German police officers who joined neo-Nazi groups online are being disciplined and dismissed in one state
Authorities in one German state have discovered 29 participants in ultra-right chat groups who are also police officers. All have been dismissed from service and disciplinary proceedings have begun against them.
Herbert Reul, Interior Minister in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, informed the public of the developments. Five such groups using the WhatsApp communications application have been discovered there so far.
Of the police officers found to be involved, 25 were supervised by the Police Presidium in Essen. The vast majority had previously served in the town of Mülheim an der Ruhr.
The authorities performed raids against 14 police officers in 34 stations and in their private residences in Duisburg, Essen, Moers, Mülheim and Oberhausen, according to the Deutsche-Presse Agentur (DPA) wire service. Speaking yesterday, Reul said the discovery "discredits the police".
Those who were participating in the chats exchanged 126 image files including photographs of the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, the Nazi swastika, and a photoshopped image of a present-day refugee in a gas chamber. Reul has ordered an extraordinary inspection of the Police Presidium in Essen and entrusted a Special Commissioner with investigating right-wing extremist tendencies in the North Rhine-Westphalia police.
The Interior Minister said he assumes there are more participants in such right-wing extremist communications groups who are also police officers. So far the investigation was based on data from a single mobile telephone.
During the morning police raid on the suspects, other mobile telephones were confiscated. "We must ask ourselves some unpleasant questions," Reul said yesterday.
"Who knew about this? Why has this been tolerated for years, and by whom?" the politician asked.
Neo-Nazi ideology permeating the police ranks is something that representatives of the federal government have downplayed to date. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer rejected calls in July to investigate the extent of racist stances among police officers by saying it is not a "structural problem" in the country.
- German Sinti and Roma oppose Berlin tunnel construction that will disturb memorial to Sinti and Romani victims of the Nazi regime
- Germany reorganizes special military unit because some of its personnel are members of the ultra-right
- Czech car manufacturer Škoda distances itself from video by German ultra-right rapper
- Germany: Trial begins of right-wing extremist charged with murder of local politician
- The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma is deeply saddened by the death of Holocaust survivor and Roma civil rights activist Raymond Gurême
- Germany: AfD press spokesperson fired after claiming to be of "Aryan" origin and espousing fascism
- Germany: Halle terrorist charged with double murder and 68 counts of attempted murder
- Germany: Extremist group in the AfD party says it is dissolving
- Germany: Xenophobic party apologizes for racist coloring book after sharp criticism
- Another victim of the German terrorist attack, a young man from Romania, is also from the Roma minority
- German Interior Minister: Hanau terrorist attack motivated by racism, neo-Nazis have attacked three times in just a few months
- Young Romani woman was a victim of German shooting spree
- German shooting spree is being investigated as a terrorist attack
- Germany: Anti-migrant xenophobic gunman kills 11 in horrifying spree, he and his mother then found dead
- Germany: Head of the state of Thuringia resigns within 24 hours after extremist party plays kingmaker role
- German shop selling beer with neo-Nazi symbolism
- German academic institution to hold seminar on the influence of ethnic discrimination on Romani health
- Germany: Right-wing extremists "patrolling" in Berlin
- Ten years on from neo-Nazi arson conviction, Czech attorney warns it could happen again
- Romani musician in Czech Republic regrets believing COVID-19 was fake now that he's had it
- Czech riot police intervene against violent anti-COVID measure demonstrators
- Romani singer sends message about COVID-19 from a Czech hospital: You do not want to catch this
- Conspiracy theorists, disinformation followers and football hooligans to protest Czech Govt COVID-19 measures tomorrow in Prague
- Slovak media and NGOs welcome conviction of right-wing extremist
- Slovak politician gets 4 months and 4 years for establishing a movement to suppress human rights, he appeals
- Portugueuse police ordered to remove racist tattoos
- Czech Police investigate allegations of vote-buying in northern Bohemia
- Finland's Supreme Court dissolves Finnish branch of international neo-Nazi group
- Slovak Prosecutor says party head clearly used neo-Nazi symbolism so his followers would know his views
- Regional candidate for newest Czech party featured in music video by infamous establisher of neo-Nazi movement