Documentary - Completed 2019

The National Socialist Underground murders in the early 2000s left scars. Not only among the relatives of the victims, but also in the migrant communities and the entire German society.
TRACES follows these scars and poses the question of whether such injuries can ever heal completely.

& Awards

CPH:DOX 2020
    • Year of production
    • 2019
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Duration
    • 81 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Aysun BADEMSOY
    • Producer(s)
    • Heino DECKERT
    • Synopsis
    • When news got out that the NSU (National Socialist Underground) had murdered eight people of Turkish descent, it was considered a tragedy not only for the Turkish families of those killed, but also for the entire generation of Turkish migrants in Germany, to which I belong, in other words, to those who had made Germany their home. Not like our parents who still today dream about the home country they once left and to which someday they want to return.
      We were Germans and had faith in Germany. This hard-won trust was torn after the NSU murders became public.
      This is because the hatred that guided the NSU triad when choosing their victims was directed specifically at us: the second and third generation of German Turks – a generation that had counted on the German State not tolerating racism and protecting them from it.
      Instead, the institutions failed: The murder investigations as such were guided by mistrust, resentment and racist motives. The NSU murders are more than simple instances of human destiny. For second and third generation Turks, they constitute a dramatic turning point in their relationship to Germany and their longing for a homeland, such as Germany maybe once was.
      These wounds we suffered – will they or can they ever heal? And how do you regain trust once it has been so deeply violated?
      A film not on the killings committed by the NSU terrorist group or the failed criminal investigation, but on what both of these things did to the victims’ families, migrant communities and German society as a whole.
      “Traces” are not just evidence left behind by criminals at the scene of the crime. They are also the resulting wounds and scars that these actions have inflicted on people and their communities. My film will therefore go on a quest to search for traces left behind by the NSU killings. And it will ask the question whether there is a process – and what kind of process – to heal these injuries inflicted on our German society.