By David Sole
Police across Germany carried out raids against Nazis who reportedly were planning an armed overthrow of the government of that nation. Twenty-five ultra-rightists were arrested as 3,000 police officers searched 130 locations in 11 different German states. Weapons were found in about 50 of these sites according to Holger Muench, chief of the Federal Criminal Police of Germany.
One of the sites raided was a barracks of German Special Forces in the town of Calw which had previously been linked to Nazi activities. Coordinated raids were also carried out in Austria and Italy with two people in custody.
German prosecutors accused the group, Reich Citizens, of planning terrorist attacks including the overthrow of the German Constitution and armed attack on the national parliament. They are alleged to adhere to many of the same conspiracy theories held by Donald Trump’s supporters in the U.S. and the bizarre rantings of QAnon.
These developments are alarming in view of Germany’s past where Nazis held power from 1933 to 1945 unleashing the slaughter of ten million Jewish people, Romani people, disabled people, trade unionists , socialists and communists during the Second World War.
Modern day Germany is seeing a resurgence of right-wing and ultra-right wing groups and ideology as is the United States and much of Europe. The driving force behind much of this movement is the inability of capitalism to provide stability and security for a large part of the population. The capitalist ruling classes, as they always have, aim to divert attention away from their own guilt and responsibility onto oppressed and other vulnerable people.
The influx of many immigrants into European nations and the U.S. has become a favorite target of the right wing. The large-scale migrations from the Middle East and Africa are caused precisely by the economic and military actions of the imperialist powers. But it is easier for some people to blame the victims and foment lynch mob hysteria against them rather than to target their own ruling class. Another issue of the German right are the restrictions that have been imposed to stem the COVID-19 pandemic.
Plans of the coup are not fully known but “Prosecutors said the group had intended to make Malsack-Winkemann [a former member of parliament] justice minister after their coup, while the new government would be headed by Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss. The 71-year-old member of the House of Reuss, who continues to use the title of ‘prince’ despite Germany abolishing any formal role for royalty more than a century ago, was identified as one of the ringleaders of the plot, officials said.”
Another bizarre accusation has been that the plotters were working with the Russian government. But Olaf Sundermeyer, a reporter in Germany who follows extremist groups, told The Columbian: “I don’t see any evidence of structural, systematic cooperation between these groups and Russian authorities”.
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