Beate Zschäpe, the only survivor of a neo-Nazi group, was sentenced by a German court on Wednesday to life in prison for her participation in a dozen racist murders that deeply shocked Germany.
The Munich court also deprived the 43-year-old, the only survivor of the trio known as the National Socialist Cluster (Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund, NSU), of the possibility of applying for parole after 15 years due to the seriousness of her crimes.
The prosecution argued that the accused provided important logistical support to her two companions and managed the finances of the trio while finding them housing during their 14 years in hiding. The investigators believe that the other two members of the gang, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, both committed suicide or that one of them killed the other before turning the gun on himself.
This case deeply shocked Germany and cast a dark light on the failures of the domestic intelligence services, while highlighting the danger of the German far-right networks.
The gang also embarrassed the German government, by carrying out their murders without detection for so long. Beate Zschäpe was tried in May 2013 by a Munich court for the murders of eight Turkish people or people of Turkish origin, a Greek citizen and a German policewoman, killed between 2000 and 2007.
She denied any responsibility in these murders and said at the end of the trial that the ideology of the extreme right “really no longer any importance for her.”
Beate Zschäpe was also sentenced on Wednesday for two attacks against foreign communities and 15 bank robberies.
Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her country’s “shame” at these crimes.