On Tuesday, the German Government banned Hammerskins Germany, a neo-Nazi group of approximately 130 members. The homes of 28 members were raided by around 700 police officers.
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser outlined that the right-wing extremist Hammerskins Nation was founded in Texas, United States in 1988 amongst the growth of white supremacist, nationalist, and neo-Nazi movements. Hammerskins Germany derived from Hammerskins Nation as a subcultural group active in Europe, and they view themselves as the elite few of society.
On the ban of this group, Faeser said, “With this ban, we are putting an end to the inhumane activities of an internationally active neo-Nazi association in Germany.” By doing this, Germany has sent an intolerant, “clear signal against racism and anti-Semitism”.
Right-wing extremism is typically associated with racism, xenophobia, authoritarianism, nationalism, and conspiracy, and this ban is now the 20th on such groups by the German Interior Ministry. “The ban of the Hammerskins Germany is a hard blow against organised right-wing extremism.”
Ahead of the ban, German authorities have been working with the United States. Germany's domestic intelligence agency estimates there are 38,800 people in the country's right-wing extremist scene, with more than a third of them considered "potentially violent".
About Hammerskins Germany
Hammerskins Germany actively attempted to consolidate their theories and practices into the world by gaining members, particularly through the platform of supremacist rock concerts and neo-Nazi music labels.
The ministry said: “The right-wing extremist orientation of the internationally networking group manifests itself in particular through the distribution of recordings of right-wing extremist and anti-Semitic music, the organisation of right-wing extremist concerts, and the sale of right-wing extremist merchandise.”
Another way in which the group have tried to attract attention is through their Fight of the Nibelungs event. This is a martial art even for far-right individuals and has been banned since 2019 according to The German Domestic Intelligence Agency. Despite the legal bans against their symbols, events, and associated groups, the ministry is aware of their continued illegal activity held in secret.
The country has a law which prohibits organised activity in opposition to the German constitution, therefore the ban also applies to Crew 38. They are a sub-group whose theory is also based on Nazi ideology and are highly integrated with Hammerskins Germany.
German authorities have dealt with several severe crimes of far-right extremism, which has pressed them for this ban. For example, in 2020, an organisation shot 10 people and wounded five others in Hanau, Germany.
The Hammerskin Press, their official publication platform once stated: “Our enemies are seeing a movement far more advanced than the movement of 10 years ago. Camouflaged in society and rooted deep into the system, we're no longer an easy target, but a revolutionary force.” However, the raid and ban on Tuesday have outlawed this society, destabilising and severely hindering their plans.
Edited by: Anwen Venn
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