German police have raided locations across the country, targeting a prominent neo-Nazi group
Firearms, as well as Neo-Nazi propaganda were seized in the raids, in 10 of Germany’s 16 states.
German police have acted out raids on locations nationwide linked to an anti-Semitic far-right movement called Reichsbürger (Citizens of the Reich).
The neo-Nazi group, “United German Peoples and Tribes”, is part of the larger Reichsbürger, whose members reject the German state as a legal entity.
The interior ministry said racism “even in times of crisis” would be combated.
spokesman Steve Alter was referring to the coronavirus pandemic in this statement, which has triggered the closure of schools, businesses and public events in Germany.
The Reichsbürger group is estimated to have around 19,000 members in the country. Those targeted are suspected of sharing propaganda and spreading racist threats.
It is the first time the interior minister has banned a group associated with the Reichsbürger movement.
Last month a gunman murdered nine people of foreign heritage in the western town of Hanau, the shooter was linked by the authorities to far-right conspiracy theories.
The murder in Hanau of nine people of foreign heritage, shocked German citizens and caused heated debates over the root causes of far-right xenophobic violence.
Politicians and voters from across the German political scene are suggesting that blame should be put on one party: the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).
AfD is Germany’s biggest opposition party, they have 89 seats in the 709-seat Bundestag. It also has MPs in each of the 16 regional parliaments.
A Reichsbürger member was sentenced to life in prison in October 2017 for killing a police officer during a raid on his home in Bavaria in 2016.
The raids on Thursday were the latest in a large-scale effort against far-right groups in Germany this year. German police have also put part of the far-right political party AfD under surveillance and banned another neo-Nazi group known as Combat 18.