How did Gary Kielhofner die

■ The self-proclaimed “leader of the movement” probably succumbed to an immunodeficiency yesterday

Berlin (taz) - Germany's most prominent right-wing extremist is dead: Michael Kühnen died yesterday in the city clinic of Kassel. Although the senior doctor, citing his duty of confidentiality, did not want to provide any information about the cause of death, the 35-year-old is likely to have died from AIDS. His open commitment to homosexuality had divided the militant neo-Nazi scene in recent years - rumors of an HIV infection were spread just as deliberately by his opponents as they were rejected as lies by his supporters.

Whether “Action Front National Socialists” (banned by the Federal Ministry of the Interior at the end of 1983), “NSDAP Organizational Organization Hamburg”, “Action New Rights” or “Freedom Workers Party”, Kühnen was always in the front row. The militant neo-Nazi (“I was, am and remain a National Socialist”), who preferred to appear in uniform, was also considered one of the most dangerous right-wing radicals in the Federal Republic among the protection of the constitution. In 1979 Kühnen, who had to quit his service at the Bundeswehr University in Hamburg in 1977 because of his activities in the NPD, was tried for the first time for inciting racial hatred and for glorifying violence. He was sentenced to four years in prison. Even a second conviction in 1985 for renewed neo-Nazi agitation did not prevent the self-proclaimed "leader of the movement" from organizing neo-Nazi circles - on the contrary, he became the idol of the neo-Nazi scene. For example, he took up the position of campaign manager for the “National Collection” in 1989 in Langen, Hesse, in order to turn the small town into the first “foreigner-free city in Germany”.

Until the dispute over his homosexuality, Kühnen was undisputedly number 1 among the militant right. With the opening of the wall, the ideologue, who dreamed of a ban on all opposition parties and "re-education camps" in the event of the "seizure of power", relocated his activities to the territory of the old GDR in order to "recruit new supporters for the movement".

For example, for the late writer and anarchist Erich Fried, the fascination emanating from Kühnen was based on his “subjective honesty”. Fried's offer from 1984 to testify in court in favor of Kühnens caused a heated argument among leftists. In spite of all political contradictions, Fried Kühnen credited that he was an "exemplary discussion partner" and that he was "far removed from any obstinacy and unteachability".

Two weeks ago, Kühnen was temporarily arrested in Thuringia. The Frankfurt public prosecutor's office accused him of driving a vehicle without the necessary compulsory insurance. After his transfer to the Kassel correctional facility, he was transferred to the municipal clinic because of his illness, and the warrant for his arrest was revoked. Wolfgang guest