Germany arrests 25 people over alleged far-right coup plot (2024)

Published On 7 Dec 20227 Dec 2022

In raids across the country, German police have arrested 25 suspected members and supporters of a far-right group who were allegedly seeking to overthrow the state by force to install as national leader a prince who had sought support from Russia, according to the federal prosecutor’s office.

About 3,000 officers conducted the raids on Wednesday at 130 sites across 11 German federal states againstadherents of the so-called Reich Citizens (Reichsbuerger) movement.

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Prosecutors said members of the movement were suspected of “having made concrete preparations to violently force their way into the German parliament with a small armed group”.

They added that 22 arrested individuals were German citizens and were detained onsuspicion of “membership in a terrorist organisation” while three others allegedly supported the organisation, including a Russian citizen.

Al Jazeera’s Dominic Kane, reporting from Berlin, said that those involved in the plot were “heavily armed”.

“It is suggested that these people have believed that there is a deep state operating in Germany, which is antithetical to Germany’s interests and that this Russian national with others may have tried to approach the Russian Federation for some assistance,” he said.

“It is not known what sort of contact they had and what happened from those contacts if indeed they happened.”

The Kremlin said later on Wednesday there could be no question of any Russian involvement in the coup plot.

“This appears to be a German internal problem,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “There can be no question of any Russian interference.”

The raids

Some of the group members reject the post-war constitution and call for replacing the elected government with their own. They do not exclude violence against the state as a means of achieving their goal.

The weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported that one of the raided locations included the barracks of Germany’s special forces unit KSK in the southwestern town of Calw.

In the past, the KSK has been investigated over alleged far-right involvement by some of its soldiers. But federal prosecutors declined to confirm or deny that the barracks were searched.

Other suspects were arrested in the states of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony, and Thuringia, as well as in neighbouring Austria and Italy, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Germany arrests 25 people over alleged far-right coup plot (1)

Prosecutors said the suspects have been preparing to carry out their plan since the end of November 2021 as they were aware that it could only be achieved with force.

The plot envisaged a former member of a German royal family, identified as Heinrich XIII P R under Germany’s privacy law, as leader in a future state while another suspect, Rüdiger v P, was the head of the military arm, the prosecutors’ office said.

They are accused of establishing a “terrorist organisationwith the goal of overturning the existing state order in Germany and replace it with their own form of state, which was already in the course of being founded”.

The prosecutor’s office said Heinrich, who uses the title prince and comes from the royal House of Reuss, which had ruled over parts of eastern Germany, had reached out to representatives of Russia, whom the group saw as its central contact for establishing its new order.

It said there was no evidence the representatives had reacted positively to the request.

‘Enemies of democracy’

The German government will respond with the full force of the law, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said.

“The investigations provide a glimpse into the abyss of a terrorist threat from the Reichsbuerger milieu,” said Faeser in a statement, adding that the constitutional state knew how to defend itself against “the enemies of democracy”.

The House of Reuss had previously distanced itself from Heinrich, calling him a confused man who pursued conspiracy theories, according to local media. Neither the House of Reuss nor Prince Reuss’ Office responded to requests for comment.

Germany’s monarchy was abolished a century ago. When the Weimar Constitution entered into force on August 14, 1919, the legal privileges and titles of German nobility were abolished. Officially, there are no princes and princesses in Germany.

There has been a worrying rise in far-right ideology in Germany during the last few years.

In May, the Federal Ministry of the Interior reported that327 employees of Germany’sfederal and state security authorities have been found to have links to hardline right-wing ideology over a three-year period.

At least nine people were shot and killedin February 2020 by an attackerwith suspected far-right linksin Hanau.



Al Jazeera and news agencies

Germany arrests 25 people over alleged far-right coup plot (2024)


Germany arrests 25 people over alleged far-right coup plot? ›

Twenty-five people have been arrested in raids across Germany on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government. The group of far-right and ex-military figures are said to have prepared for a "Day X" to storm the Reichstag parliament building and seize power.

What is the German plot coup? ›

Prosecutors reported that more than 50 organisers were Reichsbürger movement members, a cluster of far-right groups which reject the current liberal democratic basic order of Germany and are associated with violence and antisemitism. The plotters reportedly included QAnon followers and COVID-19 deniers.

What was the failed German coup attempt? ›

The Beer Hall Putsch, also known as the Munich Putsch, was a failed coup d'état by Nazi Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) leader Adolf Hitler, Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff and other Kampfbund leaders in Munich, Bavaria, on 8–9 November 1923, during the Weimar Republic.

How does the German government work? ›

As Germany is a federal country, a lot of the work of government is done by the 16 states (Länder). Power is shared between the national (or federal) government and state governments. The national government cannot abolish the state governments.

Which act was the dictatorship in Germany? ›

Enabling Act, law passed by the German Reichstag (Diet) in 1933 that enabled Adolf Hitler to assume dictatorial powers.

What was the August coup and how did it end? ›

The 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt, also known as the August Coup, was a failed attempt by hardliners of the Soviet Union's Communist Party to forcibly seize control of the country from Mikhail Gorbachev, who was Soviet President and General Secretary of the Communist Party at the time.

For what did many Germans blame the Weimar Republic? ›

Many people in Germany blamed the Weimar Republic rather than their wartime leaders for the country's defeat and for the humiliating terms of the Treaty of Versailles, a belief that came to be known as the “stab-in-the-back myth,” which was heavily propagated during the rise of the Nazi party.

What is the purpose of coup d'état? ›

A coup d'état (/ˌkuːdeɪˈtɑː/; French: [ku deta]; lit. 'stroke of state'), or simply a coup, is typically an illegal and overt attempt by a military organization or other government elites to unseat an incumbent leadership.

What is a coup plotter? ›

A plotter is a person who secretly plans with others to do something that is illegal or wrong, usually against a person or government. Coup plotters tried to seize power in Moscow.

What type of government does Germany have right now? ›

Germany is a democratic and federal parliamentary republic, where federal legislative power is vested in the Bundestag (the parliament of Germany) and the Bundesrat (the representative body of the Länder, Germany's regional states).

What language do people speak in German? ›

The official language of Germany is German, with over 95% of the population speaking German as their first language. Minority languages include Sorbian, spoken by 0.09% in the east of Germany and North Frisian spoken in Nordfriesland by around 10,000 people, or 0.01%, who also speak German.

How much money does the German government make a year? ›

The expenditure of the overall public budget rose by 6.4% to 1,875.4 billion euros in 2022 compared with the previous year. Revenue increased somewhat more than expenditure over the same period, by 7.3% to 1,748.3 billion euros.

What was the coup in the Weimar Republic? ›

Kapp Putsch, (1920) in Germany, a coup d'état that attempted to overthrow the fledgling Weimar Republic. Its immediate cause was the government's attempt to demobilize two Freikorps brigades. One of the brigades took Berlin, with the cooperation of the Berlin army district commander.

Why was the blame put on Germany? ›

Many historians agree that German aggression and militaristic policies were responsible for some of the conditions that led to war, that Germany saw itself as likely to benefit from a war, and that as the strongest military power in Europe she could have taken actions to prevent a the war.


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