Neo-Nazi group seen stronger from ban

A trial against five members of banned German neo-Nazi group Sturm 34 begins in Wurzen on Thursday, but some far-right experts worry the ban has only made the group stronger.

The right-wing extremist scene in the German state of Saxony is growing because members feel martyred by the ban, which cultivates group lore, Ingo Stange from the Network for Democratic Culture (NDK) told news agency DDP.

Stange said the Sturm 34 has not changed its goals or structure since the ban. Leaders continue to network after only a short period of caution directly after the ban came into effect.

Despite the growing problem, some €80,000 in state funding for organizations that work against such groups has been reduced, Stange said, citing the regional outreach group AMAL, which ceased work in Saxony because of budget problems.