On the 6 April 2022, the police raided 61 properties and issued arrests “on suspicion of right-wing extremist offenses” against 49 people. The searches took place in 11 federal states by 800 police officers. The measures were directed against ten members of the “Atomwaffen Division Deutschland” (AWD), five members of the German AWWD spin-off “Sonderkommando 1418” (SKD 1418), 21 members of “Combat 18 Deutschland” and 14 members of “Knockout 51”, a neo-Nazi martial arts group in Eisenach. (German: https://www.presseportal.de/blaulicht/pm/amp/14981/5189967, German: https://autonome-antifa.org/?breve8267, English: https://www.vice.com/en/article/qjb5wp/germany-police-neo-nazi-raid)
On the 13 April 2022, 21 house raids and arrests were made in Germany against 12 people from right-wing chat groups called “Vereinte Patrioten” and “Aktive Veteranen und Patrioten”, which had 70 members. Four were taken into custody. According to the indictment, the group planned to cause a blackout, kidnap the Health Minister Karl Lauterbach and carry out a coup d’état. For this, they intended to buy weapons, mines, and protective equipment for several tens of thousands of Euros. All those involved belonged to the scene of pandemic deniers and “Reichsbürger”, the latter invoke the continued existence of the German Reich and don´t recognise the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany and its institutions.
Thomas O. from Neustadt an der Weinstraße and Sven B.(54) from Falkensee near Berlin, the two alleged leaders were members of the GDR army “Nationale Volksarmee”, one of them as an officer. Thomas O. was arrested at a fake gun shop while trying to buy two Kalashnikovs and five pistols, as well as ammunition.
A Kalashnikov assault rifle and an SS uniform were found on Sven B.. Apparently, there had already been spying actions before. Sven B. posted a photo in front of the letterbox of Ursula Nonnemnacher, a minister in Brandenburg, in January 2021. Sven B. had participated several times in marches aiming at overthrow but had hardly attended. (German: https://beta.t-online.de/nachrichten/panorama/kriminalitaet/id_92048794/-vereinte-patrioten-das-staatsstreichkommando-von-der-nva.html, German: http://www.fr.de/politik/querdenker-karl-lauterbach-entfuehrung-polizei-ermittlungen-gesundheitsminister-news-zr-91479623.html, German: https://www.tagesschau.de/investigativ/report-mainz/razzien-vereinte-patrioten-101.html) There was a first meeting on 11 December 2021 near Bendorf in Rheinland-Pfalz, which was organised by Thomas O.. A second meeting took place on 15 January 2022 in Nottertal- Heilinger Höhen (Thüringen) and a third on 19 March 2022 in a barbecue hut near Queienfeld (Thüringen). (German: https://www.belltower.news/vereinte-patrioten-vom-protest-zum-terror-die-radikalisierung-von-thomas-o-130453/)
The authorities stated in April 2022 that the extreme right-wing movement of the “Reichsbürger” in Germany has grown to an estimated 21,000 people.
The German Extreme Right in the Russia-Ukraine War
AfD members also continued to spread Russian fake news in reports about the massacre in Butscha from 3 April 2022, in some cases directly questioning Russian perpetration. Examples include Maximilian Krah (AfD MEP), Karsten Hilse (AfD MP), Johannes Normann (AfD Bavaria), Hans-Thomas Tillschneider (AfD Saxony-Anhalt) and Gunnar Lindemann (AfD Senator Berlin). (German: https://taz.de/Nach-Massaker-in-Butscha/!5847874/, German: https://www.endstation-rechts.de/news/afd-politiker-als-treue-stimme-russlands)
Extreme right-wing German-language media conducted interviews with extreme right-wingers fighting in Ukraine: For example, the Austrian right-wing “Tagesstimmel” published an interview with Azov commander Serhiy Tamarin in Mariupol on 2 April 2022. Tamarin tries to portray Azov as normal: “The Azov regiment is a highly motivated, professional part of the Ukrainian army, nothing more.” (German: https://www.tagesstimme.com/2022/04/02/azov-kommandant-im-interview-der-angriff-hat-unser-land-geeint)
On 2 April 2022, the congress of the “Iliade Institute” took place in Paris. Volker Zierke, Holger Birke and Benedikt Kaiser took part in it. All three are representatives of the radical ‘New Right’ in Germany.
On 23 April 2022, the “2nd European Local Politics Forum” was held at the “Kultur+Kongress Zentrum Rosenheim KU’KO” in Rosenheim, Bavaria, with 150 participants. The event was organised by the AfD. Announced participants were Paolo Borchia (Lega), Virginie Jorona (Rassemblement National), Tom Vandendriessche (Vlaams Belang), Jaak Madison (Eesti Konservatiivne Rahvaerakond), Maximilian Krauss (FPÖ, RFJ), Harald Vilimsky (FPÖ), Johannes Hübner (FPÖ), Dominic Maier (FPÖ), L’udovit Guga (Sme rodina), Filip Brusselmans (Vlaams Belang), Steffen Beckmann (AfD), Collin McMahon (GETTR), Erika Steinbach (AfD), Andreas Winhart (AfD) and Markus Buchheit (AfD).
From 20 to 27 April 2022, AfD MEP Maximilian Krah and several members of the “Junge Alternative” (including Severin Köhler and Vadim Derksen) travelled to the USA. In New York, a friendship agreement was concluded between the “Junge Alternative” and the “New York Young Republicans” and in Washington, the AfD/JA members met with Steve Bannon.
On 30 April 2022, a congress of the European alliance “Fortress Europe” took place in Dortmund under the motto “Europe awake!”. In Germany, the neo-Nazi party “Die Rechte” belongs to this alliance. Speakers were from the “Bulgarian National Alliance”, the “National Action Front” (Switzerland), the “Legio Hungaria” (Hungary), the “Parti Nationaliste Français” (PNF), the National Resistance (Netherlands) and the group “Nationalists” (Czech Republic) were involved.