• Germany's news in English

Violent neo-Nazis on the march

The Local · 18 Apr 2011, 08:00

Published: 18 Apr 2011 08:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Heinz Fromm, head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), or Verfassungsschutz, told the daily Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung that the number of right-wing extremists had risen during 2010, continuing a steady rise over the past decade.

“The violent neo-Nazi scene has become stronger," he said. "It has grown again in 2010, by 600 to 5,600 people.”

In the year 2000, there were only about 2,200 such neo-Nazis.

“The free nationalists, who repeatedly make their presence felt through violence during demonstrations, show similar trends,” Fromm said. “Among this group, a rise in the past year from 800 to 1,000 people was observed.”

This is despite the fact that the overall number of neo-Nazis in Germany is falling, according the intelligence agency. The figure fell by 1,600 to 25,000, Fromm said.

The main far-right party, the National Democratic Party, is continuing to lose members.

“The party had 6,600 members by the end of 2010. That was 300 fewer than in the year before and 600 fewer that the high-point for the NPD in 2007.”

Story continues below…

Experts have said in the past that as organized far-groups like the NPD fragment and lose influence, more violent and unpredictable splinter groups are likely to arise.

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

08:30 April 18, 2011 by trash head
These sausages.


Jawohl !
08:31 April 18, 2011 by storymann
No doubt. The elections recently in Finland,Denmark ,Sweden and other European countries show a major shift to the right.Issues like European bailouts, and immigration are helping to fuel this movement.
09:05 April 18, 2011 by lwexcel
Movement towards what? Usually a movement requires planning, and some type of a serious goal at the end. What is the goal of the Neo Nazi movement? What can they achieve that will make them say "we have succeeded." I have never been able to get a straight answer out of anyone.
09:31 April 18, 2011 by 9900lawre
How can you be taken seriously when your head looks like a shaved ball bag or an army recruit with no privilages? Maybe thats the point, they have no privilages and it's a way of showing it.

Drop the violence and carry some good old christian values fellas! Nobody likes loud mouth bullies.
11:41 April 18, 2011 by fatherknowsbest
Unless the center comes to its senses and co-opts the right in europe on the dangerous immigration issue it will continue to loose support. The political bet by those in power is that they can continue to hold off growing support for the right while the mainstream parties go about their business continuing to keep the immigration floodgates open. It will be interesting to see if Angela and the mainstream can win that bet.
11:58 April 18, 2011 by bartschaff
@ lwexcel: Unfortunatey they do have goals, surprising you've never got an straight answer. A good example of what they would call a sucess is to get laws enacted, against gays or jews or non-whites or immigrants or...
13:04 April 18, 2011 by Dashcroft
According to the federal intel agency Verfassungsschutz, there are some 11,000 active, potentially violent neo-Nazis in Germany. That's 11,000 out of 82 million, or 0.013 percent of the country's population. Neo-Nazis are a fringe phenomenon in this country, people need to get a grip. The general shift to liberal and right-wing politics may also have something to do with the left not having anything to offer but stale ideological phrases.
13:31 April 18, 2011 by moistvelvet
You say it's only 0.013 percent, but I suspect that not everyone who is sympathetic to their views are so visible to the BfV. I'm sure we all know a German person or two who make comments to suspect they prefer wearing a brown shirt.

If these groups grow larger then it will be more acceptable for the hidden sympathisers to come out and support their cause.
14:05 April 18, 2011 by Dashcroft
"I'm sure we all know a German person or two who make comments to suspect they prefer wearing a brown shirt."

That's a pretty vague statement. Is someone who thinks or, God forbid, says out loud that Germany has let in too many unproductive foreigners with medieval moral views from, say, Turkey or the Balkans automatically a Nazi sympathizer? Or does it make you one if you think that it isn't entirely wrong to ask people on welfare to do some communal work in exchange for the money they are handed out? (I know it isn't much, but still.) Is someone who doesn't want their children to go to the same school as the unruly, lamentably illiterate children of certain migrant groups a Nazi sympathizer?

I simply don't agree with the view that neo-Nazism in Germany is some kind of festering boil that's only waiting to burst open. No one in their right mind - not even the far-right within the CDU and CSU - would want to be seen dead with these buffoons. But pointing fingers at people who are fed up with certain developments and calling them names doesn't help either.
14:15 April 18, 2011 by Ludinwolf
Immigration out of control?Or integration that has failed?Government incapable of giving a proper report of what is really going to be europe with these amount of immigrants? There are so much making ppl to shift their views.

We in general, human beings are scary beings, as we feel that our territory is under threat, we start to move towards what make us feeling secure again.

Army isnt mandatory anymore. Lots of young ppl have flat to live along their similar minded ones... parents have no clue ( neither seem to care ) what is going on in their minds.... let s say, they create their own army. Why the government couldnt keep the army program and in the same time, not having to send them to war? It costs money?: well it costs much more money to have to deal with this sort of ppl. . . although, we can still say that there are some other extremists on the other political parties... is true.... but the difference is the level of violence. anyway, i just dont see where these neo nazies want to go, what s the objective? in short term, it seems that they are ready for doing something good.. shame it s not made to the world itself, but only for their own little beliefs.

God bless all of us!
15:01 April 18, 2011 by trash head
> ask people on welfare to do some communal work in exchange for the money they are handed out?

> someone who doesn't want their children to go to the same school as the unruly, lamentably illiterate children


Du scheinst diese herrliche Satire nicht verstanden zu haben. Schade...
15:14 April 18, 2011 by whpmgr
11,000 aren't veyr significant? Unless maybe they all or many of them come to your small town and take advantage of the fewer polizei. Or, if you are the brunt of their antics and you wind up having to fight for your life, and there isn't a member of a motorcycle gang there to protect you.

The number is significant. If the polizei do not have a total grasp on what is going on in their country, and they know there are 11,000, then I promis you there are another 30,000 out there in various forms (training, starting to dig the scene, un-known, or just on the fring about to make the step over the line. Then you take the number of folk that agree witht hem but are smart enough not to be amoung the tallied numbers. Then you take the few that will convert once a movement shows soem sort of correlation with their own personal morals and opinions, you will ahve 100,000 if there were a total break down of society and these people were allowed enough time to mobilize. OK, 100,000 out of 82,000,000, not much right? except that 300 spartans held up a huge Persian Army for soem time, right?

Planning is important, and there will be soemone to use these thugs just as Hitler used the brown shirts until he had his organization ready adn had his night of the long knives. ONce teh consolidation of the power has been made, it is then a bit harder to push back. Germans needs guns, bullets, and the right to defend themselves and their neighbors who refuse to protect themselves, hoping the Polizei will come to their rescue.

I totally respect the polizei, but there arent enough of them and they are constrained so that they are often ineffective. It is a difficult balance to hold onto, but you need armed citenry to protect the country. Even the Swiss got that.
15:17 April 18, 2011 by Dashcroft
@trash head: I didn't read it; my comment was in response to bartschaff and moistvelvet. (And yes, I do get satire.)
16:08 April 18, 2011 by trash head
> except that 300 spartans held up a huge Persian Army for soem time, right?

Thats a mythos. The Persian war was fought on the water. It was one of the biggest sea battles in the antique history. After Athena lost its army, spartha was remaining to defeat the rest of the persian forces. And yeah, the glory winner where the makedonians, they fall over the greeks after the persian war.

You should look less entertainment movies and read some history books or articles.

> Planning is important, and there will be soemone to use these thugs just as Hitler used the brown shirts until he had his organization ready adn had his night of the long knives.

The Brown 'shirts' were remaining uniforms from the war in northern africa of the Reichswehr. the armed Nazi Troups this times, where old soldiers organized in the unit 'Der Stahlhelm' and supported by the german army.

I didnt knew that this meat heads have any support of the german army and leading economists. This is more the style of the CDU.

This 'Neo Nazis' are organized like a cant of Sauerkraut.

> Germans needs guns, bullets, and the right to defend themselves and their neighbors who refuse to protect themselves, hoping the Polizei will come to their rescue.

We dont need that. Also, if they have the right to have that, these Neo Nazis have that too. A stalemate and so .. bullsh!t
18:23 April 18, 2011 by fatherknowsbest
No matter how you slice it the right is going to become more active as the problems they are most concerned about remain unsolved.
18:32 April 18, 2011 by tallady
I agree with the statement that this group is not a festering boil ready to pop. It is however a growing cancer and there is a movement to the right.

I hear people making more negative remarks about certain foreign groups now than i have heard in the last 10 years here.

It is not just Germany it is Europe and North America.

The State of Georgia in the USA just passed one of the strongest anti immigration bills in the US and the trend is spreading.

Finlands election is another good example and as said should be considered a wake up call.

If you only see this as a near null .013 take in consideration the publicity these ultra right wingers are getting for such a small number.
19:33 April 18, 2011 by bramblebush
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:18 April 18, 2011 by dizzyblondefrau
Liberalism is a mental disorder!
21:01 April 18, 2011 by LecteurX
When people start finding excuses for the Nazi hydra to grow new heads, then I guess the end is nigh
21:22 April 18, 2011 by Dashcroft
LecteurX: It's not trying to find excuses for Nazis (there is none); it's insisting on having a proper debate and actually addressing the obvious, urgent issues Europe and the rest of the Western world have been avoiding to deal with in the past, due to some misguided belief in the power of intercultural tolerance and political correctness.
23:45 April 18, 2011 by wxman
25,000 skinheads? What about the millions of Islamo-nazis running all over Germany? Organize your priorities, people.
00:06 April 19, 2011 by fatherknowsbest
well said wxman.
00:39 April 19, 2011 by T Gonzaga
These hordes of pseudo-Fascist malcontents will continue to expand in numbers, as long as we fail to encourage assimilation and integration by immigrants. A sizable segment of the immigrant population exhibits similar undemocratic tendencies (which we tolerate in the name of cultural diversity) along with disdain for German culture and language. This permissive national posture ultimately feeds the xenophobia of the Fascist fringe. If we don't do something soon, democracy will be caught in a pincer between two authoritarian camps: Nazis on one end and Muslim/theocratic fanatics on the other.
08:03 April 19, 2011 by dinerouk
It is an old saying: George Santayana, who, in his Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1, wrote: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
08:13 April 19, 2011 by Zobirdie
I would say general disenfranchisement with the system is why these people are on the rise... not that it is an excuse... But there is a semi legitimate reason why these people feel they have no other voice. I just wish they could find a different voice.

But articles like this are purely inflammatory. Just how many violent antifa are there? FAR FAR more than there are Nazis. Having had a disquieting run in with the antifa, I can tell you who I am afraid of. How many times do we read about how 500 neonazis showed up at their legal protest, and 10000 antifa showed up and started burning cars?

I think that the press needs to be equal handed when it comes to BOTH violent ends of the spectrum. Random/planned violence should be condemned, be it by the right OR the left.
10:56 April 19, 2011 by wenddiver
I think by the security services giving these young men records they are making it hard for them to get out of the lifestyle. All youth enjoy violence and excitement if they are honest. Who at 19 did not think most of the world's problems could be solved by sticking certain people's heads in a toilet, kicking them and flushing. What you need is a leader like Ronald Reagan (encouraged America's youth to go in the military and stop Communism) to refocus this youthful energy into becoming Policemen, Prison Guards, Soldiers, Union Organizers, Pastors, Martial Arts Instructors, etc, so that they can make a useful contribution to Society. After all it is their country, why should they not be allowed to participate?? Stop worrying about the rest of the world and embrace your own kids. At least they care enough about the Country to want to do something, OK they got off to a negative start, but showing an interest in helping the Country should count for something.

We may need their help dealing with the Radical Islamists eventually, so don't be to hard on them.
11:55 April 19, 2011 by trash head
Interesting to see, how the ppl raise this less amount of "Neo Nazis" to a national youth problem O_o The social enviroment of this ppl are the problem. Also, i dont know if i really want this ppl working as police man, how wenddiver explained it from the glorious US, by far the land of leading peacemaker ...

Obviously, many ppl dont have any contact or any clue abt the german youth.
12:29 April 19, 2011 by LiberalGuy
trash head

Quite true, I've seen many middle aged nazi's in my neck of the woods. It's not just a youth problem.

Careful, you starting to make sense. People might start calling you an idiot soon. ;)
16:38 April 19, 2011 by tactician
Obviously a mere sight of these neo-nazi morons can make some people vomit, but to not take them seriously is even more idiotic. Some say that their number is small, only a fraction of a percentage of the total pupolation, that they are just a fringe of society so let's laugh at them and not take them seriously. But let me tell you people something, if they are smart and willing to sacrifice they don't need that many, 1/10 of them would be enough to turn german society up side down!

The problem with these neo-nazi morons is that they hate everybody, they just don't know who are friends and who are foes. For example, even now they still hate the Jews, but how many Jews are there still left in Germany as well as in Europe? So here is a lesson for you neo-nazi morons...insteady of hating the Jews and some other people you should embrace them and be their allies, for you and the Jews and some other groups of people have the same common enemy...just think about it!
03:27 April 20, 2011 by dizzyblondefrau
@tactician WHO IS that "same common enemy" according to you?
08:48 April 20, 2011 by trash head
way2stupid speaks abt moslems, as always.
02:07 April 21, 2011 by Sam Green
Its is the fault of the left and communists! If they had not betrayed us on the issues of out of control immigration,jobs,social housing.And a generous European welfare system ,which seems set up to favour immigrants/refugees arriving with children ,having passed through many ,many "safe" countries!Favour over indigenous Europeans who have been on social housing waiting lists for along time and now have no jobs.Then we would not be in this situation! The left seems to enjoy the destruction of Europe and its slow islamification with uncontrolled glee!
15:53 April 21, 2011 by Bruno53
Rarely, but RARELY, you hear of Japanese rightwing gangs attacking foreigners like Koreans, Filipinos and Chinese in Japan. Maybe there are a few cases, but rare. You can count them with the fingers of your hands, and still have fingers left. And Japan was allied to Nazi Germany in 1930s to 1940s during World War II, and was air firebombed, and nuked twice, by USA in that war. Yet, you have too many cases of unrepentant Germans joining these neonazi gang of rats, and attacking foreigners constantly. And you were also air firebombed by the same Allies, who fought Imperial Japan, in that war. Does that say something/ I think I'll be safer in Tokyo than in Berlin.
17:10 April 22, 2011 by Sam Green
@Bruno53,this is because immigration into Japan has been CONTROLLED by the Japanese Government.Immigrants let in on a carefully controlled as required basis! Not an uncontrolled mass swamping destroying European culture and Identity!With Immigrants allowed to flood in with out any controls or checks making Europeans a future minority just to appease left wing minds on the alter of the European Union policies! These people dont even know how many their allowing in for christ sakes! And the more we hand over Housing,free education,schools,welfare, the more that will arrive.Creating an ever deeper welfare bill black hole and an increasingly poor quality of life for the rest of us.This is why so many European governments are becoming bankrupt!
17:14 April 22, 2011 by Bruno53
There are Filipinos guest workers, Indonesians, Koreans, a few Chinese and even Vietnamese in Japan. Maybe not much, but they are growing. And neo nazis have attacked many long time living migrants, some born in Germany, also.
11:18 May 4, 2011 by Kennneth Ingle
What do we mean when talking about Nazis? The types running around rather like the SA used to? Those were the hooligans of the 1930s, but that organisation was destroyed by Hitler himself after they had helped him into power. The real and most dedicated Nazis, were the educated, arrogant middle class, supported by industrial and commercial bosses.

What we see on the streets now has nothing to do with real nationalism, these are misled youngsters being used by a few psychotic dreamers. Not patriotism is their driving element, but the destruction of foreign influence.

The same sort of destructive force is to be found amongst Communists, the Antifa or even some football fans, not to mention gangs of immigrants.. It is the failure to put the feeling of group membership into positive action. Because it is always easier to demolish, than to create something, the less intelligent youths in any country can be put on the wrong path. This is a universal problem not one of Germany alone.
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd