“We don’t know how it got to him,” said Claudia Lange, a prosecutor.
Three other officers are being investigated on suspicion of helping Gross. Questioned during the trial, Gross said he did not remember how he got the ammunition. When I met him, he kept that line.
But otherwise, he was not shy about sharing his views.
Chancellor Angela Merkel belongs “on the dock,” he said. The multicultural cities in western Germany are “the caliphate”. The best way to escape the impending migration was to move to the interior of East Germany, “where people are still called Schmidt, Schneider and Müller”.
A copy of Compact, a major far-right magazine with President Trump’s face on the cover, was on a shelf. A selection of the president’s speeches had been translated into German in the edition. “I like Trump,” said Gross.
As early as 2009, some policemen expressed concern about Gross’s far-right views, noting that he brought books about the Nazis to work. But no one intervened, and he was prepared for the promotion.
“There is no danger from the extreme right,” he insisted. “I don’t know a single neo-Nazi.”
Soldiers and police are “frustrated,” he told me the third time we met, reporting complaints about migrants, crimes and the mainstream media. He compares coronavirus coverage to the state broadcaster censored during communism. Instead, he says he has a subscription to YouTube on RT, the Russian state channel and other alternative media.
In this parallel universe of disinformation, he discovers that the government is secretly flying refugees after midnight. This coronavirus is a ploy to deprive citizens of their rights. That Merkel works for what he calls a “deep state”.
“The deep state is global,” said Gross. “It’s big capital, big banks, Bill Gates.”
He still waits for day X, sooner or later. Riots linked to an economic collapse. Or a blackout, because the German government is closing coal plants.