Berlin Official Resigns Over Neo-Nazi Files

A senior German intelligence official resigned after it had emerged that she had shredded dozens of files relating to neo-Nazi activities.

Rachel Hirshfeld ,

documents (illustrative)
documents (illustrative)

A senior German intelligence official announced her resignation Wednesday after it had emerged that she had shredded files that could have been relevant to a nationwide investigation of a neo-Nazi group.

Claudia Schmid, head of domestic intelligence in the city-state of Berlin, handed in her resignation after her agency shredded dozens of files on far-right extremists, Berlin Interior Minister Frank Henkel told a parliamentary committee.

Schmid, who headed surveillance of neo-Nazis, leftwing and Islamist extremists in the capital, came under fire following reports that officials under her control had shredded files in 2010 dealing with “Blood and Honor”, another neo-Nazi movement.

“Ms. Schmid asked me to be reassigned. She wants to clear the way for a managed fresh start,” Henkel said. “I agreed to this request.”

“I do not believe the worst. I still believe it was human error,” Henkel was quoted by local news agency DPA as saying. “But even a series of mistakes creates a disastrous impression.”

None of the files appeared to be related to the National Socialist Underground, which is suspected of killing 10 people between 2000 and 2007. Four other top Germany security officials have resigned this year due to blunders in the NSU investigation.