Fighting for memory as a tour de force – Şahin Çalışır

This podcast episode commemorates the death of Şahin Çalişir. With our guests Orhan Çalışırand Kutlu Yurtseven we talk about the connections to the arson attack in Solingen and the importance of migrant struggles and self-organisation. We reflect on family contexts and the difficult expectation that those affected get involved publicly and politically in struggles for acceptance and remembrance as well as about the importance of education and music for processing and public discussion.

About the event

On December 27, 1992, twenty year old Şahin Çalışır was on the road with two friends. A car carrying neo-Nazis chased and rammed them on the Autobahn 52 near Meerbusch in North Rhine-Westphalia. In panic, the three of them exited the car. Shortly after, Şahin Çalışır was struck by a passing car and succumbed to his injuries.

Literature, links and background information

Ramazan Avcı was beaten up so badly by neo-Nazis in Hamburg-Eilbek on December 21, 1985 that he succumbed to his injuries three days later.

An arson attack in Duisburg-Wanheimerort on the night of 26-27 of August 1984 killed Döndü Satır, (40), Zeliha and Rasim Turhan (18) and their son Tarık Turhan (1 month), Çiğdem Satır (7), Ümit Satır (5) and Songül Satır (4).

On November 23, 1992, two neo-Nazis murdered Bahide Arslan (51), Yeliz Arslan (10) and Ayşe Yılmaz (14) in an arson attack in Mölln. Ibrahim Arslan, who was 7 years old at the time, survived the attack and is now an activist in the field of anti-racism.

In Solingen, Gürsün İnce (27), Hatice Genç (18), Gülüstan Öztürk (12), Hülya Genç (9) and Saime Genç (4) die in an arson attack in the early hours of 29 May 1993.

Find out more about the topic in our podcast episode on the pogrom in Rostock-Lichtenhagen.

Between the 17th and 23rd of September 1991, several racially motivated attacks on hostels for contract workers and refugees occurred in the Saxon city of Hoyerswerda, to the applause of local residents.

On 9 June 2004, a nail bomb detonated in the Keupstraße in Cologne-Mülheim, injuring 22 people, some of them seriously. It was not the attackers claimed responsibilty in November 2011 that it could be attributed to the right-wing terrorist National Socialist Underground (NSU).

Since 2000, the NSU has used the same weapon to murder: Enver Şimşek (38) – murdered on 9 September 2000 in Nuremberg, Abdurrahim Özüdoğru (49) – murdered on 13 June 2001 in Nuremberg, Süleyman Taşköprü (31) – murdered on 27 June 2001 in Hamburg, Habil Kılıç (38) – murdered on 29 August 2001 in Munich, Mehmet Turgut (25) – murdered on 25 February 2004 in Rostock, İsmail Yaşar (50) – murdered on 9 June 2005 in Nuremberg, Theodoros Boulgarides (41) – murdered on 15 June 2005 in Munich, Mehmet Kubaşık (39) – murdered on 4 April 2006 in Dortmund, Halit Yozgat (21) – murdered on 6 April 2006 in Kassel.

As early as 2006, relatives of nine murdered people took to the streets and demanded “No 10th victim!” at the demonstrations in Dortmund and Kassel. They believed in a racist motive for the murders, which was not pursued by the investigating authorities.

At the tribunal in Cologne in May 2017, the nationwide action alliance ‘NSU-Komplex auflösen’ denounces structural racism, demands a complete clarification of the NSU complex and invites people to engage with the culture of remembrance and to support those affected by right-wing violence.

On the night of 5 to 6 March 2021, 19-year-old Qosay Khalaf died in police custody in Delmenhorst due to unexplained circumstances.

An arson attack in Lübeck kills 10 people, including seven children and adolescents: Monica (Maiamba) Bunga and her 7-year-old daughter Suzanna (Nsuzana), Françoise Makudila and her five children Christine, Miya, Christelle, Legrand and Jean-Daniel Makudila, 17-year-old Rabia El Omari and 27-year-old Sylvio Amoussou.

Argyris Sfountouris survived the Distomo massacre when he was four years old. The massacre took place on 10 June 1944, when German SS members killed 218 inhabitants of the Greek village.

“Kein Einzelfall” (Not an isolated case) by Microphone Mafia, Refpolk, Mal Eleve and Chaoze One.

Esther Bejarano was a survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and worked with the band Microphone Mafia for many years and at many concerts.

Amadeu Antonio Stiftung (2021): Şahin Çalışır.

Çalışır, Orhan (2020): Erinnerung an Şahin Çalışır. Video.

Solingen ist bunt (2020): Erinnerung an den Tod von Şahin Çalışır.

Karavana (2020): In Gedenken an Şahin Çalışır.

Taz (1993): Tödliche Hetzjagd als schlichte „Verkehrssache“.

Informationen zur Kampfsportschule Hak Pao: Jelpke, Gysi (1993).


Editors: Tanja Thomas, Fabian Virchow and Tobias Fernholz
Co-conceptualization and production: grasshopper kreativ
Hosts: Tanja Thomas and Fabian Virchow
Sound logo: Martin Pfeilsticker and Pia Fruth

Cover photo: a photo by Şahin Çalışır courtesy of Orhan Çalışır. Collage: grasshopper kreativ.

The event review was produced by Master’s students from Eberhard Karls University Tübingen and Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences.

Credits event review

Soundbite: Orhan Çalışır
Speaker: Pia Fruth
Students: Stina Rieke, Johannes Wacha, Laura Embach, Madlen Bocklet, Alicia Schweizer, Annika Schmidt