”. Furthermore, it is only mentioned here, in an article dated July/August 2002 by Sabine Fisher on an anti Pro-Köln website. The manifest itself, nor other comments on it has so far not been found anywhere else.
The website “philtrat.de” with the Sabine Fisher article is from Gerd Riesselmann, a software developer from Cologne, and Bernd Wurst form Murrhardt, and is a part of the extreme-left extremist website Queergestellt, a site for lesbians, gays, trans, and other “queerulantinnen” of Martin Gamper (Cologne), and 1und1.de“, a web host and developer. This website is connected with the radical left and they are doing their best to smear and stop Pro-Köln and the Anti-Islamization Congress.
Neither text of the “pamphlet” itself, nor a “solidarity with Palestine” text elsewhere has so far been found in connection with or linked to Pro-Köln. This is not to suggest that these people are involved in hacking or planting that page, but it does not make it very reliable. The conclusion may therefore be that at least this is a mysterious page, but no “proof” of anything.
There is some dispute on a this article, in a machine translation.
The original article is here.
Comment: This article did appear to be a proper accusation. But after reading the original it proved to be otherwise.
Pro-Köln does not support the views of the Bishops, nor does it support the Palestinians, but is concerned about the association between the Intelligence Service and the majority parties that led to the accusations.
Germany is not a normal democracy. The German majority parties are heavily involved in the steering of the Intelligence Service according to their political needs. There was a case against a right-wing “extremist” group that had to be dismissed by the Judge only because that group seemed for the large part to be made up of Intelligence Service informants (“V-leute”).
Here is a non-machine translation of the largest part of the article:
Are German bishops right-wing extremists?
Such madness is probably only possible in Germany: Catholic bishops are in the cross hairs of the Intelligence Service as being right-wing extremists, only because they criticized the living conditions in Ramallah and Bethlehem. This is what Focus reports. The accusation is a response to a number of newspaper articles on the visit of the board of the German Bishops’ Council to Israel in the beginning of March that was accompanied by a special department (of the Intelligence Service) that interpreted utterances registered in background recordings as anti-Semitic, as office employees state.
In the crosshairs are Meisner and Hanke: Cardinal Joachim Meisner is said to have stated that the Israeli wall in Bethlehem had reminded him in a way of the Berlin Wall, and he supposedly had criticized the living-conditions of Palestinians.
Bishop Walter Mixa from Augsburg is supposed to have been speaking in racist terms. Bishop Gregor Maria Hanke from Eichstatt was supposed to have compared the situation in Ramallah with the Ghetto in Warsaw and provoked sharp protest.
But what have these comments by high-ranking Catholic clerics to do with anti-Semitism, even with right-wing extremism? Is it not always said that we are living in the most free state that ever existed on German soil? Is it possible to become the observation object of the secret services, only because one criticizes that it is not going too well with certain people in a foreign country?
The Intelligence Service tries to smooth the waters now. They had merely made an analysis for the press and only handed the report in question to the relevant department, and with that had also handed in an evaluation note that mentioned their concerns about anti-Semitism, a spokeswoman stated to the board.
Absolute nonsense! It must be noted that is remarkable that details from inside the Intelligence Service, from an evaluation report that regards the positioning of the three Bishops as being anti-Semitic, managed to become public in the first place.
[and then the article continues with the subject of the article, the interference and power games of the Intelligence Service] “The Intelligence Service is an instrument of power to the government in their fight against their opponents for political reasons. It often even produces the “extremism” they observe themselves, and its classifications as being “democratic” or “extremist” are strictly oriented to the interests of its clients.” [these clients are the majority parties like the SPD, CDU and FDP and even the ex-DDR party “Die Linke”].
There is some dispute on a number of websites about this machine-translated article.
The original here: Plädoyer gegen die Verbauung des Rathausvorplatzes
Comment: This one also appeared to be a proper accusation, but after reading the original, in this case once again it proved to be otherwise.
Pro-Köln does not object a Jewish Museum at all, on the contrary; but it objects to the planned modernization and expansion of a historic building (of which there are not too many in Cologne), to fit a museum, also expanding out to the front, and that would basically destroy it, as well as the cramped outside space.
It may be understood from their arguments in he article that, if the historic building would be left unchanged from the outside (as well as the space in front of it), they would not object at all.
The article reports what Pro-Köln has stated in the municipal council meeting: “But our objections should not be misinterpreted, that is why I again on behalf of my fraction [Pro-Köln] want to explicitly make clear that we of course would much welcome the building of a Jewish Museum in Cologne at another location.”
(If necessary the article can be translated in full.)
Pro-Köln’s partner organization in the Pro-movement is Pro-NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia). VH has prepared a batch of material on Pro-NRW, which we will post at a later date.
Previous posts about Pro-Köln: