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Neo-Nazis infest tiny village of Jamel

The Local · 5 Apr 2011, 07:47

Published: 05 Apr 2011 07:47 GMT+02:00

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Until recently a sign at the entrance to the village said visitors had arrived at the “community of Jamel: free, social, national,” evoking the National Socialists or Nazis.

A wooden signpost pointed the way to Braunau am Inn, the Austrian birthplace of Adolf Hitler.

A campaign poster for the far-right NPD party is one of the first things visible in the hamlet of 10 or so tumbledown houses. Around six of these houses are home to neo-Nazis, said Birgit and Horst Lohmeyer, a couple fighting a high-profile campaign to tell the world about Jamel.

Visitors can instantly see which houses belong to far-right extremists, said Birgit, a 52-year-old author.

“They have all painted their houses the same colour: a sort of reddish-brown,” she said in her farmhouse kitchen.

The Lohmeyers moved here from Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city and main port, in 2004, hoping to swap urban life for their dream of a rustic farmhouse in an idyllic country setting.

But that dream turned swiftly to a nightmare as far-right extremists moved to the village.

“We knew that a famous and convicted far-right extremist, Sven Krüger, lived here with his mother and sister, but we moved here anyway. We were convinced we could deal with it,” said Birgit.

“Since then, the situation has gotten a lot worse. More of Krueger’s far-right buddies have moved into the village. They see the village as theirs and they treat it as such. The atmosphere is one of extreme hostility.”

The couple has heard reports of children greeting each other with Hitler salutes. They have themselves heard neo-Nazi songs ringing out into the street - “Adolf Hitler is our Führer.”

“We get big festivals here, far-right festivals where neo-Nazi songs are sung,” Birgit said.

The Krüger in question is a senior NPD member and owns a demolition firm in nearby Grevesmühlen whose company logo shows a man smashing what seems to be a Jewish Star of David.

“We’re the boys for the dirty work,” is the firm’s slogan.

Police recently raided the premises.

“Authorities found a machine gun and 200 rounds of ammunition. He is now in custody,” said Stefan Urbanek, a spokesman for prosecutors in nearby Schwerin, capital of the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Since that raid things have begun to change in Jamel. The “national” sign disappeared, the directions to Hitler’s birthplace were taken down.

“We don’t know if it was the authorities or Krüger’s men,” said Birgit.

Repeated efforts to contact Krüger were unsuccessful and an approach to one of the brown-red houses in the village was met with a volley of insults. Krüger’s Grevesmühlen office is protected by barbed wire, fierce guard dogs and a watchtower, complete with searchlight.

“It’s amazing, he’s created his very own concentration camp,” said Horst, shaking his head.

Back in Jamel, the Lohmeyers said they suffer from what they call a “constant, latent threat.” People hiss “piss off” over the fence. But they are uncowed and decided to fight back. Every year they hold a large music festival “for democracy,” attended by a few hundred people. Last year, far-right sympathisers infiltrated the concert and broke someone’s nose, they said.

They have received much unexpected recognition for their lonely stand. German President Christian Wulff has invited them to Berlin to tell him their plight and they won an award from the Jewish community for civil courage.

“With their extremely courageous stance in Jamel, they are not only giving a brave signal in the fight against far-right extremism, but also encouraging others ... not to give up,” said Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

Story continues below…

Still, the question remains. Why live in constant fear in such circumstances?

The answer is simple. The Lohmeyers see themselves as a bulwark against a creeping extremism they believe is becoming widespread in their part of eastern Germany.

“The problem in Jamel is actually not what we consider the biggest problem. The real problem is that the whole region is being overrun by far-right extremists ... Jamel is just a microcosm of the issue,” said Birgit. “They are slowly taking over small places like Jamel and infiltrating them with their ideology,” she said.

“It’s a definite strategy,” added her husband.

And despite the fear and the unpleasant atmosphere in the village, it has become a point of principle for the pair.

“Leave now? What sort of sign would that be for the right-wingers? Of course we’re not leaving,” said Birgit. “This fight continues.”


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:30 April 5, 2011 by auniquecorn
And the next headline will be Birgit and Horst Lohmeyer found hanged in garden.

Police have no leads.
08:50 April 5, 2011 by adipk
ya probably true. God protect them.
09:28 April 5, 2011 by chicagolive
I applaud there fight while also praying for their safety. The problem in German is not the neo-nazis its the fact that the government fights so hard to make it look back to be proud of being german unless of course it has something to do with a business contract or the world cup. Youth look for identity when the better side says don't worry about that then the bad side will fill that void.
09:37 April 5, 2011 by wenddiver
I would say the description is more of an Extremist's Compound intead of an actual Concentration Camp.

They sound like a complete pain in the a#%, hopefully the Nazis will stay in Jammel and not spread.
10:41 April 5, 2011 by catjones
Another example of problems with neighbors. Music too loud, stepping on grass, leaves falling on my property, Nasi next door.....Germans seem to have a real thing for boundaries (including countries).
13:58 April 5, 2011 by Reffke
Comment: This must be most likely a HOAX or otherwise a clever media campaign of the couple, that once came for sure to take advantage of the cheap east German countryside maimly the cottages - one car-hour from Berlin ;^ - but now can't make it with the local trailer boys or red, oh no wait, brown necks ^^ Well, as quite wealthy western newcomers in such a poor small community are so privileged and now locked by the fact, not to be able to sell the once so affordable cozy bargain in the middle of nowhere without a painful financial lost: speculation does not always pay off ;) Look: this region is getting poor to the bone, without any future but worse to come ;) Selling your once so cheap bargain for what one has paid and invested, will be a no go: this seems to me more like a attention campaign of the couple to adress frustration and personal mud as clever revenge: so sad! Let the media take a look to the other side or at least do a reality check ;) AFP has tooted this in monstrous dimensions: it's a small problem in a tiny community of the Mecklenburg countryside, don't blame the region like Pavlov's dog: woof woof ;) Just move, when you can't find it with the locals, it's sometimes that simple; stop stigmatizing eastern Germany, please! ;)
16:07 April 5, 2011 by whpmgr
Stigmatizing Eastern Germany? The place where so many people were actively and willingly part of the Stasi spy system? Please (another stereotype, I know).

Chicago live: What are you talking about? You are in a world of your own my friend...and Coherent English is not part of the language there....

OK, Reffke, maybe you are right. But if the locals do seem to be more Socialist (National Socialist) it isnt without a reason. Idiologically there is a small movement catching on across the world where people are tired of just giving money in taxes and losing their rights as individuals to the group think / mindset. If we are not careful, the scene is set for another rise in power of a potent leader to step up.
16:13 April 5, 2011 by MaKo
As no one has been murdered or is being forced to abide a specific ideaology, to refer to the neighborhood as having been "annexed" in the introduction to this article is somewhat coarse.
16:20 April 5, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:58 April 5, 2011 by freechoice
Methinks is very unhealthy to consistently lived in hate.

You ended up hurting your own soul!
18:01 April 5, 2011 by neunElf
Yes it is very unhealthy to live in hate, this is true, but it is very unwise to live in a world of denial!
18:30 April 5, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:02 April 5, 2011 by Ludinwolf
I am confused.

So the neo-nazi are protecting their country from an invasion or from 'deforming'

their white genes?... or gotta nothing better to do?
23:26 April 5, 2011 by Logic Guy
Well, the comments made by CHICAGOLIVE and WAY2COOL sum things up quite well. With Germany's violent past, the EU and other government agenices are forcing all native Europeans to abandon their identities and cultures. And as a result, the level of social instability increases and therefore the potential for a repeat of the 1930's and 40's becomes more likely.

All people should "TRULY" love(respect), themselves, their language, culture and nation. If every individual actually do this, then they wouldn't do anything to harm their identity or anyone else's.

Non-emotionalism is without a doubt the CORRECT answer.

It would allow all people of this world to achieve this. Perfection!
18:22 April 6, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Chill OUT, Germans! Geez. What do you want to do? Beat it out of them? Put them on a train, split them up? Maybe into a camp?

All this ridiculous fuss about some
12:31 April 7, 2011 by Sam Green
Oh no! People painting their houses reddish brown! My god! whatever next? Drinking Beer and singing songs? They must be Nazis then!
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