Germany has banned a local chapter of the US-based Hammerskins neo-Nazi group known for its white supremacist rock concerts, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.
Hammerskins Deutschland, a group of around 130 people, aimed to spread “a racial doctrine based on Nazi ideology”, a statement said.
Police raided the homes of 28 group members across several regions on Tuesday morning, it said. Some sub-chapters of the group and a spin-off known as Crew 28 were also banned.
Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said it was “a hard blow against organised right-wing extremism” that would send “a clear signal against racism and anti-Semitism”.
The group played a “prominent” role in the right-wing extremist scene in Europe, according to the ministry.
It is the 20th right-wing extremist group to be banned in Germany.
The group’s purpose was “to live out and consolidate their right-wing extremist ideology, especially through concerts”, the ministry said.
The US-based group was founded in 1988.
There were some 38,800 people in the right-wing extremist spectrum in Germany in 2022, according to a report presented by the BfV federal domestic intelligence agency in June — up from 33,900 in 2021.
The number considered potentially violent also rose from 13,500 to 14,000.
Far-right extremism was “the biggest extremist threat to our democracy,” Faeser said.
In February 2020, a far-right extremist shot dead 10 people and wounded five others in the central German city of Hanau.
More recently, police in December swooped on a far-right group led by a self-styled prince who allegedly intended to violently overthrow the state and install a new government.