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Germany Outlaws Neo-Nazi Group With U.S. Origins and Conducts Nationwide Member Home Raids

Germany Outlaws Neo-Nazi Group With U.S. Origins and Conducts Nationwide Member Home Raids

German authorities have taken action to prohibit a neo-Nazi organization with ties to the United States, simultaneously launching raids on the residences of 28 members across the country. This move comes following an extensive investigation spanning over a year, conducted in collaboration with U.S. officials.

The banned group, known as “Hammerskins Deutschland,” is an offshoot of “Hammerskins Nation,” a U.S.-based neo-Nazi entity established in 1988, which regards itself as the vanguard of the extreme right-wing skinhead subculture. According to a statement from the interior ministry, Hammerskins Nation has approximately 130 members in Germany.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser stated, “With this ban, we are putting an end to the inhumane activities of a neo-Nazi group with international reach in Germany. We are sending a clear message against racism and antisemitism.”

This prohibition comes in the midst of a resurgence in far-right extremism in Germany and growing support for the nationalist, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which currently polls at 21-22%. This places the AfD in second position, trailing behind the center-right Conservatives (CDU/CSU) and ahead of all the parties in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left coalition.

The rise of far-right parties across Europe has raised concerns, but the AfD’s ascent is particularly sensitive in Germany due to the nation’s history with Nazism.

Faeser emphasized, “Far-right extremism remains the most significant extremist threat to our democracy.”

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Germany’s domestic intelligence agency had previously issued an unusual warning against a political party ahead of elections in several states, cautioning voters about the AfD.

According to the agency’s 2022 report, the number of individuals potentially involved in far-right activities in Germany increased by 14.5% to 38,800 in 2022, with the number of far-right activists prepared to employ violence rising from 13,500 to 14,000.

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