In Look Away (Grand Central, May), Kushner reports on a German white supremacist terrorist organization that targeted immigrants from 2001 to 2011.

Why didn’t German law enforcement stop these attacks for over a decade?

The police preferred to see this as a problem that isn’t German. They chose to see this as drug crime or immigrant crime because they just didn’t want to believe that Germans would do this. I saw this denial time and again with the police’s reaction—lying to the families of the murdered men; fabricating evidence; sometimes attempting to get the families to admit that they were in on the hit.

How did survivor narratives come to be so central to your book?

I reached out to all the families. Most of them never did speak to the press at all. Gamze Kubasik, the daughter of one of the murdered men, ended up agreeing to speak with me but she hesitated at first. She had been outspoken about her father’s murder even before the National Socialist Underground was discovered—after her father died, she was leading protests demanding justice, demanding answers—but what she was accustomed to doing were press conferences or short interviews. Whereas with me, she spent hours speaking about intimate memories of her father. It was emotional.

A striking moment was when I asked, “What did your father’s voice sound like?” And she said she didn’t remember; she was so upset. It’s incredibly traumatic to lose a loved one violently like this. But more importantly, what Gamze said to me and what others have said is that it was also incredibly traumatic to be re-victimized by the police and accused of having had a hand in their loved ones’ murders themselves.

Why did the trial go on for so long?

There were so many inquiries across Germany about the NSU. One year into the trial, in just one state, investigators estimated that they had gone through one million pages of documents. The sheer amount of information was massive. Especially because, as eventually became central to the public outcry, there were so many intelligence agencies who had far-right informants on the scene when these murders happened.

You also tell the story of antifascist activist Katharina König, who exposed the NSU network.

Katharina knew the terrorists when they were teenagers. But she also just knows so much about neo-Nazis. Talking to her, you’re astounded by all the details of far-right rallies, of attacks against immigrants, of something that happened just the other day. The lens she provides into this world is one that you don’t get just from the news; even an avid news consumer wouldn’t have a sense of how organized and how pervasive the far right is.