German right-wing extremists assault police, escalate public confrontations

A street sign in Halle, Germany, defaced with right-wing propaganda stickers. Such “postering” operations are part of a larger strategy to occupy and claim public space for the far right, say local residents.

Still think there’s no neo-Nazi problem in Germany? Don’t worry…even though the Nazis aren’t calling themselves that, there’s no doubt of what they are. They are THUGS. They are GANGS. They are TERRORISTS. And they are getting bolder, as this alternative media report makes clear:

Even at 9 a.m., 15 so-called Identitarians have gathered at the Halle district court. Their colleague, Andreas K., is on trial. The charges: Duress and bodily harm. It’s the third time K. has had to appear. The trial was halted after two dates in July 2017 due to failure to appear, and is being started up again.

Before the proceedings begin, Simon Kaupert — internet face of the right-wing extremists — takes pictures of everyone whom he considers political opponents. He apparently includes journalists in this. The accused, Andreas K., arrives at the courthouse half an hour ahead of time. His attorney is Matthias Brauer, who works for an AfD-adjacent council. The AfD still supports the Identitarian movement.

The victim, R., is on hand, with his lawyer, as a joint plaintiff. At 9:45 the trial begins in one of the largest courtrooms in the building. At both of the last two dates, there was fighting over seats, shoving in the crowd, and insults flew. This time none of that happens; five officials secure the hall. The night before, the Identitarians apparently had blown off enough steam.

The night before the trial, around 11 p.m., a group of five or six drunks shouted political slogans in front of the Identitarians’ house. The right-wing extremists yelled back, and mutual vulgarities ensued. According to eyewitness Daniel M.*, the Identitarians threw bottles from their house. Sophie R.*, who lives nearby, heard loud shouts of “Heil Hitler!” Afterwards, everything was quiet. Daniel M. doesn’t remember exactly, but says it could have been the Hitler-greeting. The police have begun an investigation. Supposedly, the drunks called out: “You sacks of chickenshit, come out of your house!”

M. then saw the small group wandering away from the house. A short time later, he saw two persons, one with a scarf in front of his mouth, crossing the Steintor campus. Two plainclothes detectives, as the police later confirmed.

At that point, the door at 16 Adam-Kuckhoff St. opened. The Identitarians carried baseball bats, a wooden plank, and pepper spray as they took to the street. One of the armed men was wearing a ski mask. Another had on a white DDR police helmet and carried a shield. They were 27 and 29 years old respectively. Their body language, according to eyewitnesses, was highly aggressive. “They were practically rocking with adrenaline as they walked,” said Daniel M. “They were really in the mood to hit somebody upside the head. That was anticipation.”

The plainclothes cops saw the two armed men. They whipped out their badges, identified themselves as police to the Identitarians, and tried to stop them. The Identitarians didn’t care. They doused one of the officers’ faces with pepper spray. They didn’t leave the policemen alone. The cops had to draw their pistols and take aim at the right-wing extremists. Only then did the Identitarians give up, and they were arrested. The police confiscated their weapons and old police gear. The state prosecutor has charged them with disturbing the peace and grievous bodily harm.

Online and in interviews, two Identitarians, state parliamentarian Hans-Thomas Tillschneider (AfD), whose office is in the Identitarian house, and city councillor Raue (also AfD), have tried to recast the assault. According to them it was all a misunderstanding, a regrettable mistake. They’ve even apologized to the authorities. Tillschneider has expressed his confidence in the Identitarians, but not the police. He told the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung on November 21 that the police officers were masked. Also, the Identitarians had confused them with the earlier attackers. The police department denies this categorically. Their officers, they say, had identified themselves numerous times. They had never been masked at any time. One of them had a scarf over his mouth, but that was all. Also, the police countered the accusation that the house was insufficiently protected:

“For a considerable time already, the police have taken various measures to assure security and order in the area of the building. The fact that all those involved in the area on November 20, 2017 have been identified, attests to that.”

AfD councillor Raue, however, changed the subject in an interview with MDR. He preferred to talk about the left-wing project house, “Hasi”, in Halle. He doesn’t mention the injured police officers and the violence of the Identitarians. Even CDU city councillor Scholtyssek often spoke out in the past against “Hasi”, characterizing the project house as “far-left”. He told the MDR that the city has no case against the Identitarians. He didn’t consider it necessary to deal with them.

On the day after the attack, Andreas K. sits in the dock. The Halle Identitarians walk in together, taking seats on the right side of the courtroom. The state prosecutor reads the charges for the second time. This time, K. doesn’t try to defend himself. He freely concedes that on March 9, 2016, he shoved left-wing student R. with full force out of a streetcar. The statements of R. and Andreas K. are, as at the first court date, almost identical.

The state prosecutor sees K’s statement as a clear confession, and demands a consultation. Now, only the sentencing remains to be determined. K’s attorney refuses, wants to hear from more witnesses. A little later, Judge Aschmann interrupts the proceedings for a lunch break. In that time, the state prosecutor, the defendant, and the judge agree on an end to the proceedings upon conditions. The plaintiff has no voice in this. Andreas K. must pay 500 euros in five installments to Caritas Halle. In return, the charges will be dropped on the grounds of triviality.

Judge Aschmann says, in conclusion, that the victim didn’t have to get onto the streetcar. The case only landed before court because it was a confrontation between right and left. For her, the act is a trivial matter. There were trials for much worse incidents that had to be halted.

In a closing statement, the plaintiff’s attorney characterized the trial closure and the judge’s reasoning as a strong signal to the assailants. These can now threaten and attack other people, without having to fear consequences. The speaker for Halle Mobile Victims’ Assistance is upset over the verdict: “Repeatedly, the justice system has relativized right-wing attacks as confrontations between right and left. That way, the real threat posed by right-wing ‘identitarian’ extremists goes completely unrecognized.”

Meanwhile, over 120 neighbors of the brown house have organized. They have written an open letter to the right-wing extremists, in which they expressly protest against having them for neighbors. Mayor Bernd Wiegand and the “Together” organization support them in this. This initiative also began after the assault on November 20. They regularly talk about experiences with the Identitarians.

A local resident says that a few weeks ago, she was sitting in her car and writing a text message. She would like to remain unnamed. A group of 5-6 persons came out of the IB house. “They then split up and spent the next 20 minutes posting stickers,” she says. She says that an experienced Identitarian always has some kind of apprentice with him at such actions. “That’s how they train their people,” she suspects. “The younger ones didn’t take a step without the bigger ones in the postering, they were like their shadows.”

Identitarian groups patrol the area, intimidating residents, bumping into them, threatening them.

Sophie R. says that the confrontations usually take place on a nonverbal level. “They make way for you to pass; you have to walk between them. That way, there’s automatic body contact,” says the resident. For many, that is extremely unpleasant. “You get jostled in the process,” says Sophie R. But the neighbors won’t let themselves be intimidated: “If you walk around them, you give them room, and in the end, you still get dumb things yelled at you.” Residents characterize the behavior of the Identitarians as a space-occupying strategy.

*Name changed to protect privacy.

Translation mine.

Yeah, those fine, upstanding neo-Nazis. Such good little kids. So clean-cut. So reputable. They even assault the cops, not even bothering to try to “befriend” them anymore, as neo-Nazi infiltrators on this side of the big pond are currently doing, and used to do back in the heyday of the Heritage Front. Then, as now, the police were blindsided by the far right, failing to see them as a threat — probably because the far right sucked up to them and fed them the idea that the antifascists were the real troublemakers. And the cops, being none too bright (by design), bought that lie hook, line and sinker.

But in Germany? These guys are open gangsters, thugs and disreputables. Just get a load of their building:

Looks lovely, doesn’t it. Just like all those ugly fashy stickers they put up all over everything, even signs indicating access routes for emergency vehicles, like the one at the top. Pretty sure that’s illegal, as well as a total eyesore.

So, all those of you who think that there’s a “both sides” in this, just contemplate this: Where are the legal charges against the alleged “far left”, who are allegedly “just as bad” as the far right? Because there haven’t been any. The leftists are behaving in a civilized fashion, organizing and petitioning through proper legal channels. They’re not out all over the streets, deliberately running into people and jostling them and yelling shit at them. That’s what the latest iteration of the Nazis, the so-called “Identitarians”, are doing.

And it’s ultimately going to work against them…whenever the law finally catches up to those fucking goons. Unfortunately, it can’t come soon enough. And the judge’s blinkered response here just speaks for itself.

Share this story:
This entry was posted in Canadian Counterpunch, Confessions of a Bad German, Fascism Without Swastikas, Fine Young Cannibals, Isn't It Ironic?, Isn't That Illegal?, Isn't That Racist?, Isn't That Terrorism?, Law-Law Land. Bookmark the permalink.