Neo-Nazi youth organisation banned

Neo-Nazi youth organisation banned
Photo: DPA
German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble banned neo-Nazi youth group the Heimattreue Deutsche Jugend (HDJ) on Tuesday as police staged early morning raids at member homes in several states.

Government officials notified the HDJ (“German youth loyal to the homeland”), which is registered in Kiel, that the right wing extremist group is now officially dissolved, media reports said. Meanwhile police entered the homes of members in the states of Lower Saxony, Berlin and Brandenburg to confiscate club funds.

According to the Interior Ministry, the group is in violation of a club law, which says groups that violate constitutional law or go against international understanding can be banned.

“We will do everything we can to protect our children and young people from these pied pipers,” Schäuble said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that the ban would put the “the disgusting activities of the HDJ to an end.”

Germany’s decision to combat right-wing extremism in this way applies “in particular to the case of the HDJ, where youth work was abused in an effort to transform children and young people into dedicated national socialists.”

Broadcaster MDR reported that the Interior Ministry based its decision off of evidence collected in October 2008 raids which proved the group to be actively combative and therefore illegal.

Confiscated items include educational materials for children that discuss “blood purity” and the “the threat to survival of the German people by Jews and foreigners,” in addition to items that glorify the country’s Nazi past.

Founded in 1990, the HDJ is believed to have several hundred members and has been considered one the most radical neo-Nazi groups in the country.

The group is known to have drilled several hundred children in Hitler Youth-style ideology at youth camps where tents have names like “the Führer bunker.”

Interior Ministry figures show that far right extremist crime increased by up to 30 percent last year.