Oktoberfest assassination: Federal Attorney General closes investigation


They interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses again.

They followed over 700 new tracks.

They searched over 420,000 pages of new files from the West German secret service apparatus and from old GDR stocks.

But it didn’t help.

According to SPIEGEL information, Attorney General Peter Frank has investigated the Oktoberfest Assassination discontinued on September 26, 1980 – almost 40 years after the fact. The open questions in connection with the most devastating right-wing terrorist attack in Germany to date will probably remain unanswered.

On September 26, 1980, the then 21-year-old Gundolf Köhler placed a bomb in a wastepaper basket at the entrance to the Oktoberfest grounds on Munich’s Theresienwiese. Their explosion at 10:19 p.m. killed 13 people and more than 200 were seriously injured. Koehler himself was among the dead.

At that time, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office held Köhler as a single offender. There was no more in-depth investigation into the far-right scene. The investigation was stopped in 1982.

Doubts about the theory of individual offenders were expressed quickly and in many cases – especially because Köhler had been active in the right-wing extremist “Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann”.

Over the years, people have appeared several times who wanted to know about confessions within the extreme right-wing group, which Köhler wanted to have seen in conversation with others shortly before the detonation. Or who even heard a man scream that the ignition had broken down.

As a possible motive for an attack, the right-wing extremist scene have the federal election campaign in favor of the then candidate for Union chancellor Franz-Josef Strauß (CSU) want to influence.

Finally, in 2013, a woman said she had one day after the attack seen a letter of confession from a friend. The federal prosecutor then had in 2014 the investigation resumed.

However, the woman’s statements could not be corroborated any more than further traces.

Due to a lack of results, the investigating Soko was dissolved at the beginning of this year. The termination of the procedure sets the formal end.

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