Traces / Spuren
When news got out that the National Socialist Underground (NSU) had murdered eight people of Turkish descent in the early 2000s, it was considered a tragedy not only for the Turkish families of those killed, but also for the entire generation of Turkish migrants in Germany, to which I belong, in other words, to those who had made Germany their home.
We were Germans and had faith in Germany. This hard-won trust was torn after the NSU murders became public. This is because the hatred that guided the NSU triad when choosing their victims was directed specifically at us: the second and third generation of German Turks – a generation that had counted on the German State not tolerating racism and protecting them from it.
Instead, the institutions failed: The murder investigations as such were guided by mistrust, resentment and racist motives. The NSU murders are more than simple instances of human destiny. For second and third generation Turks, they constitute a dramatic turning point in their relationship to Germany and their longing for a homeland, such as Germany maybe once was.
TRACES are not just evidence left behind by criminals at the scene of the crime. They are also the resulting wounds and scars that these actions have inflicted on people and their communities. My film will therefore go on a quest to search for traces left behind by the NSU killings. And it will ask the question whether there is a process – and what kind of process – to heal these injuries inflicted on our German society.