Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Economy

“Wolfsbrigade 44”: Germany bans neo-Nazi group; Police raid 11 members’ homes, World News


Police found a crossbow, machete, knife and Nazi symbols in early morning raids on Tuesday after banning an extreme right-wing group called Sturmbrigade 44, which the government said wants a Nazi state.

Swastikas were one of the Nazi symbols that were discovered during searches of the apartments by eleven members of the group in the states of Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and North Rhine-Westphalia in the early hours of Tuesday, the Ministry of the Interior said in a statement.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Tuesday that the group, also known as “Wolfsbrigade 44”, “sows hatred” and is “committed to the restoration of a Nazi state”.

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“Those who fight against the basic values ​​of our free society will feel the determined reaction of the rule of law,” said the minister in a statement.

Early Tuesday, nearly 200 police officers in several regional states began searching premises associated with 11 suspected members of the group.

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The police found weapons, including knives and crossbows, as well as propaganda items such as swastikas and Nazi flags, the Interior Ministry said.

The members had “openly declared their support for Adolf Hitler”.

In July last year, public prosecutors searched the homes of members of the group founded in 2016 in several federal states.

Six were suspected of having formed an armed group within the organization, the authorities said at the time.

The news comes amid the ongoing heightened tensions surrounding right-wing extremism in Germany.

Last month, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office charged 12 suspected right-wing extremist conspirators with suspected “terrorist attacks” on politicians, asylum seekers and Muslims.

In February, a right-wing extremist killed ten people and injured five others in the central German city of Hanau.

And last year, two people were killed after a neo-Nazi tried to break into a synagogue in Halle on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

The Interior Ministry said far-right and anti-Semitic hate crimes increased in the country in 2019.

At the beginning of the year Seehofer had already banned three other right-wing extremist groups, “Combat 18”, “Nordadler” and the “Reichsbürger-Vereinigung”.