Potsdam, Germany – Authorities in eastern Germany banned Tuesday a neo-Nazi group and police searched more than 40 homes, confiscating documents and music glorifying the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler.
Joerg Schoenbohm, interior minister of the state of Brandenburg, said he had acted April 6 to prohibit the Kameradschaft Hauptvolk (the Main People’s Fellowship) and a sub-group code-named “Sturm 27”.
Neo-Nazi groups have won large numbers of young recruits in recent years in the small towns of eastern Germany where unemployment is rife and much of the middle class has departed to the big cities.
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Police showed reporters items that they seized, including knives, signaling ammunition, a bayonet, jerseys printed with the group name “Hauptvolk”, a painting of Hitler and a copy of his book “Mein Kampf” and hundreds of homemade CDs with neo-Nazi rock music.
The group, mostly males in their teens and early 20s, collected neo-Nazi songs they downloaded from the internet, saved them on computers and transferred onto MP3 players.
Winfriede Schreiber, who heads a state agency that fights subversives, said, “Music is the vector that transports neo-Nazi ideas into the heads of these young people.”
With an estimated 60 members, Kameradschaft Hauptvolk was one of the largest groups banned in recent years. In March, two groups of a dozen each were banned in Berlin and last year a 40-member group in Bavaria was prohibited.
Some 300 police were deployed at dawn Tuesday to enforce the ban, searching more than 40 properties in and near the town of Rathenow near Berlin as well as one home in Saxony-Anhalt and another in Lower Saxony state. No arrests were made.
The minister said the Kameradschaft was a threat to the constitutional system, but did not appear to have close links to established far-right groups. Its members had used clubs to beat leftists in brawls.