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Thread: Neonazi Terrorism in Germany

  1. #106
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    kato, why have the Reichsburgeren selected the Weimar Constitution as the ideological "basis" for their beliefs? Do they implicitly reject Nazism, fascism, and Wilhelmine imperialism? What is their position on NATO, the EU, and other international organizations that the Bundesrepulik is a member of?

    Deine Posten hier, wie immer, sehr interassant sind. Ich wunsche dass wir hat mehr Deutscher mitgliederen mit uns hier. Vielendank.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 27 Mar 18, at 23:01.

  2. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    kato, why have the Reichsburgeren selected the Weimar Constitution as the ideological "basis" for their beliefs? Do they implicitly reject Nazism, fascism, and Wilhelmine imperialism? What is their position on NATO, the EU, and other international organizations that the Bundesrepulik is a member of?
    They're extremely varied in their beliefs. At its core it's the German version of the "sovereign citizen movement" in the US, with a bunch of different conspiracy theories behind it.

    The Weimar Constitution thing is slightly complicated: Around 1973 there were a few court decisions that established a distinction between "Germany" and "the German government". These court decisions were important politically at the time since they gave permission to the then ongoing normalization of relations with the Soviet Union, Poland and East Germany. For a simple explanation, courts basically ruled that Germany as a territory comprising the 1937 borders exists, but that this territory was under the administration of multiple governments: the Federal Republic / FRG as the self-proclaimed legal successor of the Empire administrating only its established territory on a part of Germany, the Democratic Republic / GDR as - from western interpretation - a non-sovereign administration of another part of Germany, Poland as the administration of German territories east of the Oder-Neiße line and - only implicitly - the USSR as the administration of Northern East Prussia.

    Among core Reichsbürger circles these court decisions are then usually misread to construct the lore that the prewar empire ("Germany") itself has been established to continue to exist and is simply occupied since 1945, with governments set up on its territory "illegally" not holding any power over it or themselves.

    It usually branches out from that point into various interpretations; the nazi-inspired one is that the current government was set up by American jews to dominate Germany, other groups e.g. consider Germany a failed state without government and misinterpreting UN resolutions declare themselves to be "self-organized". NATO in most of the circles is interpreted as the organization that organizes the occupation of Germany, the European Union is either considered as a tool of taking away sovereignty from Germany or - among the quite weird ones - as the culmination of Hitler's efforts to subjugate Europe. There is of course also a group that considers the above circles to be traitors just like the rest of Germans, since they apparently committed treason against the 1871 empire by "accepting" the Weimar constitution.

    The Verfassungsschutz itself only considers small subgroups of the Reichsbürger movement as rightwing-extremists, i.e. only those that also hold e.g. antisemitic views (which is estimated at 900 people). The others (about 15,600 people) are considered to form a separate political group under surveillance which is effectively only characterized by "fundamental rejection of the State, its representatives and lawful order".
    Last edited by kato; 28 Mar 18, at 16:34.

  3. #108
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    So they're basically revanchist sovereign citizens. Dankeschon, kato.

  4. #109
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    Full article here: http://www.dw.com/en/german-army-ins...ory/a-43174083

    German army instills new traditions to move away from troubled history

    Following recent revelations of far-right extremists within its ranks, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has moved to ensure that the Bundeswehr fighting forces distance themselves from their tainted past.

    On Wednesday, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen signed a new "Traditionserlass" at an army barracks in Hanover. It is a loaded term, and one with no simple English, French or Spanish translation. Essentially, it is an "edict" outlining the "traditions" that a soldier in Germany's Bundeswehr – the country's federal armed forces – can refer to and which he or she cannot. Indeed, the whole seems like a particularly German conundrum.

    Then again, such complications come as no surprise considering the crimes committed by the Nazis during World War ll and the support that was given to them by the Wehrmacht, as the army was known at the time. The Nazi-era Wehrmacht was created in 1935 from what had been the Reichswehr of the Weimar Republic. Wehrmacht solders swore an oath to Adolf Hitler himself, and to no other authority.

    A few weeks ago, Catholic military bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck defended the new Traditionserlass by pointing out that no one can live without a past. He said soldiers must be made aware of the past – as well as the scars that are part of it.

    Existing traditions

    The scars Overbeck referred to have yet to completely heal. Certainly not to the degree one would have hoped for after more than seventy years. Put bluntly: It has become clear that a critical assessment of German history cannot simply be viewed as the responsibility of academics. It seems that even today soldiers find some form of strength in their organization's history between the years of 1933 and 1945.

    The debate over that past was reignited last spring when the case of Lieutenant Franco A. came to light. The case was also what motivated von der Leyen to push forward with the Traditionserlass. The soldier is accused of having planned a terror attack in such a way as to direct suspicion toward Syrian refugees. When authorities searched his barracks they found painted swastikas and Wehrmacht souvenirs. That prompted officials to conduct searches at all of the Bundeswehr's barracks. As a result, hundreds of items such as Nazi-era helmets, carbines and insignia were found.

  5. #110
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    It's a highly controversial matter in particular within the military.

    As a marker for "new times" regarding tradition they renamed a base after a soldier who died in Afghanistan. In my opinion it doesn't help the controversies that when they have a whole bunch to select from for that, they pick a soldier who was killed by a suicide bomber while protecting the general who is now the Deputy Inspector General of the Army as his personal bodyguard. Not so much because it would be undeserved - it isn't - or unfitting - he was military police, the base houses the Military Police School of the Bundeswehr - or because people would reject it - in fact the renaming was petitioned for by soldiers there since 2016 or so. It's just that in my opinion they could have picked a different base and someone without "connections". As they say in Swabia it has a Gschmäckle.

    The real problem with renaming like that?
    Let's see, going by units of people who died in combat, and ordered by how urgently a name needs to be replaced...

    - Mechanized Infantry Battalion 212 : base named after Nazi general (Rommel) - downside: soldier was killed by IED, not in combat
    - Special Forces Command : base named after Württembergian general (Graf Zeppelin)
    - Field Replacement Battalion 901 : base named after WW1 battle
    - Mechanized Infantry Battalion 332 : base named after Prussian general (Hammerstein)
    - Infantry Battalion 292 : base named after aristocratic family who ruled the area since the 13th century
    - Paratrooper Battalion 263 : base named after geographic feature
    - Mechanized Infantry Battalion 393 : base named after geographic feature
    - Mechanized Infantry Battalion 112 : base named after geographic feature
    - Mountain Engineer Battalion 8 : base named after geographic feature
    - Communications Regiment 920 and Command Support Battalion 282 : base named after geographic feature
    - Special Operation Division (HQ) : base named after state
    - Paratrooper Battalions 313 and 373 : base named "Paratrooper Barracks"
    - Electronic Reconnaissance Regiment 940 : base named after physicist (Hertz)
    - NCO school of the Bundeswehr : base named after engineer who was killed throwing himself on a grenade in 1961, saving comrades

    (note: the above omits four bases named after their units, e.g. Bundeswehr Hospital Ulm and Navy Arsenal Kiel, as well as two fallen soldiers where i can't find which unit they belonged to)

    It should be noted that the base where the soldier after whom the Military Police School base is being renamed actually was stationed carried a more problematic name. Scharnhorst. It's closed since 2014 though, hence why it's not even in the above list. The base they're renaming was named after a Prussian general (Emmich) and a WW1 battle. In comparison to the above it'd probably rank around #3 in urgency.

  6. #111
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    P.S.: The "Traditionserlass" replaces the previous one from 1982. The new one is only 11 pages long.

    It's in my opinion pretty wishy-washy in its execution. E.g. 3.4.1 Wehrmacht : "The criminal NS state can not be used to establish tradition" followed by "The acceptance of individual members of the Wehrmacht into tradition lore of the Bundeswehr is possible". It then explains how a name can be whitewashed sufficiently, either by military resistance against the NS regime or by "particular merits in building up the Bundeswehr". Identical terms apply in 3.4.2 National People's Army by the way.

    There's some sections where you really have to wonder if they have to spell it out - but apparently they do. 4.9, explaining how traditions of units of previous German armies (they're talking flags etc there) can not be carried by Bundeswehr units: "Official contacts with successor organizations of the Waffen-SS or with the Ordensgemeinschaft der Ritterkreuzträger are prohibited". And given how i've seen soldiers already taking apart the Traditionserlass word by word, we will at some point soon have a situation where someone points out the "official" in that sentence.

  7. #112
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    - Mechanized Infantry Battalion 212 : base named after Nazi general (Rommel) - downside: soldier was killed by IED, not in combat
    What is the dominant German way of thinking regarding Rommel and his legacy nowadays? He's largely been, and I don't know if this is the right word for it, "whitewashed" in US and UK accounts of history. An honorable opponent, anti-Nazi, der Wustenfuchs (Desert Fox), etc. If I recall correctly, Germans had predominantly viewed him the same way, but has there now been a re-assessment of his legacy?
    Last edited by Ironduke; 01 Apr 18, at 13:14.

  8. #113
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    Rommel's name on Bundeswehr barracks have been considered controversial since at least the 90s, when the Bundeswehr started renaming barracks named after Wehrmacht generals; there have been calls in parliament - by Greens and Left - about that since about 2012. Ralph Giordano already wrote in 2000 about Bundeswehr barracks bearing Rommel's name being "the test case for whether the Bundeswehr is serious about correcting its traditions".

    About ten years ago his "legend" also got some serious dents when historians unearthed protocols of generals who served under him in Africa, criticizing his "ruthless attacks" on Tobruk and who considered his style of command too costly in unnecessary casualties among their own soldiers. He's typically considered not a "anti-nazi" in Germany as he had contacts on both sides and a close relationship with Hitler himself, and is largely considered to either have been unable or unwilling to decide which side to join - which is why e.g. Stauffenberg's people never involved him.

    Overall his "image" during and after the war is largely considered to be a production of propaganda - on both Axis and Allied sides, as well as - in postwar Germany - a production of former Wehrmacht generals who used him as an icon of a "clean" Wehrmacht.

  9. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    They're extremely varied in their beliefs. At its core it's the German version of the "sovereign citizen movement" in the US, with a bunch of different conspiracy theories behind it.

    The Weimar Constitution thing is slightly complicated: Around 1973 there were a few court decisions that established a distinction between "Germany" and "the German government". These court decisions were important politically at the time since they gave permission to the then ongoing normalization of relations with the Soviet Union, Poland and East Germany. For a simple explanation, courts basically ruled that Germany as a territory comprising the 1937 borders exists, but that this territory was under the administration of multiple governments: the Federal Republic / FRG as the self-proclaimed legal successor of the Empire administrating only its established territory on a part of Germany, the Democratic Republic / GDR as - from western interpretation - a non-sovereign administration of another part of Germany, Poland as the administration of German territories east of the Oder-Neiße line and - only implicitly - the USSR as the administration of Northern East Prussia.

    Among core Reichsbürger circles these court decisions are then usually misread to construct the lore that the prewar empire ("Germany") itself has been established to continue to exist and is simply occupied since 1945, with governments set up on its territory "illegally" not holding any power over it or themselves.

    It usually branches out from that point into various interpretations; the nazi-inspired one is that the current government was set up by American jews to dominate Germany, other groups e.g. consider Germany a failed state without government and misinterpreting UN resolutions declare themselves to be "self-organized". NATO in most of the circles is interpreted as the organization that organizes the occupation of Germany, the European Union is either considered as a tool of taking away sovereignty from Germany or - among the quite weird ones - as the culmination of Hitler's efforts to subjugate Europe. There is of course also a group that considers the above circles to be traitors just like the rest of Germans, since they apparently committed treason against the 1871 empire by "accepting" the Weimar constitution.

    The Verfassungsschutz itself only considers small subgroups of the Reichsbürger movement as rightwing-extremists, i.e. only those that also hold e.g. antisemitic views (which is estimated at 900 people). The others (about 15,600 people) are considered to form a separate political group under surveillance which is effectively only characterized by "fundamental rejection of the State, its representatives and lawful order".
    Thanks for that rundown Kato.

    When I took a German history class in 1978 my professor tried to explain this but it didn't sink in. This is the best explanation I've seen. Well done.

    My professor was a real Germanophile. Lived in Germany in the early 1960s and got several interview with Konrad Adenauer for his doctoral thesis. He wrote on the formation of the West German Republic.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
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  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Rommel's name on Bundeswehr barracks have been considered controversial since at least the 90s, when the Bundeswehr started renaming barracks named after Wehrmacht generals; there have been calls in parliament - by Greens and Left - about that since about 2012. Ralph Giordano already wrote in 2000 about Bundeswehr barracks bearing Rommel's name being "the test case for whether the Bundeswehr is serious about correcting its traditions".

    About ten years ago his "legend" also got some serious dents when historians unearthed protocols of generals who served under him in Africa, criticizing his "ruthless attacks" on Tobruk and who considered his style of command too costly in unnecessary casualties among their own soldiers. He's typically considered not a "anti-nazi" in Germany as he had contacts on both sides and a close relationship with Hitler himself, and is largely considered to either have been unable or unwilling to decide which side to join - which is why e.g. Stauffenberg's people never involved him.

    Overall his "image" during and after the war is largely considered to be a production of propaganda - on both Axis and Allied sides, as well as - in postwar Germany - a production of former Wehrmacht generals who used him as an icon of a "clean" Wehrmacht.
    Is Rommel Kaserne in Ulm? If so that was our partnership location when I was stationed in Goeppingen.

    And as for controversy over having forts and installations named over troublesome history....

    Hell, the US Army has 10 forts named for Confederate generals! These men were responsible for tens of thousands of US dead and we name forts for them?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Is Rommel Kaserne in Ulm? If so that was our partnership location when I was stationed in Goeppingen.
    There's a Rommelkaserne in Dornstadt, a suburb of Ulm which you probably mean. Currently only houses the 3rd Medical Regiment, back before 1990 it mostly had mechanized infantry units.

    There's only one other remaining in Germany, the HQ for 21st Armoured Brigade in Augustdorf in Northrhine-Westfalia. The third Rommel-Kaserne in Osterode in Lower Saxony was closed in 2003.

    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    And as for controversy over having forts and installations named over troublesome history....
    Let me dig out my files, since i did this a while ago... for Baden-Württemberg state.

    Recently renamed:
    • Pfullendorf (Special Forces Training) - named for local aristocracy (Staufer) - was Generaloberst von Fritsch Kaserne (for the nazi Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht from '36 to '38, one of the first generals to die in WW2) from 1964 until renamed in 2013
    • Karlsruhe (education/training) : named geographically (Kirchfeld) - was General Fahnert Kaserne (for a nazi Air Force general) from 1964 until renamed in 2016

    Controversial:
    • Dornstadt (medical) : named for Generalfeldmarschall Rommel (base renamed 1965 from no-name barracks three years after construction)

    Possibly controversial:
    • Niederstetten (army aviation) : named for Captain Hermann Köhl, a WW1 air force pilot with a Pour Le Merite medal who mostly served in Flanders and a few years in the Reichswehr before quitting and joining Lufthansa as a civilian pilot; later did some transatlantic flights for which he got the Distinguished Flying Cross in the US.
    • Ellwangen (language training center) : named for General Reinhardt, a Württembergian general who became the first post-WW1 Chief of Staff of the Reichswehr OHL in 1919; vindicated since he remained loyal to the Weimar Republic in the 1920 Kapp Putsch, being one of only few generals willing to have his troops fire on the counterrevolutionaries - (base renamed 1968 from Hungerberg-/Mühlberg-Kaserne, originally named for geographic feature)
    • Bruchsal (NBC defense) : named for General Dr. Speidel, a nazi general who built up the Bundeswehr, was Germany's representative during talks on joining the European Defence Community and NATO and who was COMLANDCENT within NATO from 1957 to 1963 (base renamed 1996 from Eichelberg-Kaserne, originally named for geographic feature)
    • Calw (Special Forces) : named for General Graf Zeppelin, don't need to say much there - although i have no idea why they would name anything after him especially as it's hundreds of km from Lake Constance...

    Relatively uncontroversial:
    • Donaueschingen (infantry) - named for local aristocracy (Fürstenberg)
    • Walldürn (logistics) - named for fictional aristocracy (Nibelungen)
    • Müllheim (HQ D/F Brigade) : named for postwar politician (Robert Schuman)
    • Stuttgart (SKB State Command) : named for postwar politician (Theodor Heussr)
    • Laupheim (air force helicopters) : named for postwar politician (Kurt Georg Kiesinger)
    • Stetten (artillery) : named geographically (Alb)
    • Todtnau (sports group) : named geographically (Schwarzwald)
    • Ulm (MNJHQ Ulm) : traditional fort built 1890, named for Württembergian King at the time (Wilhelm)

    Beyond those 15 there are 11 military installations without a name in the state - these include the "Bundeswehr Academy" in Mannheim, a "Troop Accomodation" for an air force maintenance plant in Ummendorf, two depots, two radar sites and five detachments, mostly materials proofing in supplier companies or similar.

    At least we don't have any places named for Prussian pre-1871 generals, as that would be about the same situation locally as with Confederates (just, uh... reversed. We lost.).
    Last edited by kato; 02 Apr 18, at 16:12.

  12. #117
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    More here: http://www.dw.com/en/peace-festival-...own/a-43481410

    'Peace Festival' continues as neo-Nazis hold rally in Saxony town

    Police in the small eastern German town of Ostritz maintained a high-profile presence on Saturday, with some 1,000 far-right extremists from all over Europe expected to join the neo-Nazi "Shield and Sword" festival over the course of the day.

    The town is simultaneously hosting a "Peace Festival," also attended by around 1,000 people seeking to express their opposition to far-right ideologies.

    The neo-Nazi rally, which opened on Friday — the birthday of former German dictator Adolf Hitler — is to feature rock concerts and a martial arts event. It was organized by Thorsten Heise, chairman of the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) in the eastern state of Thuringia.

    The opposing peace rally is also to include the music festival "Right Doesn't Rock," located within sight and earshot of the far-right events.

    Largely peaceful

    As of Saturday afternoon, few security incidents had been reported by police. Among other things, a 31-year-old man was detained for giving the Hitler salute, which is an offense under German law, and one person was slightly hurt in scuffles between opposing groups.
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    The name of the festival is a ruse btw. They like the fact that they can abbreviate it "SS". The Saxonian Verfassungsschutz considers the event an advertising move by the NPD against other neonazi parties.

    Police so far is not giving out any numbers for security reasons, but it's widely called the largest deployment in Eastern Saxony in the last ten years. Saxonian state police is supported by officers from the federal police and from other state police forces as well as by Polish and Czech police. Ostritz is located immediately on the Polish border and the train station through which guests arrive is located across the border; German federal police officers are deployed in Poland to support local police there.

    The town of Ostritz has 2,400 people; the northern half of the town has been declared a "police control zone" where the identity of anyone on the street is checked. Parking cars on the street curb has been outlawed, as has any alcohol consumption on festival grounds for security reasons. The festival itself is held on a private property owned by a local politician from my area; the property has also been used as a less-legal depot with police last month uncovering 177 tons of smuggled goods including 32 tons of tobacco products on the site. The owner blames the Polish guy who supposedly rented the storage from him. The smuggled goods were discovered when police inspected the site with regard to whether it was suitably safe for hosting the festival.

    Police today confiscated the T-shirts and banners of the security service of the neonazi festival. They call themselves "Aryan Brotherhood Security Service", apparently organize themselves as "brigades" and display the crossed stick grenades of the 36th SS Division "Dirlewanger" as their symbol.

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    kato, are you familiar at all with the points of intersection/interaction between American and German neo-Nazi groups ? Is Germany seeing a lot of "cross-pollination", if you will, between American and German groups?
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