Counter investigating the testimony of Andres Temme in relation to the murder of Halit Yozgat in Kassel, 6 April 2006
Commissioned by the ‘Unraveling the NSU Complex’ people’s tribunal; Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt (HKW); Initiative 6 April; and documenta14
Shortly after 17:00 on the 6 April 2006, Halit Yozgat, 21 years old, was murdered while attending the reception counter of his family run Internet café in Kassel, Germany. His was the ninth of ten racist murders committed by a neo-Nazi group known as the National Socialist Underground or NSU across Germany between 2000 and 2007.
At the time of the killing, an intelligence officer named Andreas Temme was present in the shop. Temme was at the time an employee of the State Office for Constitutional Protection (Landesamt für Verfassungsschutz), the domestic intelligence agency for the German state of Hessen. Temme did not disclose this fact to the police, but was later identified from his internet records.
In his interrogation by the police, and in the subsequent NSU trial in Munich, Temme denied being a witness to the incident, and claimed not to have noticed anything out of the ordinary. The court accepted his testimony. It determined that Temme was present at the back room of the internet café at the time of the murder. It also accepted that from his position in the shop it was possible not to have witnessed the killing.
Within the 77 square meters of the Internet café and the 9:26 minutes of the incident, different actors crossed paths — members of migrant communities, a state employee and the murderers — and were architecturally disposed in relation to each other. The shop was thus a microcosm of the entire social and political controversy that makes the ‘NSU Complex’.
In November 2016, eleven years after the murder, an alliance of civil society organisations known as ‘Unraveling the NSU Complex’ commissioned Forensic Architecture to investigate Temme’s testimony and determine whether it could be truthful.
Reenactment of the reenactment
One of the most important pieces of evidence leaked from the Hessen police was a video of a police re-enactment performed by Andreas Temme. Such re-enactments are often ritualistic events forming part of an admission or confession, denoting justice fulfilled. In Forensic Architecture’s investigation the re-enactment is treated not only as a representation of an event, but an event in itself; a potential crime – of perjury and misrepresentation – in its own right. Within a reconstructed real-scale physical model of the internet café Forensic Architecture re-enacted this re-enactment in order to examine Temme’s testimony, while also carrying out further tests to analyse the threshold of sensory perception. A video presented here shows moments from this process of re-enactment.
Update (December 2017)
This investigation was presented to the state parliamentary inquiry into the NSU in Hessen on 25 August 2017. An exchange followed with members of the ruling Christian Democrat party (CDU), which was in charge of the security services at the time of the murder. The CDU produced a substantial critique of our investigation, our response to which can be found here. A report by The Intercept on this controversy is here. As part of this exchange, new police files, classified before this exchange, were made public. The following diagram shows the apparent timeline of events according to the updated timings. These new timings support what we have called ‘scenario 3’—in which Temme was at PC-2 at the time of the killing.
Forensic Architecture team
- Eyal Weizman (principal investigator)
- Christina Varvia (project and research coordinator)
- Stefanos Levidis
- Omar Ferwati
- Simone Rowat
- Nicholas Masterton
- Yamen Albadin
- Ortrun Bargholz
- Eeva Sarlin
- Franc Camps-Febrer
- Hana Rizvanolli
- Sarah Nankivell
- Chris Cobb Smith (advisor)
- Lawrence abu Hamdan (advisor)
- Ayşe Güleç / Unraveling the NSU Complex, Initiative 6 April and documenta 14
- Natascha Sadr Haghighian / Unraveling the NSU Complex and Initiative 6 April
- Fritz Laszlo Weber / Unraveling the NSU Complex, Initiative 6 April and documenta 14
- Cordula Hamschmidt / HKW
- Khaled Abdulwahed
- Cem Kayan
- Vanina Vignal
- Sebastian Bodirsky / Unraveling the NSU Complex
- Dr. Salvador Navarro-Martinez / Imperial College London
- Grant Waters / Anderson Acoustics
- Armament Research Services (ARES)
- Mihai Meirosu / Nvision Audio
- Christopher Hupe / HKW
- Frank Bubenwer
- Gozen Atila
- Markus Mohr / Unraveling the NSU Complex
- Mathias Zieske
- Serdar Kazak
- Norma Tiedemann
- Basak Ertur
Kriminalität: Forensic Architecture | BR Capriccio, 7 November 2017
A German Intelligence Agent Was at the Scene of a Neo-Nazi Murder. He Can’t Explain Why. | The Intercept, 18 October 2017
Forscher verteidigen Gutachten zu NSU-Mord in Kassel | Monopol, 17 September 2017
documenta14: der NSU-Mord in Kassel | Metropolis, ARTE TV, 1 September 2017
V-Mann Temme in der “Mausefalle” | der Freitag, Edition 35, 30 August 2017
Reestablishing Facts in the Post-Truth Era | ARCH+, Issue 229: In The End, Features 67, 25 July 2017
77sqm_9:26min | E-Flux Architecture, 24 July 2017
Documenta Kassel: Using art as their witness | New York Times, 23 June 2017
The most important piece at documenta 14 in Kassel is not an artwork. It’s evidence. | Artnet, 8 June 2017
Architects seek to debunk spy’s testimony in neo-Nazi murder trial | The Guardian, 7 April 2017
Die Pulverwolke | Süddeutsche Zeitung, 5 April 2017