Germany bans Hammerskins neo-Nazi group

Anti-neo-Nazi activists carry signs showing swastikas.

  • The primary aim of the group is to spread a racially fueled doctrine and Nazi based ideology.
  • During raids on the homes of some members police seized grenades and a copy of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”.
  • Germany’s interior ministry believes the banning will deal a tough blow against anti-Semitism.

Germany has banned a local chapter of the US-based Hammerskins neo-Nazi group known for its white supremacist rock concerts, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

Hammerskins Deutschland, a group of around 130 people, aimed to spread “a racial doctrine based on Nazi ideology,” the ministry said.

Some sub-chapters of the group and a spin-off known as Crew 28 were also banned.

Police raided the homes of 28 group members across several regions on Tuesday morning, the ministry said.

As well as cash, they seized weapons, including a grenade, three daggers, a crossbow, and a blank pistol.

They also found “considerable amounts” of right-wing extremist paraphernalia, including a copy of Adolf Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” and flags bearing swastikas.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said it was “a hard blow against organised right-wing extremism” that would send “a clear signal against racism and anti-Semitism.”

According to the ministry, the group played a “prominent” role in the right-wing extremist scene in Europe.

It became the 20th right-wing extremist group to be banned in Germany.

The group’s purpose was “to live out and consolidate their right-wing extremist ideology, especially through concerts,” the ministry said.

The US-based Hammerskins group was founded in 1988.

There were some 38 800 people in the right-wing extremist spectrum in Germany in 2022, according to a report presented by the BfV federal domestic intelligence agency in June – up from 33 900 in 2021.The number considered potentially violent also rose from 13 500 to 14 000.

Far-right extremism was “the biggest extremist threat to our democracy,” Faeser said.

In February 2020, a far-right extremist shot dead 10 people and wounded five others in the central German city of Hanau.

More recently, police in December swooped on a far-right group led by a self-styled prince who allegedly intended to overthrow the state and install a new government violently.

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