German neo-Nazis are training for street battles on "D-Day", hoping to take power
Deutsche-Presse Agentur (DPA) says a new report by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), which in Germany fulfills the function of a counter-intelligence service, has found that more and more neo-Nazis in Germany are training for street combat against adversaries, and they are doing so for a specific purpose. The entire right-wing extremist scene is more frequently focusing on organizing events that will aid them with financing their community and connecting existing members to new recruits.
Competitions in martial arts organized by neo-Nazis are also being attended by Czechs, according to the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) newspaper. Henry Krentz, an expert on right-wing extremism with the Saxon state branch of the counter-intelligence service, told the Funke Mediengruppe papers on 11 March that a certain part of the scene is even preparing for what they are calling "D-Day", when they allege that state institutions will collapse and create the conditions under which they can seize state power.
The BfV is noticing "a trend in concrete preparations for street battles" and "growing military preparedness" among the neo-Nazis dedicated to martial arts. "We are observing an absolutely clear trend and warning that we must not underestimate this targeted training in committing violence," their report states.
Frank Nürnberger, director of the Braniburg branch of the BfV, told the press that: "We have known about these competitions in martial sports for many years, but as a counter-intelligence agency we are now registering growing preparedness by the right-wing extremist scene to train for the purpose of violent conflicts with their political rivals." In recent years, according to the BfV report, groups cultivating martial sports have been established in eastern Germany in particular.
Events at which political lectures are given in addition to martial arts demonstrations are customarily attended by hundreds of people there. An example of such a competition in martial sports is the Kampf der Nibelungen (Battle of the Nibelung) series. Organizers of that event say it is intended not just for those who "live through sport", but also for those who do not want to live beneath the "yoke" of the predominant mainstream.
Last October a Kampf der Nibelungen competition was held in Ostritz, a small town in Saxony on the border with Poland, and was attended both by convicted football hooligans and the authorities who monitor ultra-right well-wishers. Many participants in that event were also from the Czech Republic, France, Russia and Ukraine, the WAZ reports, while the BfV estimates that between 700 - 850 audience members and competitors assembled for that event.
According to the spokesperson for the BfV in North Rhine-Westphalia, competitions in martial arts increase the attractiveness of the extremist scene for football hooligans and right-wing rockers. What is being created is a kind of "world of experiences of right-wing extremism".
Robert Claus, a researcher in this area, agrees that martial sports, along with rock music and football hooliganism, are fruitful elements for a right-wing scene oriented primarily toward shared experiences. The events, according to him, could serve to bring people together, to raise money, and to recruit new members.
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