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Attempted Far-Right Coup Foiled by Police in Germany

Police raided the homes of 25 people suspected to be part of a far-right terror cell in Germany on last Wednesday. 

3000 police took part in the raid across 11 states in Germany, arrested members of a suspected far-right terror organisation, included serving military personnel. 

Two years ago, The Special Forces Command in Germany,  KSK, was dissolved due to infiltration by far-right activists.

The alleged leader of the group is Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss, a member of Germany’s old aristocracy. Heinrich held regular meetings with his supporters, plotting to storm the Reichstag and install a new government, authorities claimed.

German Justice Minister Marcos Buschmann commented: "The suspicion exists that an armed attack on constitutional organs was planned."

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Other suspects included Maximillian Eden, a former tank battalion commander who served in Kosovo, and former Alternative for Germany (AfD) MP Birgit Malsack-Winkemann.

The police found weapons in 50 of the 150 buildings they searched. Access to weapons and the military experience of some group members means this attempted coup was no trivial matter. 

Germans are all too familiar with far-right seizures of power. It is why many Germans view soldiers with suspicion and why the latter find themselves victims of abuse. Katja Hoyer, Anglo-German author and columnist wrote “Germany’s reluctance to embrace its military is understandable, given its history”. 

Adolf Hitler was jailed for leading the infamous Beer Hall Putsch, seeking to overthrow the Weimar government. Now, there are concerns that far-right politics is making a comeback.

The AfD, created in 2013, has found its largest base of  support in East Germany. After the fall of the Berlin wall, East Germany was hit with rapid deindustrialisation and falling living standards.

War in Ukraine and fallout from Covid-19 have created a perfect storm of downturn and inflation. Economists predicted Germany will enter into recession in 2023.

The Reichsburger group is another far-right organisation linked to Heinrich. They believe the German state is illegitimate and promotes anti-Semitic rhetoric in their media.

A woman linked by police to Reichsburger was arrested in October for plotting to kidnap the Health Minister, Karl Lauterbach. The suspect was motivated by a desire to create a civil war in Germany.

The German Interior Minister, Nancy Faeser, said "The investigations provide a glimpse into the abyss of a terrorist threat from the Reichsburger scene.".

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