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Extremist Leader Charged with Murder of Jewish Publisher

January 24, 1983
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Karl-Heinz Hoffmann, who headed a group of West German rightwing extremists who received military training in PLO installations in Lebanon, was last week charged in Nuremberg with the murder of Jewish publisher Shlomo Levin and his companion Frida Poeschke in Erlangen on December 18, 1980. At the same time, the state prosecutor charged Hoffmann’s friend, Franziska Birkmann, with complicity in the murder.

Hoffmann was the leader of a so-called sports group named after him, which was outlawed in 1980 by the then Interior Minister Gerhard Baum. Some 15 members of the group, led by Hoffmann personally, later turned up in PLO military camps where they trained in the use of arms.

Meanwhile, most members of the group returned to Germany, and some of them were taken into custody on various charges, including the murder of a comrade who trained with them in Lebanon.

Police claim that Hoffmann killed Levin for political reasons. While Levin held no official post shortly before his death and was at adds with the local Jewish community he had made a name as an outspoken and eloquent representative of German Jewry. Before coming to Germany he lived in Israel and has left a family in Haifa.

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