Reichsbürger (which translates as ‘Citizens of the Reich’) believe Germany is simply an administrative construct still occupied by the Western powers. They think the 1937 borders of the German Empire still exist.
Police spokesman Rainer Dionisio confirmed that the woman had been deported, saying she belonged to a group which was hostile to the Austrian state.
Nine police officers went to her house to arrest her as it was feared she could become violent but she didn’t put up any resistance. She was taken to the next EU border crossing, and deported to Slovenia. She will be allowed to stay in Slovenia, or can choose to travel back to Germany by train or plane.
Austria’s Federal Office for Foreign Affairs and Asylum would not comment on the case. However, Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundböck confirmed that members of the Reichsbürger group and other ‘sovereign’ movements are under surveillance and that the ministry has noticed that membership of such groups is increasing in Austria.
He added that if necessary, and where possible, members of such groups will be expelled from Austria. He would not say how many other people belong to the Reichsbürger group or similar movements in Austria, although Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said previously that the number was around 750.
The Reichsbürger movement does not accept the legality of the Republics of Germany or Austria nor any of their government authorities. They refuse to pay taxes and have declared their own small “national territories” in Germany.
It’s estimated that there are only a few hundred Reichsbürger in Germany – most of them in the states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Bavaria. Many members also support right-wing populist, anti-Semitic and Nazi ideologies.