A Conspiracy in Germany Highlights Far-Right Trends

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The German government arrested twenty-five people on 7 December in raids across eleven of Germany’s sixteen states. It was soon announced that a far-Right coup attempt had been thwarted. Untangling the evidence that has emerged in the days since, it is clear, on the one hand, that the far-Right retains a foothold in German public life, including within legal political parties that stand in elections, and, while there cannot be complacency about this, it is also clear, on the other hand, that these forces are not (yet) a serious threat to the state—indeed, that they are heavily surveilled and infiltrated, and able to be easily neutralized when they attempt anything that looks even potentially dangerous.

The Reichsbürger Movement

Among the twenty-five men arrested were former members of the military and various far-Right activists. If there was one identifiable element at the core of this coup conspiracy it was the Reichsbürger (Citizens of the Reich) movement. This outfit had largely been considered as a gathering of bizarre conspiracy theorists, but essentially harmless.

European Eye on Radicalization was among the first to publish in-depth analysis on the Reichsbürger movement as a security challenge. In 2019, Linda Schlegel wrote a report for EER that explained:

Content retrieved from: https://eeradicalization.com/a-conspiracy-in-germany-highlights-far-right-trends/.

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