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Mossad Accused of 1987 Assassination of German MP

uwe barschel with family

Uwe Barschel and his family (DPA)

Uwe Barschel may be about to join the infamous line of Mossad assassination victims killed outside the immediate conflict zone, including Mahmoud al-Mabouh, Khaled al-Meshal, Gerald Bull, and Imad Mugniyeh among others.  In 1987, he was a rising star in Germany’s Chrisitian Democratic Union.  He had just resigned his position as state secretary for Schleswig-Holstein after a press publicist accused him of digging for dirt against a political opponent.  After a mysterious individual invited him to meet at a Geneva hotel to receive information that would tarnish the publicist, he was found the next day fully clothed in the hotel bath.  He had ingested or been force fed a lethal dose of barbituates.

Undoubtedly, given today’s forensic pathology capabilities they would’ve been able to more definitively answer how Uwe Barschel died.  Remember, originally authorities in Dubai thought al Mabouh died of a heart attack.  It was only with a subsequent toxicology test that was far more sophisticated that they isolated the drugs that incapacitated al-Mabouh.

In one of his books, rogue ex-Mossad agent, Victor Ostrovsky, argued that the Mossad killed Barschel due to matters related to Iran-Israeli weapons deals.  Israel wanted to use the port of Kiel in Schleswig-Holstein to ship missiles to Iran.  In an interview with Yediot, Ostrovsky adds that Barschel had partial knowledge of military collaboration among Iran, Germany and the U.S.  This included the shipment of replacement military parts to Iran along with weapons purchases and the training of Iranian pilots in Germany.  After he resigned, he threatened to blow the whistle on the whole operation.  Had he talked, there would’ve been severe political repercussions, which caused the Mossad to get rid of him:

According to Ostovsky, Germany knew what was planned and the killing was not done “behind its back.”

Now, Die Welt will publish a extensive article tomorrow documenting Ostrovsky’s claims through the work of a distinguished Swiss toxicologist, Dr. Hans Brandenberger, who will argue that the methods used to kill Barschel fit within the parameters of what could’ve been a Mossad killing:

“The chemical results indicate a murder…due to the complexity of the murder scene.  [For a crime] like this [it] must be a professional team that was at work, not a single person.”

Brandenberger is the first such expert to corroborate Ostrovsky’s claims and point the finger at the Mossad.

I’m trying to get the full article translated when it is published tomorrow.


{ 14 comments… add one }

  • almabu November 21, 2010, 5:19 AM

    The “Who-killed-Uwe-Barschel-story” pops up from time to time in Germany. I don’t know who did! But it isn’t even clear that it wasn’t the “official” suicide. Barschel was a very complex caracter and adict to psychopharmaca. Despite his public function as Ministerpräsident of the “Land” Schleswig-Holstein (which corresponds to a Governor of a US-State) he switched secretly and frequently to a Stasi-famous Hotel in the East-German (GDR) city of Rostock where he fools around with young women. He was also supposed to be involved in arms deals. At 87/05/31 he was the only surviver of a failed landing in bad weather condition when his cessna jet hit the ground 700m ahead of the runway. Both pilots an his bodyguard died, Brachel survived with severe injuries. Some people see this accident as a first try to kill him? He was forced to retirement beeing caught to lie to the public at 87/10/02. One day befor a inquiery of his own party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) he died under mysterious circumstances in his Geneva hotel room in the night from 10 to 11 october 1987. If it was a murder, not only the Mossad could have done it. In theory the West, the East Germans, the Iranians, the Russians and the USA could have been interested in silencing him. He knew to much and was in bad mental shape in front of the above mentioned inquiry…

  • Mondoprinte November 21, 2010, 5:49 AM

    Being an empassioned reader of newspapers, I sincerely doubt both the validity of the information and the credibility of the source. DIE WELT is known for its political agenda: Pro-Israel, if Israel pursues the same goals as the political right in Europe, but every now and then inclined to give the Jews a good kicking if they do not play along.

    • almabu November 21, 2010, 6:06 AM

      As part of the ASV-group (Axel Springer Verlag) every journalist has to accept a positive stance towards Israel as part of his signed labour-contract.

      • almabu November 21, 2010, 6:16 AM

        Following the “five basics” (in German) of the founder of ASV:


        Israel, and German-Israeli-Relations, is ranking as number 2!

        • David November 21, 2010, 7:09 AM

          Five socio-political business principles, formulated in 1967 by Axel Springer after the reunification in 1990 and amended in 2001, are part of his corporate statutes. They describe a liberal world view:

          1. Unconditional commitment to liberal law in Germany as a member of the Western community and the promotion of the unification efforts of the peoples of Europe.
          2. Effecting a reconciliation between Jews and Germans, which includes support for the vital rights of the Israeli people.
          3. Support of the transatlantic alliance and solidarity in the liberal community of values with the United States of America.
          4. Rejection of all forms of political totalitarianism.
          5. Defense of the free social market economy.

          • fiddler November 21, 2010, 10:16 AM

            David, I don’t know where you’re from, so just for the record, “liberal” means not quite the same here in Europe than it does in the US. The word “freiheitlich” means literally “freedom-focused”, and has nothing to do with the connotations of “socialist” or “left-wing” the word “liberal” has unfortunately acquired in the States. In the particular context of the ASV, “freiheitlich” has during the cold war almost exclusively been an euphemism for “anti-communist”.

            “Rechtsstaat” means rule by law, not the law itself.

            #2 I find extraordinarily clumsy (of Springer, not you). “between Jews and Germans” – as if Jews couldn’t be German, and Germans Jewish. No one in their right mind would differentiate in such a way between, say, Catholics and Americans.
            The (inclusive) concept of an *Israeli* (instead of *Jewish*) people has been a bete noire for state leaders since day one, and that was probably not what Springer had in mind either.

  • almabu November 21, 2010, 8:31 AM

    I have just read the article refering Uwe Barschel in WamS:

    The retired swiss toxicologic specialist Professor Hans Brandenberger, 89, listed all arguments speaking for a murder case on basis of the old, long known facts (at least since 1994!). He interpreted the existing data new after having read the Ostrovsky book. He comes to the conclusion that the Ostrovsky story fits good to the facts found during the investigation. So far, the Mossad link is a possibility.
    The other point is, wether other spy-agencies could have acted in a simillar way or not? Was this method of killing a common knowlegde or Mossad exclusive?
    Another point is if Ostrovski could have had read about details of this case prior to writing his book?

  • MS November 21, 2010, 10:01 AM

    Uwe Barschel gave the German people in a press conference hi sword of honor that he did not spy after Mr . Engholm. This was just a few hours before the elections began. He lost the election and a testimony of a private detective that was hired by Barschel proved that he lied. He went for a holiday and after that he was tempted to come to Geneva.At some point he threatened his party (CDU) members to start “singing” if they will not stand to him. He was (no doubt) murdered.Remember we are in 1987 and there is still the DDR and the apartheid in SA. Uwe Barschel knew too much and declared again and again that he will talk.He was killed by the (West) Germans.

    • almabu November 21, 2010, 12:25 PM

      He was involved in a lot of hidden operations. So, for me it’s still unclear why he should have been killed by the Mossad. Many other parties may have had their reasons to do so. It is also quite unbelievable that a Mossad killing of a major german politican would have been covered up by the german intelligence people. Barschels behaviour in East Germany (a ruling MP from the right wing of his conservative party, a married man, is hanging around with joung women in a Stasi hotel with cameras and microphones in every room? He must have felt very secure and safe, why? Who protected him and why? The whole Mossad link consists of the Ostrovsky-book. But give me a valid reason for Mossad to take this risk?

    • Deïr Yassin November 21, 2010, 4:19 PM

      A very informative one-hour documentary from the French-speaking Swiss television Oct 2010:

  • shmuel November 21, 2010, 11:48 AM

    Just to put the record straight:

    None of the above-mentioned killings have been proven to be Mossad operations, even if there might be strong circumstantial evidence. It is often a modus vivendi of secret services to deliberately dis-inform and make any operation look like someone else did it.

    Khalid Mash’al is still alive and kicking in Syria (not “killed” as you write above), and although it was proven that the Mossad tried to assassinate him, they didn’t succeed. (Maybe proving the above statement, that “successful” killings were someone else, the Mossad botches up like Mash’al and in Lillenheim in the 70′s.)

    Has there actually been any successful killing proven or admitted to by the Mossad since the last Nazi assassination? As far as I recall Israel’s “successful” assassinations were all IDF or Shabak.

    • Deïr Yassin November 21, 2010, 4:10 PM

      # Shmuel)
      The LILLEHAMMER affair:

    • Richard Silverstein November 21, 2010, 10:46 PM

      they didn’t succeed.

      No they actually DID succeed. They would’ve succeeded in killing him without the forceful intervention of King Hussein who demanded the antidote in exchange for the freedom of the caputured assassins. W/o that antidote Meshal was a dead man. Though I should’ve clarified that Meshal was nearly killed, but not quite finished off. Mossad has clearly learned fr. these failures & no longer attempts to kill in public settings, rather preferring the privacy of hotel rms. where it can do the job “properly.”

      Have there been any assassinations which the Mossad admitted? What do you take them or us for? Fools? That they would admit to committing assassinations? Pls. stop wasting our time w. such nonsense.

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