Addressing the resurgence of far-right extremism in Europe, the German government took action by banning the neo-Nazi group known as Hammerskins Germany. Simultaneously conducting raids on the homes of numerous of its members. This group, deeply rooted in right-wing extremism, serves as a prominent entity throughout Europe.
Hammerskins Germany is an extension of the Hammerskins Nation, which originally originated in the United States in 1988, as confirmed by the country's interior ministry. Within the right-wing extremist landscape in Europe, this organization holds a prominent position. Globally, its members identify themselves as "brothers," adhering to a subcultural way of life. Additionally, the ministry characterizes the group as the elite faction within the right-wing extremist skinhead community.
Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has characterized the ban on Hammerskins Germany as a significant blow against organized right-wing extremism. She emphasized that this prohibition encompasses not only the main organization but also its regional chapters and the sub-organization known as Crew 38.
“With this ban, we are putting an end to the inhumane activities of an internationally active neo-Nazi association in Germany,” she added. “This sends a clear signal against racism and antisemitism.”
In Germany, the group consists of approximately 130 members. In a series of early morning raids across 10 states, approximately 700 police officers conducted searches at the residences of 28 members of the group. At this time, it remains unclear whether any members were detained.
“According to our findings so far, significant amounts of right-wing extremist devotional objects have been seized in addition to cash,” the minister said.
Prior to the ban, the German federal and state governments engaged in extensive cooperation for over a year, according to Faeser. She also noted, "We also worked closely with our American partners."
The central tenet of the group's ideology revolves around the promotion of a racial doctrine rooted in Nazi ideology. The primary objective of the Hammerskins Germany association is to solidify its right-wing extremist worldview, notably through concerts aimed at influencing non-members and radicalizing them, as stated by the ministry.
“The right-wing extremist orientation of the international networking group manifests itself in particular through the distribution of recordings of right-wing extremist and antisemitic music, the organization of right-wing extremist concerts, and the sale of right-wing extremist merchandise,” it said.
The prohibition of the Hammerskins Germany marks the 20th ban imposed on a right-wing extremist association by the German interior ministry.
Addressing reporters in Berlin, Interior Minister Faeser said, "Right-wing extremism continues to pose the most significant extremist threat to the fundamental democratic order in Germany." This latest action is part of the ongoing efforts to counter and eliminate the influence of such extremist groups within the country.
Image source: Reuters