Germany: 811 weapons confiscated from right-wing extremists since 2009
The German daily Bild has reported today that, according to the Federal Criminal Investigation Bureau, the German authorities have confiscated 811 weapons from right-wing extremists during the last two years. The information was reported in relation to the ongoing investigation of an ultra-right terrorist cell and the arrest of a man who until not long ago was a functionary in the neo-Nazi NPD party. In the Czech Republic, the Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti -DSSS) closely collaborates with the NPD.
Ulla Jelpke, spokesperson for the Left Party's club of deputies in the Federal Assembly, told the daily Berliner Zeitung that the number of weapons confiscated from neo-Nazis is rising. In her view, this means right-wing extremists are arming en masse. The Federal Criminal Investigation Bureau has published the data at a time when an extensive conspiracy among neo-Nazis associated with the National Socialist Underground (NSU) has recently come to light.
Since the year 2000, the NSU is reportedly to blame for taking the lives of eight Turkish immigrants, one Greek man, and a 22-year-old policewoman. The group is also suspected of being behind two bomb attacks and 14 bank robberies throughout Germany. The government has endured a flood of criticism over the case. Some charge that the authorities have turned their backs on the threat of right-wing extremism despite the country's Nazi past. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised to intensify the fight against right-wing extremism in the country.
The most recent result of police investigations into the case has been the arrest of a former functionary in the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), Ralf Wohlleben. The German State Prosecutor announced that the 36-year-old Wohlleben is suspected of having assisted the NSU with committing some of the 10 murders ascribed to them. German media report that Wohlleben is a well-known figure in neo-Nazi circles.
In the Czech Republic, the DSSS has concluded a manifesto on cooperation with the NPD. The parties want to jointly focus on promoting measures against immigration and on cross-border cooperation at municipal level.
NPD chair Udo Voigt was invited to the Czech Republic this year by the DSSS. Four years ago, he publicly doubted the extent of the number of Jewish people murdered during the Second World War and demanded the return of territory lost by Germany after 1945. NPD members and persons sympathizing with the party have been tried several times by German courts over their revisionist speeches and statements bordering on Holocaust denial.
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