Hundreds of convicted German neo-Nazis evading custody, some may be in the Czech Republic
The German newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung has reported that the German Government, in response to a query from the opposition party Die Linke (The Left), has publicized the fact that arrest warrants remain open for 467 right-wing extremists whose whereabouts are unknown and who are still being sought by law enforcement. The number of extremists wanted for arrest was approximately the same throughout all of 2018 and has even declined compared to last year, although it is almost twice what it was four years ago.
In December 2017 German police were still looking for 501 radical right-wingers who had committed felonies, while in the year 2014 the number of such felons at large was just 253. It can be assumed that the growth in criminal activity on the German neo-Nazi scene is associated with the migration wave Germany has faced in recent years.
Of the 467 felons at large, 108 are sought in connection with politically-motivated crimes. Violent crimes were committed by 99 of the felons at large.
According to Government data, 32 right-wing extremist felons are most probably in neighboring countries, primarily Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland. German MP Ulla Jelpke (Die Linke) has criticized the German security forces and is demanding a firm approach, saying: "The security forces should finally get creative so they can manage to apprehend these neo-Nazis who are on the run."
The Czech press, in association with this phenomenon, is reporting on what is apparently the most famous case of neo-Nazis in Germany managing to hide from the authorities. Members of the National Socialist Underground (NSU) group went into hiding in Germany at the end of the 1990s.
From 2000 to 2007, members Uwe Böhnhardt, Uwe Mundlos and Beate Zschäpe committed 10 murders, most of them racially motivated, and other felonies including armed robbery. The NSU men eventually committed suicide, while Zschäpe was recently sentenced to life in prison.
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