Germany police raid properties linked to far-right ‘Reichsbürger’ movement News
© WikiMedia (Christian A. Schröder)
Germany police raid properties linked to far-right ‘Reichsbürger’ movement

The German police conducted property searches targeting individuals connected to the ‘Reichsbürger’ movement on Tuesday according to a German newspaper. The action is part of an ongoing investigation into the ‘Reichsbürger’ conspiracy, a far-right organization accused of plotting to overthrow the German government and establish a new state order.

First reported by the German newspaper Der Spiegel, approximately 700 police officers conducted searches at seven locations and three properties in the German counties of Baden-Württemberg, Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein early Tuesday morning. The searches targeted a 73-year old man and a 63-year-old woman suspected of offering their properties to the Reichsbürger group for recruitment purposes in 2021 and 2022.

The latest raid is one of many conducted since the group was identified as a far-right extremist organization in 2021. A significant operation in 2022 resulted in the arrest of dozens of individuals, including the suspected leaders of the group. In several major judicial proceedings this month, they will be tried for founding a terrorist organization and participating as members therein (§129a para 1 no.1 of the German Criminal Code). Additionally, some members of the group have been accused of preparing serious acts of violence against the German state (§89a para 1, 2 no. 1 of the German Criminal Code).The suspected leader of the movement is Heinrich Reuß, a far-right monarchist activist and a descendant of the House of Reuß.

Reichsbürger or ‘Reich Citizens’, a reference to the German Reich, are individuals who reject the legitimacy of the Federal Republic of Germany and its democratic foundations. According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office the group had prepared an extensive plot to overthrow the current government and implement a new political system. In this context the group is accused of having been aware that their plans would likely result in the deaths of several people. Their detailed plans included the formation of a central governing body called ‘The Council’ and various departments for military, internal, external, health, and justice functions. According to Reichsbürger ideology, the new state would seek close ties with the Russian Federation. Moreover, the group is linked to far-right and antisemitic conspiracy theories and is closely linked to the QAnon movement.