The German officer Franco Albrecht is the first soldier from the German army to be tried on charges of political terrorism, and in the eyes of the press is a symbol of the dangerous neo-Nazi that afflicted the German army, but he denies these accusations and presents himself as a revolutionary citizen who was prosecuted for a crime of conscience, the source of which is anger at Germany’s decision In 2015, it welcomed nearly two million immigrants to its lands.
The French newspaper “Le Figaro” interviewed this officer, who was scheduled to go on a mission in the French-German infantry brigade, and told her his troubled story, since one evening he knocked on a refugee camp a stone’s throw from his house, and presented himself to the security guard as an asylum seeker Unbeknownst to you, he started a hellish series.
In his interview with Pierre Avril, Albrecht said that he approached the entrance to the camp after he had colored his beard black and changed the color of his face with preparations from his mother’s make-up, and introduced himself to the guard as a Syrian refugee from Damascus, lost in the night of Offenbach and seeking asylum.
The former officer – whose trial will begin on May 18 in front of the Frankfurt court – explained that the intention of his act was to show how easy it is to deceive failed immigration services and obtain forged documents in generous Germany under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel, at a time when it received large numbers of refugees. Syrians and Afghans, “I wanted to personally verify the extent to which the German authorities exploited the concept of asylum at the expense of security.”
In addition to theft and swindling, the main heavy charge that Albrecht faces – according to his interlocutor – is “preparing for a dangerous act of violence against the state and violating the Weapons and Explosives Act,” crimes punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison.
According to investigators’ suspicions, the fake Syrian refugee figure was only part of a Machiavellian plan to exploit the migration crisis to dismantle German society and facilitate a coup, and for this purpose – as suspicions indicate – the lieutenant hid a stockpile of weapons in the basement of his home in Offenbach. A gun he concealed in a Vienna airport toilet that led to his arrest in January 2017.
A citizen in revolt
However, Albrecht presented himself to the newspaper and before it to two other newspapers that met him, as a revolutionary citizen angry at Merkel’s decision to open her country’s borders for humanitarian reasons while ignoring the political consequences of her actions. He also accused her of bypassing the Bundestag.
The editor of the interview pointed out that Merkel’s decision and the “humanitarian emergency that the country went through at that time” caused a lot of confusion in Germany about immigration, and helped bring the far-right Alternative for Germany party out of the political anonymity it was in before 2015.
Albrecht considers himself a victim of the “witch hunt” pursued by the constitutional protection offices (intelligence services) against the extreme right. On the contrary, investigators see in him a dangerous element of the extreme right scene that has infiltrated the German army with others.
And this lieutenant – as his interlocutor says – has been haunted since his school days by geopolitical turmoil and conspiracy theories, and he is concerned about the risk of a major clash between Russia and the West, and he sees among the refugees as terrorists ready to carry out attacks on the continent, and he says that the Islamists have set up training centers in the Balkans.
Albrecht may share these feelings with a discussion group called the Southern Cross, which includes soldiers and police officers from the radical scene, has organized paramilitary training and facilitated the logistical services of clandestine activities, and is – according to the convictions of the security services – preparing for the legendary Victory Day in which the prophecies of Judgment Day will be fulfilled, Which paves the way for the seizure of power.
For his part, however, Albrecht claims that he acted in self-defense “to protect his family in the event of an emergency,” and began storing what he helped to stay in the basement of his home in Offenbach, and he built an arsenal of hundreds of ammunition and training bombs that he prefers to ignore their source, and his library includes the book “My Struggle.” Composed by Adolf Hitler.
And when Albrecht presented himself to the camp guard hesitantly that his name was Benjamin David, the guard advised him to turn himself into the police, and indeed a patrol took him to the police station, and there he saw a map that suggested to him the idea of impersonating a Syrian refugee from the town of Tal al-Asal who speaks broken English, and he studied French but did not study Arabic After fingerprinting, the police helped him buy a bus ticket, so he started a double life that would last 16 months.
A few days later, he parked his car less than a kilometer from the bus station, where he would escort dozens of immigrants to a Bavarian camp near Nuremberg.
In the videos recorded on his phone, Albrecht documented his new life and the lives of his comrades, whom he considers spoiled by the German state, as he used to receive under the name Benjamin David about 400 euros a month, and freely return to the Eilkirch Brigade and continue the life of Officer Franco Albrecht.
A turbulent story
But the story gets out of control and becomes blurry when events reach the stage of his going to Vienna to attend the officers’ party organized by the Austrian Ministry of Defense. A Browning pistol made by the arms factory in the Pyrenees in 1944 was hidden for the Nazi army in the idle toilets in the Free Zone, and he shared the photo with 3 other soldiers.
After 10 days, Albrecht returned to the Austrian capital on the day when a large meeting of the European far-right organized by the Austrian party “Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs” would be held, under close police control. In the interview, he spoke about a murder that a Syrian refugee might commit and lead to To disturbances.
When Albrecht arrived in Vienna in the afternoon, he went back to the airport toilet to look for the pistol, unaware that the cleaning lady had discovered it and handed it to the police, and that law enforcement agencies were waiting for his arrival, and as soon as he reached out to the toilet the police shouted at him, and he told them that he had come to take the weapon. He was handed over to the police, and he still clings to this funny saying.
The former lieutenant says that he found this weapon in a bush, put it in the inner pocket of his coat and forgot, and suddenly he remembered it when he was close to the airport security police, so he started in a panic to hide it in the toilet, and he returned today after he felt remorse for handing it over to the police.
The Austrian police listened to Albrecht’s story and seized his phone and the USB memory he had, then released him after taking his fingerprints and sending them to their German colleagues, who soon discovered that the fingerprints were consistent with the fingerprints of a Syrian refugee named Benjamin David, so the investigation began.
After Albrecht was arrested in Vienna, he transferred his ammunition stock to one of his student friends who shared his convictions, and his room and car were searched. A few days later, the story of the “new Nazi” soldier, who pretended to be an immigrant, spread to the headlines.
Just before his trial, when Franco Albrecht was asked if he felt any remorse, he expressed his regret that he played Benjamin David alongside the real refugees, but in the end, he seems satisfied with the story.