German authorities still hunting Nazi groups 77 years after Hitler

Lee Heidhues 4.6.2022

German authorities launched another crackdown on the Neo-Nazi groups which, 77 years after the collapse of Hitler’s reign of terror, continue to make their presence felt.

One of the organizations, “Atomwaffen Division,” (AWD) got its start in the United States.

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On February 26, 2020, authorities arrested five members of Atomwaffen Division, including former Texas state Atomwaffen leader John Cameron Denton. These are just the latest detentions targeting the neo-Nazi group, whose active membership has been decimated in the last two years by a steady stream of federal charges and arrests.

America needs to be more zealous in cracking down on these extremist groups. Their part in the January 6, 2021 insurrection was their most most blatant attempt to destroy the American system of governance. Given the opportunity these reprehensible people will try, again, in an increasingly right wing leaning country. The United States.

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 4.4.2022

Almost 800 police officers in 11 of Germany’s 16 federal states took part in raids on far-right extremist groups on Wednesday, German media reported.

The raids began in the early morning and the neo-Nazi groups “Atomwaffen Division” (AWD), “Combat 18” (C18) and “Knockout 51” (K51) were the main focus.

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A spokesperson for the state prosecutor’s office said four suspects were arrested, German magazine Der Spiegel reported. The suspects are believed to be leaders of K51, one of whom is also being investigated in connection with AWD.

Some of the suspects face charges of being members of terrorist groups, others of being part of a criminal organization, according to Der Spiegel.

AWD is a neo-Nazi terror organization that started out in the US and is made up of leaderless terror cells. Members of the US group have been linked to at least five murders.

A splinter group was set up in Germany in 2018. Their flyers were spotted around Berlin as well as in a neighborhood in Cologne that was targeted by the neo-Nazi terror group National Socialist Underground (NSU) more than a decade prior.

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People claiming to be members of the organization also sent death threats to German Green politicians Cem Özdemir and Claudia Roth in October 2019.

The state prosecutor’s office is investigating 10 suspected members of the group, five of whom were targeted by Wednesday’s raids. The office said investigations had begun in September 2019.

According to Der Spiegel, one of the suspected members of AWD is a former military officer cadet. He had been under observation by the German military counter-intelligence organization (MAD) that keeps tabs on neo-Nazi activity in the Bundeswehr, but they were unable to cut off his access to weapons and munitions.

C18 first appeared in the UK in the 1990s as the street-fighting wing of the far-right British National Party (BNP).

Authorities were aware of the group’s presence in Germany by the end of the decade. They were involved in neo-Nazi events and far-right music festivals.

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Combat 18 was eventually declared illegal in 2020, a move that was heavily criticized as being too little too late, German broadcaster Tagesschau reported.

The other group under fire, K51, were targeted after they tried to set up a “Nazi hood” in the town of Eisenach in the eastern German state of Thuringia. Germany’s attorney general named the group a criminal organization and ordered the arrest of four suspected members.

The federal prosecutor’s office said that members of the group were involved in protests against hygiene measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in cities such as Leipzig and Kassel that resulted in violent clashes with police and counter-protesters.