On 27.12.2020, about 50 people commemorated the violent death of Şahin Çalışır 28 years ago in front of the district court in Neuss.
The initiative Herkesin Meydanı – Platz für Alle Köln, the Solingen Appeal, and Migrantifa NRW shared their views and feelings with the people present. A statement of solidarity from the initiative in memory of Ramazan Avci was read out.
It was a special honour for all participants that relatives of Şahin Çalışır were present. Many thanks to Orhan Çalışır for his speech! Here is the complete speech:
“Exactly 28 years ago on 27 December 1992, Şahin Çalışır was murdered on the A52 motorway near Meerbusch, about 5 km from here. The perpetrators were two neo-Nazis and a right-wing hooligan from Solingen.
Şahin was doing his apprenticeship as a locksmith at the Thyssen company at the time. A quiet and ambitious young man who still had his whole life ahead of him.
We commemorate Şahin today in front of the Neuss district court because this court is the second crime scene. At the beginning of October 1993, the trial against only one of the perpetrators took place here. And that was against Kalus Evertz, a hooligan known to the police, who was driving the car. For us, Şahin’s relatives, the whole trial was a farce.
The beginning of the 1990s was a time when racist attacks, arson attacks and murders happened almost every day. About five weeks before Şahin’s murder, neo-Nazis in Mölln had set fire to the Arslan family’s house and killed three people. There was a pogrom atmosphere in the country against Turks and refugees. Only the state authorities had not noticed or played the three monkeys.
Even outside the courtroom, we, Şahin’s relatives, were searched by police officers with German shepherd dogs, while the perpetrators behaved as if they were at home. Apparently the state wanted to protect the neo-Nazis from us. Even more: when the youngest of the trio Marco Hansen gave his testimony, the head of the group Lars Gerhard Schoof stood in the middle of the courtroom and had Hansen firmly in his sights to stop him from making a mistake, because he actually admitted to the crime during the police interrogation.
He was not the only one of the three perpetrators who more or less confessed to the crime. The defendant in the trial, Klaus Evertz, wrote about Şahin from prison, “The running around thing is over for him”. This statement and the letter were known to the court, but played no role in the trial. The fact that Lars Gerhard Schoof silenced Klaus Evertz at the police station shortly after the crime by saying “just keep your mouth shut” was also not an issue for the court.
The prosecutor grinned throughout the second day of the trial as if this was about a school prank by pubescent youths and not about the death of a 20-year-old who was killed for racist reasons. In his plea, the prosecutor said that it was an unfortunate traffic accident and that the boys – translated the neo-Nazis – were not guys who take a car and go all “now let’s see until a foreigner runs in front of the radiator”. With this prosecutor, the perpetrators had a very weighty defender. He only demanded a year’s probation for the driver of the car, a right-wing hooligan with a criminal record. The other two were not even charged.
So Şahin was killed again on 7 October 1993, almost 10 months after his murder on the A52 motorway. And he was killed here in this house. Therefore, this courthouse is a second crime scene. This attitude of the state towards racist murders encouraged the perpetrators to commit other, even more brutal acts.
On 29 May 1993, four neo-Nazis carried out an arson attack on the house of the Genç family in Solingen. Five people died and 14 were injured, some very seriously. Three of the four perpetrators trained together with Lars Gerhard Schoof at the Hak-Pao martial arts school in Solingen under the direction of Bernd Schmitt, who was an undercover agent for the Office for the Protection of the Constitution of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Şahin was killed 28 years ago. Today, for the first time, he is being remembered publicly. Late, but hopefully not too late for potential victims of racist violence. Other crimes can only be prevented by resolutely fighting racism. This includes remembering the victims who, like Şahin, have been partially forgotten by the public. Or whose dastardly murder was not even noticed by the public. We cannot and must not rely on state authorities, experience has taught us. They did not prevent these murders and nothing tells us that they will do so in the future.
Only the self-organisation and self-action of potential victims, anti-racists, migrants can prevent racist attacks and murders and give us security.”
Please find the spech in German language held in front of the district court in Neuss on youtube: https://youtu.be/CuPqbDhGCcM.