BERLIN– The German government on Tuesday banned the neo-Nazi group Hammerskins Germany and raided the homes of dozens of its members. The group is an offshoot of an American extremist group and plays a leading role across Europe.
The Hammerskins Germany are an offshoot of the Hammerskins nation founded in the United States in 1988, according to the Ministry of the Interior.
He plays a leading role on the far-right scene in Europe. Throughout the world, members of this association refer to themselves as “brothers” practicing their subcultural way of life. The group also considers itself the elite of the far-right skinhead scene, according to the ministry.
“The ban on Hammerskins in Germany is a major blow against organized right-wing extremism,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said, adding that the ban also affected the association’s regional chapters and its sub-region. Crew 38 organization.
“With this ban, we are putting an end to the inhumane activities of an internationally active neo-Nazi association in Germany,” she added. “This sends a clear signal against racism and anti-Semitism. »
In Germany, the group has around 130 members. In early morning raids in 10 states, about 700 police searched the homes of 28 members of the group. It was not immediately clear whether any members had been arrested.
“Based on our findings so far, significant quantities of far-right devotional items have been seized in addition to cash,” the minister said.
Before the ban, the German federal and state governments cooperated intensively for more than a year, Faeser said, adding that “we also worked closely with our American partners.”
The central element of the group’s ideology is the propagation of a racial doctrine based on Nazi ideology. The aim of the Hammerskins Germany association is to consolidate its far-right worldview, particularly through concerts where it attempts to call on non-members to radicalize them, the ministry said.
“The far-right orientation of the international networking group is manifested in particular by the distribution of recordings of far-right and anti-Semitic music, the organization of far-right concerts and the sale of far-right merchandise. » It said.
The ban on Hammerskins Germany is the 20th ban on a far-right association by the German Interior Ministry.
“Right-wing extremism remains the greatest extremist threat to the basic democratic order in Germany,” Faeser told reporters in Berlin.