German police raid neo-Nazi Reichsbürger motion nationwide

German police raid on neo-Nazis, file pic (23 Jan 20)Image copyright AFP
Image caption German police have stepped up raids on neo-Nazi teams

German police have raided premises nationwide linked to a banned anti-Semitic far-right motion known as Reichsbürger (Citizens of the Reich).

Neo-Nazi propaganda and firearms had been seized within the raids, in 10 of Germany’s 16 states.

The focused group, “United German Peoples and Tribes”, is a part of Reichsbürger, whose members reject the German state as a authorized entity.

The inside ministry mentioned racism “even in times of crisis” can be combated.

The assertion from ministry spokesman Steve Alter was a reference to the coronavirus pandemic, which has triggered the closure of German faculties, companies and public occasions.

The Reichsbürger motion is estimated to have 19,000 members in Germany. Those focused are suspected of spreading racist threats and propaganda.

Last month a gunman linked by the authorities to far-right conspiracy theories murdered 9 individuals of international heritage within the western city of Hanau.

In October 2017 a Reichsbürger member was sentenced to life imprisonment in Bavaria for killing a policeman throughout a raid on his dwelling in 2016.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption A pretend German passport bears the label “German Reich” (2016 pic)

Thursday’s raids had been the newest massive transfer in opposition to far-right teams this 12 months. The authorities have additionally put part of the far-right political party Alternative for Germany (AfD) under systematic surveillance and banned the neo-Nazi group Combat 18.

Reichsbürger members don’t recognise the post-war German federal republic, seeing it merely as some form of non-public firm. They imagine within the continued existence of a German empire, or Reich, relationship again to 1937 and even earlier. They are Holocaust deniers who espouse racist conspiracy theories.

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